Benchmark Testing: Numbers aren’t the only thing we are training when we test workouts

Hey Iron Athletes,

What an amazing week of testing! The bell literally broke three times in one day because of all your fantastic 1 Rep Max Efforts! At the same time, some of us struggled. Our legs weren’t under us or shoulders didn’t have it that day. The important thing to remember is it was one day. One opportunity to meet a challenge and come through the other side of it a stronger person. Maybe you were stronger physically this go around or┬ámaybe you had an entirely different battle. One that left you short of your goal. That’s only true however if your only takeaway from testing is the number.

Testing 1 rep max lifts or benchmark WODs are really important for us because there is something on the line, right? You can feel it as you set up for the workout. That building bellyache or 4th trip to go pee leaves is really a symptom of a bigger question: “Am I better?”

You’d be wrong though if you thought the answer to that question lies solely in the score you got that day. Don’t get me wrong. If you got a bigger 1 rep max or a faster score, then there is definite improvement and you should be proud! But, has every day felt like that? Has every workout been a win?

My point is, if you are not also considering what has also changed throughout your life with work, relationships, sleep, food, training schedule, new pets, whatever, then we are limiting our scope of success.

Before you set up for a workout or even before you come into the gym, realize that we are a product of ALL the choices we make and whether they have been good or bad, they have gotten us this far. That’s your reality so embrace it and find a way to make the most out of your next 24 hours. If we spend time complaining about our situation or getting frustrated at our performance, then we focus our time and attention on the negative. Instead, spend your time being thankful for what has brought you here. Set up excited that you get to use your body and fight to make it stronger. If you hit that moment in the workout where you feel like your failing, then be happy. You have reached a new threshold and your new task is to be better than you thought possible.

Greatness is reserved for people that seek challenges in life.

See you in the gym,

Josh