Imagine for a second, that you’re back in school and it’s test day. You’re not prepared (anyone else still get those nightmares?) You go back the next day and take the same test once again. And again, the day after. And again. And so on. Do you expect your performance to improve from day to day? Maybe if you’re lucky and try difference combinations of answers, you’ll get a better result. But most likely, no combination will give you a good result. You must take the time to actually learn the material to guarantee results.
Fitness is the same. You must put in work to see results. And that means that we can’t test your fitness every day and expect it to improve. Let’s look at testing vs training:
– Going “full-send” in a WOD
– Benchmark workouts
– Max effort lifts
– Max effort sprints
– Hitting the intended goal of the workout
– Workouts designed using progressive overload
– Submaximal lifts
– Pace work
As you progress in your fitness journey, your gains will inevitably slow down. This is normal. We can’t progress linearly forever. If we could, we’d all be able to lift thousands of pounds and run 4 minute miles. As our training age increases, we require MORE work to improve, meaning that we should spend LESS time testing.
That being said, testing is important. It shows us that we’re making progress and the work we’re putting in is paying off. But as with most things, we need to strike the appropriate balance between training vs testing. Testing enough to show us that we’re making progress and keep us motivated, without interfering with our progress.
The program accounts for some of this – it’s set up so that we’re not overloading ourselves. Still, sometimes we need to adjust the program and test a little early or delay it. That’s a discussion between you and your coach. If we have a day where we work up to 90-95% and the weight is FLYING up, you might be ready for a test. On the flip side, if it’s a test day and you’re overly stressed or just plain out of it, you might want to delay the test. Talk to your coach about how your lifts are going and create a plan from there. It’s a luxury that most of us didn’t have in school. See you in the gym.