So you roll in to the gym on Monday morning like usual ready to hit a new workout. You’ve had a day or two off on the weekend and you’re feeling rejuvenated by the summer weather. When you check the board, you see a workout that looks familiar. “I’m sure I’ve done this workout before,” you might think. “Why is it coming up again?”
Now you get a chance to see inside the head of a programmer for a brief moment. My goal is to improve the health and fitness of each member who walks through the door of our gym. While a lot of people have a similar goal of weight loss for example, that is just one metric by which we can measure health. So instead of weighing everyone every time they take part in a class, we use the “retest” as one of our methods for seeing if improvements have been made. We can test quite a few more metrics at once this way!
If you used a heavier weight, we know you got stronger. If you finished with more repetitions completed or a faster time, we can assume your cardiovascular endurance improved. If you did double unders instead of single unders this time, we can conclude that your coordination has increased!
Certain workouts are great to use as retests or “benchmarks”. Often you see workouts like Helen, Grace, DT, or Fran show up a few times a year. We take our previous results and compare them to our current results. If we see improvement, we know what we are doing is working to an extent. If we don’t see an improvement, we can use that to isolate what needs to be worked on going forward into the next phase of training.
Today at LifeTree, we are retesting Open WOD 16.5 which we last did in September 2019. It’s been nearly 10 months since we’ve completed this workout, which is a long enough period of time to see improvements in our fitness IF we have been consistent and putting in the hard work. The retest is such a valuable tool for us to watch ourselves progress and give us something to train for. It’s not because we ran out of workouts to come up with, it has its own purpose. So on retest days, make it your mission to get to the gym to see your hard work pay off!