Beyond The Whiteboard – Why Do We Use It?

*Pictured above from left to right: Moe Naqvi, Jake Mannion, Corey Tripp, Jeremy Kinnick, & Jonathan Kinnick.  Picture is from the 2011 Reebok Crossfit Games.

One of CrossFit’s very important mantras, for those of you who may not know, is “empirically based fitness”. In short, we use numbers, namely work and power output, to determine the efficacy and efficiency of our training program. If both go up on a workout to workout basis, we know we are becoming more fit. In layman’s terms, if you set a personal record, you are getting better. When a personal record is achieved, both your work and power output numbers have increased. But you don’t need to know that. Your times and lifts are what we care about. Are they better than last time? If so, keep doing what you’re doing.

But how do you know if they are better than last time? Simple…you post on a regular basis. It will be difficult to be the best you can be if you aren’t taking full advantage of the features offered to you on Beyond The Whiteboard. I find that those who post regularly know their numbers by heart. They know their best Fran time. They know their max deadlift. If you know these numbers then you know what to beat/go for, and the motivation those numbers provide is immense. No one wants to do worse than last time in a workout; it’s not a great feeling. So going into a workout knowing exactly what you have to beat for a personal record is real kick in the butt all of us can use. Bottom line, the best CrossFitters are those who know their numbers. And how do you get to know your numbers? You post to Beyond The Whiteboard.

This doesn’t mean you have to be on Beyond The Whiteboard all hours of the day in order to become familiar with your stats. If you don’t know your last score, a simple glance at your last time before the workout is all you need to get the most of the upcoming session. This takes 30 seconds people. If you don’t know where to look, ask your trainer.

Other Useful Tips

Use the “notes” section when posting. The notes section is good for anything you’d like to remember about the workout you just completed. Examples include how you broke up certain sets. Did you go unbroken? How fast were your runs? Etc. Anything you can clue yourself in on for the next time, will only help you to do better when the workout comes up again. You’ll be able to access those notes at any time.

Pay special attention to your previous scores on lifting days. Lifting days are ranked on Beyond The Whiteboard by total weight lifted. This means if your Deadlift 1-1-1-1-1 lifts were 155, 175, 195, 205, 225, your total weight was 955. If you know this, then the next time you do this workout you can easily adjust your sets so that you are lifting more weight without necessarily hitting a PR for the deadlift. For example, if the next time you did the workout your reps were 200, 205, 215, 220, 225, your total weight would be 1065. That’s a much better lifting session than the previous one. But you wouldn’t know to do that if you didn’t know your previous numbers for the workout.

Conclusions

Bottom line, don’t underestimate the importance of logging your results and knowing your results. As trainers, there is only so much we can do. Some personal responsibility is required. Once you make the switch, I promise you’ll start seeing the results.

-Jake Mannion

Jeremy is a Head Trainer and the Gym Manager at CrossFit Kinnick. He is a veteran CrossFit Games Athlete having represented the So Cal region 4 times at the CrossFit Games Finals. His passion is helping regular people realize their goals and dreams.