CrossFitters eat up the CrossFit Games Open. During those 5 weeks in February and March motivation couldn’t be higher, group class attendance couldn’t be better, and individual achievements couldn’t be more frequent. What is it about the Open that causes everybody to be better versions of themselves than they’ve been all year long? The answer is “competition”. There’s something about an actual competition that lights fires under people. It’s amazing. Unfortunately, that also means that once the competition is over (the Open, in our case) many return to how they were pre-competition.
Imagine a world where the motivation, the drive, the desire to be better, never waned. Imagine an entire year filled with focus, determination, and insane accomplishment. I have the solution. It’s Beyond The Whiteboard’s Fitness Level. The feature was designed with the imaginary world described above in mind. No, FL isn’t a competition in the literal sense (you aren’t performing workouts at a venue, you aren’t competing directly against anybody else, there isn’t a finite timeframe). It does, however, provide users the framework to compete against themselves each and every day. The goals should be to take your Fitness Level from 50 to 60 over the course of the year, to climb from 30 to 45 in the Olympic Lifting category, to achieve a higher rating than your buddies/gym-mates. When leveraged correctly, Fitness Level can serve as a virtual CrossFit Games Open all year long.
Fitness Level: How It Works
Your Overall Fitness Level number can range from 0-100. It is a relative measure of Fitness, meaning it compares your performance to the rest of the community. A Fitness Level of 77 means you are more Fit than roughly 77% of the community. As athletes everywhere continue to improve, it will become harder and harder to stay in front of the curve.
Your Overall Fitness Level is determined by averaging your performance across 8 different categories. For each of these categories you will receive a Category Level, as seen in the bar chart above. Blue bars are your strengths. Red bars are your weaknesses. It should be everyone’s goal over the course of a year to tackle one’s weaknesses.
6 Month Expiration
What helps make Fitness Level a constant challenge is the fact that contributing workout results have a 6-month expiration date. In other words, if your awesome Fran score, achieved in January, is helping make your Light category a Level 90, it will no longer count towards your Light category in July. That could mean dropping from a 90 to an 80 in that category, depending on how the rest of your workout results in that category are averaging out. The same goes for each of the 7 other Fitness Level categories. What does it all mean? Users will have to constantly test themselves throughout the year in order to achieve and maintain top levels. That sort of challenge will help to spark determination and focus year round.
In addition to our Fitness Level feature, Beyond The Whiteboard also has a Weaknesses section that identifies specific areas of concern in users’ abilities. Based on your logged workout results, BTWB will tell you exactly what you need to work on. As an example, my shoulder press rating is sorely lagging behind my push press and push jerk ratings. That bar graph is super telling. Clearly, my absolute overhead pressing strength is lagging. If I can somehow manage to improve the 46 shoulder press rating, there’s a good chance my push press and push jerk ratings could go even higher. Other obvious weaknesses include my deadlift.
These bar charts are super easy to read, they are auto-populated, and they should help to guide users’ accessory/additional work. The goal is to make each bar on an individual graph blue. An all blue graph signifies the absence of any major weaknesses for that category.
Fitness Is A (long) Journey
Turning strengths into weaknesses, going from a Level 50 to a Level 60, all take time (atleast 5-6 months according to How Long Does It Take To Improve In CrossFit). These are things that require patience and a long-term vision. The time between Opens is the perfect opportunity to utilize Fitness Level to continue the wave of momentum built up during the Open. Those who manage to create a competition-like atmosphere for themselves each and every day can harness the benefits experienced during actual, tangible events to help propel themselves upwards and onwards all of the time, even when the next in-person competition is out of sight, out of mind.