This post is intended to layout some ideas and guidelines for how you can better assess and interpret workouts written for our gym, or even others. The reasoning behind this is so that you can have a better understanding of why you are doing something and what responses you should be getting/feeling from those sessions.
During most days at Crossfit Ulster, we are working with percentages of lifts and effort. This training method is there to ensure there is a safe, progressive training and that you are receiving complete energy system training. Our workouts rarely have a prescribed weights, i.e.-95# for men, 65# for women. For TESTING purposes, it is a different story. If you are looking to see where a client stands currently, assign a specific weight. A month or two later when they repeat that test, use the same weight. For training however, if you are always prescribing one weight for a workout for an entire class, it will not work. You could potentially have a class of 12 people doing completely different things. Below are examples of two clients, some of their metrics and a workout. Try and imagine what feeling or dose response each would have when they were finished.
Client 1: (male, Crossfitting for 2 years)
Deadlift 1 RM-300#
Max Pull Ups-42
Client 2: (male, Crossfitting for 6 months)
Max Pull Ups-12
15 Pull Ups
Client 1: 10:16
Client 2: 19:58
Just looking at the Deadlift numbers should be an immediate flag. Client 1 would be using about 50% of his 1 RM vs. Client 2 using 75%. Same advantage goes for the pull ups and the run. Looking at the overall feeling of the workout, Client 1 is going to have an aerobic power workout(ouch) vs. Client 2 having a slower type of grinder.
A great way to practice identifying this is to use yourself in various workout scenarios with various weights. You can even scan different workout sites and use theirs. How would scenario A feel vs. scenario B? Would you move slower and struggle with every rep or would you have constant movement throughout because all the lifts and percentages were within the limits of your current fitness capabilities? How do you feel immediately following the workout? Tight quads and nauseas hoping you can keep it together or breathing a little heavy, but recovering nicely? You can see how having a generic weight for each workout does not work for everyone. There needs to be a little more individuality when assigning weights in order to ensure the group as a whole is getting the right effect from the training.
After running a week long assessment for our clients we determined what the group needed to improve on as a whole. Below you will see the template we are running off of. The idea behind this is to make it easier to stay on track towards a goal. Every week, this template is used during our 12 week cycle with minor tweaks being made in response to things we are seeing with our members. If we have the information we gathered during our test week and know the end goal, we can layout each workout to target specific areas of weakness in order to ensure our goal is successful.