Train vs. Test
30 Clean & Jerks (135/95)
for timeIt’s easy and exciting to get caught up in the competition side of CrossFit, especially now around the Open and the Games, and to want to test yourself every time you come in and work out. Training, however, is not about testing all the time. What’s the difference? When you train you are not maxing out. You are not in the ugly struggle. You are working hard, stretching yourself and maintaining focus and purpose beyond the clock. You’re working on something specific. Intensity is there, but your goal is not to fall apart. Testing is about looking for your absolute limit, you may put yourself at risk of not making it to the end in a test.
Think about the workouts where you’ve made it hard before you even start. Where you wonder if you’re going to make it all the way through. When the deadlifts or pull-ups just get worse and worse throughout the workout. That may be fine if you want to test, but it’s not good training every time you come in. It actually won’t get you where you are going faster. Inside of intensity and working hard, when you are training, you can realistically shoot for looking almost as good at the end of the workout as you did at the beginning. Training won’t take you to absolute failure or absolute breakdown in form.
Notice that we don’t do the tests (one-rep maxes or full-out sprints) all the time to get faster. We train, then test. To prepare for the tests you work below your maximum. Go hard, but stay in control. Consider that the next time you come in. You can test on any given day, during whatever workout you want. You just want to know the difference. And you want to be willing to turn your attention from the clock to a purpose that you create that takes you beyond just that fleeting moment you are in class.