MAKE SCORING GREAT AGAIN
As I have always done, I am going to share my experience if I believe it may hold some sort of value for our members. Now before I do, it’s worth adding a disclaimer: We ALL train at The Chamber for vastly different reasons which is amazing. What matters is that YOU are getting what You want and need out of training. This particular piece is not going to appeal to everyone, and it’s not meant to. If your jam when coming to train at The Chamber is to feel good, blow off some steam, talk smack with mates and get a little sweaty, I can’t stress enough that this is sweet. This blog topic is more directed at those who like me like to know the precise “why” of what they are doing in the gym, get excited by intricacies of training methodologies / stimulus and enjoy the feedback that workout tracking can provide.
So, let’s talk a little about the background of “scoring”. I feel that over the years “scoring” workouts has copped a bad wrap, including from myself, for the negative connotations it can bring to the group and to the individual. What started as a cool, unheard of concept in a gym setting fast became a major attraction. The thought of “competitive” fitness I dare say was one of the draw cards into people attending a gym like The Chamber. It gave people some purpose, it gave them a baseline to measure, and it added extra flavour to a workout……until it didn’t.
So where did it go wrong? I have a few ideas which I have listed below, I’m sure there are many more, however, these are front of my mind:
1. Training became competition every day which clearly is unsustainable in any sport / athletic pursuit or gym environment.
2. Leaderboarding: The sole motivation for training becomes to “win” the workout for the day
3. Disgruntled members : When combining point 1 and 2, you have a recipe for disharmony
4. Comparison vs other members / Past Self / Expectation for continuous , linear improvement across all modalities
5. Disinterest in “training” unless it’s “testing”.
6. People are simply unaware of how to track workouts and metrics which are not benchmarks ie Fran / Cindy / 500m row TT, 1 rep maxes etc
Finding a better way.
Over the past 18 months through re educating myself, experimenting, reframing my mindset and setting my intentions, I have been able to rekindle the lost fire and the love for mixed modal training which I have been so passionate about for so many years. The training itself is still relatively the same, its the clear “why” behind the training , the approach to the training and the expression of training that has shifted. Tracking or “scoring” nearly every workout and movement metric, amongst other things, has played a massive role in this, which is what I will now try to elaborate on and perhaps may help you with achieving what you want in your training journey.
You see you don’t have to be a competitive athlete to warrant tracking your fitness journey, you don’t need to be a budding games athlete either. I have no ambition at all to be any of that. I do, however, want to continue to strive to get better, to learn and educate myself through doing and I also want the ability to be able to train and be extremely physically capable inside and outside of the gym for a very long time, like a seriously long time, many of you may be able to relate to this?
The workout I have laid out below may potentially be looked at as “unmeasurable” partly because it’s “long” and partly because it doesn’t have a “test” associated with it and it’s not “for time” This is where you can have some fun, give more meaning to your workout and really set the intent early. I have given a comparative on one way to approach the session versus a way I now would similarly approach the session.
AMRAP 20 Minutes
30 Wall ball
15 Pull up
OPTION 1: Traditional
*Run : 100 % effort to get in the door first, unable to pick up the WB without rest.
*WB : As many as possible , rest until able to breath again, repeat, slowly reduced to less and less consecutive reps , shallow squats, resting more than working.
*Pull Ups : As above, eventually having to drop to singles due to overriding metabolic and muscular fatigue from maximal effort in the beginning round.
TOTAL WORK ACCUMULATED….?
Does this sound familiar?
OPTION 2: Measure against yourself with “Intraset Repeatability”
*Run : 75 % effort allowing for recovery during effort for more dynamic pieces to follow
*WB 2 x 15 with 5-10 breath rest between sets
*Pull Ups : 9/6 with 5-10 breath rest between sets
*Aim for each round split to take 4 minutes or within 20 seconds of that for the duration of the 20 minute time domain.
TOTAL WORK ACCUMULATED : 5 quality sets give or take a few reps.
As you can see, this now becomes a game, you have a micro goal ( intraset splits / repeatable efforts) within the macro goal ( 20 minute workout ) as opposed to hanging on for dear life and crawling to the finish line. You can essentially individualize the workout to learn your capacity with each movement , you keep yourself present and accountable throughout and what’s happening around you becomes irrelevant – YOU DO YOU.
A workout that formerly did not have much meaning due to it not being a “test” becomes meaningful and purposeful, your overall output is actually greater ( increasing capacity / fitness ) and I dare say you will pull up far less sore due to the sub maximal efforts across the board ( not redlining = sustainability = not baked the next day ). This in its essence is displaying all the fitness and a greater ability to express fitness ( what we do? )
When it’s down on paper like this, I feel it’s easier to see which application allows for more long term improvement and I also believe instantly removes many of the prior negatives associated with scoring, straight away encouraging the positives and potentially yielding a greater result, if that’s what you are after of course 😉
It’s a very deep rabbit hole which I have only just scratched the surface of with this blog and with this particular workout / scenario. Different workouts require different approaches but at the end of the day knowing your capabilities and measuring will always provide some of the best feedback.
Anyhow, I’ll leave this with you to play with and experiment with yourself. It’s not the only way, but it is a way to embark on and get better at mixed model conditioning pieces and a way that I have had plenty of fun and success with of late. If you feel a little unenthused / going through the motions with some workouts, are finding it hard to recover, or are simply chasing a little more “why” behind what you do, grab a white board , have some fun, think outside the box, keep your head in the game / ass in the gym and let’s make scoring great again.
P.S. If you read this and would like more context or a better explanation to understand please let me know, I love talking about this stuff but I have already exceeded my page limit.