If you’ve been doing CrossFit for a while, you’ve probably noticed that there are certain workouts that seem to pop up on the whiteboard again and again. There’s a reason for this! Those frequent workouts that just keep coming back are benchmark WODs. And we’re going to break down why they’re so important.

What is a Benchmark WOD?

Technically, a benchmark WOD can be any workout that you do periodically to gauge your progress. But to help you gauge progress and provide some standards for performance, CrossFit has come up with benchmark WODs that people (just like you) complete regularly.

Some of the more common benchmark CrossFit workouts are:

  • Fran
  • Cindy
  • Jackie
  • DT
  • Grace
  • Karen
  • Nancy

(If you’re not sure what these names mean, who these ladies are, or what these workouts entail, we’ve got you covered. Over the next few weeks, we’ll be breaking down each of these benchmark WODs and cover things like their history, the workout itself, and strategies to tackle each one.)

Why Do We Do Benchmark WODs in CrossFit?

Now that you know what a benchmark is, now let’s get into why they’re so important.

If you do Fran one time, you might’ve done a benchmark workout, but it’s technically not a benchmark for you. But it is a starting point. Benchmark workouts are meant to be repeated. And here are a few of the reasons why it’s important to benchmark your performance:

1. Measurable Data

Benchmark WODs provide objective, measurable data for your fitness level. This tangible representation of all the work you’ve put in at the gym is a critical element of making progress. Showing up and working out blindly is not an efficient path to getting results. Showing up and measuring your progress with real data is.

2. What’s Working

Once you have measurable data from benchmark WODs, you’ll have a pretty clear indication of what’s working with your training and what’s not. If your scores on benchmark workouts improve, then it’s a sign that your workouts are aligned with your goals. If you’re not seeing your scores improve, then it’s time to take a look at how you’ve been training and find ways to make some changes.

3. Sense of Accomplishment

Another reason to do benchmark workouts is because of the resulting sense of accomplishment. It feels good to see your scores improve! And that sense of accomplishment goes a long way in motivating you to keep putting in the work for future improvements.

Track Your Progress and Know Your Results

Once you start completing benchmark workouts regularly, it’s important to keep track of your progress and be familiar with your results. Knowing something like your Fran time or Cindy score should come as naturally as rattling off your phone number. You can log your workouts using an online tool, like SugarWOD, or even keep track in a paper journal.

Track key data points like:

  • Workout Date
  • Equipment Used (weight, box height, band color, etc.)
  • Score (final time, total reps/round, etc.)
  • Notes (anything to do differently next time, scaling suggestions, etc.)

Benchmark your performance, log your results and use this record to raise the bar on your fitness.

To learn more about Rhapsody Fitness in Charleston and our range of programs, get in touch with Team Rhapsody today.