Let’s take a quick break from the Health Month topics to talk about fitness testing. We use fitness testing to evaluate the safety, efficacy and effectiveness of our program, and for you to measure changes in your fitness. The only way we can tell whether or not you are improving is by you recording PBs on the whiteboard, especially during test weeks. An even better method is you tracking your progress on Beyond the Whiteboard. As much as we would like to see everyone PB on every day of testing, it’s not realistic. But that doesn’t mean that you aren’t getting fitter.
For you to beat your previous best on any test, everything needs to fall in place on that day. Your nutrition must be on point, your sleep needs to have been sufficient, you need to be in the correct frame of mind for that test, and sometimes you need to be amongst a particular group of people. These, and probably a bunch of other stars, need to line up for you to achieve a PB on a particular day.
If you don’t PB or even perform a bit under your previous best, does it mean you’re less fit. No, unless you haven’t been doing any exercise for a good few weeks prior to doing the test! And you’re certainly not less fit if you’ve improved in one or more other areas, which based on our results from the five years we have under our belts, is typically what we see. Progress in one or more areas while other areas plateau can still mean a greater overall fitness.
Remember, fitness is defined as increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. If you have a look at the chart above, work capacity is calculated as the area beneath the power curve. If some data points stay the same while others move up, it still increases the area beneath the curve – an increase in fitness.
It’s also pertinent to remember that we’re trying to achieve a broad and inclusive fitness. It’s no good if your gymnastics is getting nowhere while your weightlifting charges on, or if you’re only improving in long time domain workouts and not the shorter ones. That means that sometimes, you need to sacrifice further gains in your strengths in order to better level out your fitness.
So if you didn’t improve everywhere during testing or some gains were minimal, remember that they were still gains and you are human!
All of that said, you might feel like all your recovery practices and nutrition are dialled in and you’re looking after your health and performance, but you just feel stuck, you might need some individually tailored work to reach those goals. Touch base with one of the coaches to tee up a private coaching session and get set up on a homework program. Some properly directed extra work is often just what you need.