One of the unique features of Crossfit London is our tendency to wash our laundry in public: Our injury record is not hidden, it’s out there. Our WODs are published on line (if not, it’s due to trainers being overworked), our comments section are open to all but spammers.
This builds honesty, efficacy and levers in the expertise of our members.
The issue of client targets and motivation, so it struck me, is an issue that should involve our whole community. When a recent CrossFit London trainer email exchange began to develop, I thought it belonged on line so you could get involved in the discussion.
The debate begins with Steven…
The more I think about it the more I am convinced that we need to implement some sort of achievement/level/progression monitoring into our main classes. The strength of the beginners programme is that is gives people a target to attain (complete seven sessions); my experience of this is that new clients have gone after this target like RottweilersAfter Beginners there is nothing, and I wonder if we lose the people who don’t come with the natural single-mindedness to stick with something.
There are two main models we can follow, each with its strengths and weaknesses:
1. A levels testing day i.e. set/standardised WODs with benchmark scores that lead to a pass/fail
- Allows people to opt-in (or out) of the process
- Creates another party/community opportunity with cheering and so forth i.e. makes people feel loved
- Easy to administer
- Won’t target everyone, unless we have a continual dialogue with each client about their next level
- A couple of WODs won’t necessarily be representative of overall fitness level
- Allows people to opt-out of the process
2. Ongoing assessment of a list of discrete capabilities that cumulatively lead to achievement of a certain level e.g. 2x bodyweight dead lift and 15 strict pull-ups and sub 60 secs 400m, etc.
- Easily integrated into general programming e.g. assess deadlift at next 1RM deadlift session
- Stealth approach to progression monitoring in that as long as people are recording (assumption, I know) we can determine their level
- Can pick as many skills/techniques as we feel are necessary to determine levels
- Makes determining entry into the competitive team much more straightforward i.e. you need to be level X.
- It will also provide a certain level of check and balance on our programming to ensure that we are covering all skills.
- Harder to administer; relies on coaches and clients monitoring skills and recording them
- Loses the opportunity to publicly celebrate achievements i.e. no single event where people can be cheered on
I’m not sure about option 1…it’s good occasionally for events such as the 100 burpee challenge or the pull up contest at the BBQ, but having a “pass/fail” sounds quite extreme.
I much prefer the second option personally. I think the goals should be much more individual and this encourages that and can focus more on weaknesses and bringing them up.With regard to the negative of no public recognition, we could:
Encourage coaches to recognise clients more in their write ups, e.g. Phil-style award
Encourage coaches sending client emails after sessions to recognise hard work and achievements (This is obviously not public, but will still help build client’s confidence and happiness
Utilise a “Member of the month” feature…recognise one member each month and highlight their achievements via a post on the website along with possibly a mini-interview (can give other people a chance to get to know members better, the member of the month can offer tips on how they train/eat etc.
Something in the gym perhaps on the wall that highlights this month’s PRs (notes their name, movement/WOD and the weight/time) This would be a fairly randomised thing as I don’t really like the idea of “Leaderboards” that much as you will find the same people will be at the top of most of the leaderboards with the Glee kids not getting a see in.
With regard to being harder to administer, relying on coaches and clients monitoring skills and recording them, we could
Produce some small CFLUK notebooks that get given out say after a member has completed their first 20 sessions (7 Beginners + 13 sessions (one lot of 3x a week)) This will obviously incur some fees to create, but it can be almost seen as a reward/priviledge when the real reason is that we are wanting them to record their fitness and take accountability.
Build in a small window prior to setting up for the movement/WOD, perhaps at the beginning of the class where you can start maybe a 5 minute dialogue and get clients to state their goals for this sessions. This could then be noted on the board (e.g. Betty will be trying to hit a new 5RM deadlift today at 60kgs or Bob is going for a sub 5 minute Fran today)
Alternatively to the notebook, could use a GoogleDoc spreadsheet? Either a downloadable version for each seperate member or an online version used by everyone…this could get messy though and should everyone have views of other people’s goals? Some people may want theirs to remain private…
I read CF New England’s programming and site everyday, and the majority of their members post their times/results as comments to the posts. This leads to a lot of recognition from other members congratulating them and recognising their achievements. I feel this is something that we do quite badly at CFL (speaking from an athlete view) and perhaps the coaches need to start writing “Post results to comments” at the bottom to encourage it more and maybe we need to start a domino effect by encouraging the members who come more often and we know better to start doing it and then maybe more will follow.Just some random ideas
Strongly agree re: Simon’s comments on “post time to comments”. I used to do that but then nobody else seemed to bother, so I stopped. I like to know what everyone did in WODs. Dont know what should be done but maybe take a snapshot of the whiteboard that day? e.g.http://cflawhiteboardphotos.
wordpress.com/I guess my vote is for parsimony. Crossfit is about skill transfer so if you can do helen quickly it probably means you can run a quick 400 metre and deadlift a lot for your bodyweight too. I think a set of WOD’s can be picked that give a good range of the 10 aspects of fitness, and cover a good range of time domains.
The opposite of parsimony would be http://www.crossfitseattle.
com/Skill%20Levels%201-IV%but then you wont have time to externally judge that ( 20-30 skils/items x 30 athletes). I guess the seattle standards work as a self assessed model 20spreadsheet.pdf
Re: whether it’s beginner suitable, it doesnt have to be the 10 minute club, it can be the 15 minute club. Or you can pick a set of less challenging WODs. Entirely tweakable