When the Whiteboard gets in the way of Athletic Development

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Testing Frequency & Athletic Development

There are a lot of things I learned at University which I have long since forgotten; however one thing I do remember is talking about testing frequency and how it can impact an individual’s ability to pick up new skills and improve.

Specifically,  we looked at

Continuous Assessment i.e. testing occurs daily and all scores are recorded


Intermittent Assessment – I.etesting only occurs on certain days or at particular intervals

And while both had pros and cons the general consensus was that intermittent testing led to better skill acquisition and long-term improvement in athletes.

So Why am I bringing this up now?

Photo Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/whfrank/

Photo Credit:   Wei Han Frank Lin

Because as Crossfitters we sometimes get so caught up in our daily times & whiteboard scores that its easy to lose track of the big picture and long-term goals.

There are hundreds (ok maybe not hundreds) of ways to approach a workout and we need to figure out what works best for us as an individual.


    • breaking up pull-ups into small sets
    • pushing hard during the row & ‘recovering’ on the barbell
    • how hard/fast to “come out of the gates” and what pace we settle into
Me and mah Older Sister competing as a Team at the Crossfit Squamish Fall Challenge.  Photo by Caragh Camera

Photo by Caragh Camera

And It is through this experimentation that we can become better athletes in the long run. However, once we start playing around with different strategies there’s a good chance we’ll come across a couple that  DON’T work for us and if we’re too concerned daily whiteboard scores we might be too scared to risk it’.

Yes there is a risk that we will get a couple of bad scores, tank a workout or even a competition, but its important to realize that necessarily isn’t a bad thing. The best athletes aren’t the ones who ‘never fail’ they’re the ones who are willing to fail, pick themselves back up and then try again using the what they learned to be better.

Visit Taryn Haggerstone’s blog Go Hard Get Strong for more of her thoughts on training. Follow her on Twitter at @TarynHaggerston and Instagram at @tarynemilyh.

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