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An Argument For NOT Scoring Your Workout

Functional fitness was revolutionary in that you can do workouts that produce a “score”. Do a workout with certain movements, repetitions, and weights and it is done to a certain standard. Your score is typically your time that you completed it in, similar to running a 5k, it’s a set standard.

It’s a blessing because it can drive competition, getting you to go a little faster, with a little more intensity, and we know that relative intensity is what produces results. It’s also a blessing when you repeat a workout, because it shows you whether you’ve gotten more fit or not. Obviously we want to see fitness improving; if it’s not, coaches need to step in a triage the problem.

But I’m here to tell you a few reasons to NOT score your workout.

First, I need to clarify, I’m suggesting you score some workouts, but not others. In an ideal scenario, if you attend five workouts per week, I would recommend scoring two, and NOT scoring three. Here’s why:

First, to learn more. If you approach every workout with a “crush everything” mindset, that often translates to speed and heavier weights. What often gets lost is that “crush everything” can and should be applied to learning and working on your weaknesses. If you always avoid working on your weaknesses, your fitness will plateau soon or later. Best to tackle your weaknesses today. We all have them!

Second, to target a different heart rate zone. If you approach every workout with a “crush everything” mindset, that often translates to going faster. It’s true that relative intensity is what gets results. But something also gets lost. Your aerobic heart rate zone. The simplest way to determine your aerobic heart rate zone (zone 2) is 180 – Your Age. For me, that is 180 – 36 = 144. So in order to target my aerobic zone, I need to stay under 144 beats per minute. If you’ve never worn a heart rate monitor while doing functional fitness, I’ll tell you, you are likely WAY over that every workout. If you can build your aerobic fitness, that is like building a strong foundation to your house. It sets everything else up for success. If you have a weak aerobic foundation, everything else is harder. If you don’t have a heart rate monitor, how do you know what your heart rate is? Easy way to tell is this: you are in your aerobic zone if you can have a conversation without having to stop to take a big breath. If you’ve never done this before, you may be surprised how slow you need to go in order to maintain it. Don’t let your ego get in the way of staying in Zone 2.

Third, to reduce your stress levels. Working out produces stress. The body in response then works to improve our muscles and cardiovascular conditioning to better handle the workout next time. This is all well and good, until its not. If you go hard every single workout, and don’t have a solid foundation of sleep, good nutrition, and stress reduction, then eventually it will lead to burn out. Yes, competitive and professional athletes can go hard and intense most days of the week. They are paid to do so, and often have impeccable nutrition and sleep habits. Those of us with jobs, kids, life stressors, not perfect sleep … we don’t need to go hard every workout to get results. Consistently attending workouts three to five times per week is way more important than your intensity.

So now that you understand why, it’s how I recommend implementing it.

On Sunday, look at the workouts ahead of you for the week.

– Pick two workouts that you want to score. These should be workouts that you know you are confident in the moves, because we never want to sacrifice safety for speed. I would also recommend picking workouts that have a name, like Fran, or Murph, because those workouts are more likely to be repeated. If a workout does not have a name, it probably will not be done again.

– Pick one workout to really focus on learning. The workout with the movements that really challenge you. By going into the workout with a learning mindset, you will approach the workout with a different mindset than if you went in “to crush it”.

– Pick two workouts to do at a slower pace, targeting your Zone 2 Heart Rate.

Last but not least, make sure you still sign into class for attendance tracking purposes. Just don’t log a score, or put 0:00.

If you aren’t sure how to approach a week, as a Coach, we are here to help with exactly this! You don’t attend ResoluteFIT for functional fitness group classes, you attend to be coached. Use us!

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