Thursday 170615

For time:
5 Rope Climbs
400m Run
4 Rope Climbs
400m Run
3 Rope Climbs
400m Run
2 Rope Climbs
400m run
1 Rope Climb
400m Run

Post times to comments and BTWB

CrossFit, it's a journey. Where did you start? Where are you now?

CrossFit, it’s a journey. Where did you start? Where are you now?


A logbook, one of the most essential pieces of equipment every CrossFitter should have. Period. By Courtney “log your s#@t” Shepherd 😉

This post is a bit of a #TBT, but it continues to be relevant no matter the day of the week or how long ago it was previously posted. This post was originally inspired by an Instagram post by Verve’s own Ali Nichols:

“Since November of 2009, I have logged every burpee, pull-up, deadlift, box jump, power clean, squat, push-up, snatch, sit-up, and KB swing I have ever done. Not to mention the numerous meters accumulated on the rower and the miles I have ran in the rain, snow and sunshine (literally). Sounds silly, but it allows me to stay in perspective. To see my fitness change over time. Sometimes long domains of time, but nonetheless just as special.

Taking time to go back through my log books reminds me that I am stronger than yesterday. And to me that’s all that really matters.

– Ali Nichols

We got an interesting suggestion in our new suggestion box. It was a request for more benchmark workouts. . . and to Verve’s credit, I think we have delivered. What is the point of a benchmark workout? To mark our current physical status and use it as a comparison point at different times along our CrossFit journey. This using of previously done workouts to compare ourselves, highlight our progress, and truly objectively see how CrossFit has made us stronger really only works if we write down/ record what we are doing. The last time I posted this blog we had just done two benchmark workouts in one day, “Isabel” and “Grace” (sound familiar??). Benchmark workouts exist to be just that, a benchmark of your fitness. After those workouts Ali posted the following picture with the above statement.

Where do you track your progress? Nowhere? Let's change that.

Ali’s logbook collection.


It was one of the coolest things I had seen/ read in a long time. Ali can look back through her years of CrossFit, through her entire journey, and see the improvement in her fitness level. Ali doesn’t have to guess, wonder, or think about whether or not CrossFit has benefitted her life, she can see it in all it’s written glory. I’ve had many of you come into Verve and ask me about what weight you should use for a workout, when I ask “well what weight did you use last time?” often the response is, “I don’t know.”

Who does that situation sound familiar to? Are you walking in and out of Verve, never writing your 1 rep maxes down, never making note of your “Grace” or “Isabel” time?How do you know when you get a PR (personal record)? How do you know if you are getting strong enough to go up in weight or getting strong enough to go down in bands? You don’t. Not logging our information does not make us bad people, it does however have a huge potential to blunt our progression. How? Let’s take the workout “Grace” for example, it’s 30 clean & jerk for time with the prescribed weights of 135#(95#). Let’s say you did “Grace” with 85# in a time of 2:30, but you don’t log any of that information. Several months go by and “Grace” makes her way back into the programming. You can’t remember what weight you did, so you throw 75# on the bar and you do the WOD in 1:59. No doubt that is an awesome time, but do you really know if you are stronger and more fit, or did you just move faster because the weight was lighter? Again, in the grand scheme of life, this is not the worst problem to have, it’s really a matter of what your goals are when you walk through the doors of Verve. I would say about 90% of those goals can’t really be measured if we don’t keep track of what we do when we are inside the walls of Verve. 

Let’s talk injuries, pregnancies, and changes in work routines. All of these can have an impact on our progress. Raise your hand if you are guilty of stopping logging your workouts because you are waiting to “get back to where I was before I count anything”. Question: how will you know if you get back to where you were if you aren’t paying attention to where you are going? How will you know if you are getting your strength back, if your rehab is working, if your getting your cardio/ respiratory endurance back, if you aren’t keeping track of any of it? Again, you don’t. No matter the reason, it’s okay to have to start back at the beginning, the best part of doing so is seeing where it can take you. After shoulder surgery, I put my old logbook on a shelf and started a new one. I PR’ed everyday, it was awesome. Everyday I was excited to come into the gym and see what I would be capable of that day. I didn’t open my old logbook for over a year, and when I did I was surprised to see some of my post-surgery PRs had surpassed my pre-surgery PRs. I could look back over the year and see how I went from shoulder pressing PVC with limited range of motion, to squat snatching my body weight. 

So again I ask, where do you log your workouts? You don’t?? Let’s change that. CrossFit is a journey. . . a long one. How will you ever know the progress made along the way if you never remember where you started? Are you too tech savvy to write anything down, that’s what Beyond The Whiteboard is for. You can log all your info into the inter webs, to be stored forever. So go to Staples and buy a spiral notebook, or come to Verve and buy a fancy CrossFit logbook, or sign up for BTWB, and start logging your business NOW. 

You asked for them. We are giving them to you. The benchmarks won’t stop anytime soon and before you know it, some of them will be on repeat. Let’s see what our consistent, hard work is doing for us. 


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