Tuesday 141014

With a 12 minute running clock, accumulate as many reps as possible:
1 Minute of power snatch, 115#(75#)
1 Minute of GHD sit-ups
2 Minutes of power snatch, 115#(75#)
2 Minutes of GHD sit-ups
3 Minutes of power snatch, 115#(75#)
3 Minutes of GHD sit-ups

Post reps to BTWB

The whiteboard, friend or foe.

The whiteboard, friend or foe.

What’s the first thing we all do when we get into the gym?  I’m talking about after we’ve changed, said hello to our friends, and put all our belongings away.  Look at the Whiteboard of course. Maybe you look to see what your friends were able to do or maybe you look to see what the best score, time, weight of the day is.  

I have a love hate relationship with the whiteboard.  I love it because it’s great to help us track our progress but I hate it because many of us are so concerned with seeing an RX next to our name that we sacrifice certain things to get said RX.  Workouts are written and programmed for studs of CrossFit.  I’m not talking about the athletes in our gym, I’m talking about the Matt Chan’s, Jason Khalipa, Julie Foucher and Rich Fronings of CrossFit.  When we program workouts we design them to have a certain intensity to them and then we scale so that everyone still feels that intensity.  Now clearly not all of us can do all the workouts as written and that’s a good thing.  We need to scale to keep intensity high, have great mechanics, and get better at movements we need work on.  There are many more benefits to the whiteboard, but also some negative aspects as well.  

Here are a few good things about the whiteboard as referenced from an article in BoxLife Magazine.  

Motivation.  The scores your friends or friendly competition put up are great for motivating you and also to give you an idea of how you should approach a workout.  Perhaps you see that your friend did a workout at a certain weight.  You know that you and your friend are pretty close in strength so seeing her weight might convince you to do a similar weight.  

Goals.  Writing your score on the whiteboard shows that you’re moving in the correct direction to your fitness goals.  A few days we did “Karen” and I heard people saying they beat their previous time by 2 minutes!  That’s amazing.  Put that on the whiteboard with a big ass PR next to your name!

Now here are few of the not so positives with the whiteboard.

Loss of Focus.  Say you’re in a workout and you know what your friends time is.  Well what happens if you look at the clock and realize you’re not going to be able to beat his time, what happens?  We lose focus and start our brains running, instead of busting your butt to finish the workout and put up your best time possible.  

The Whiteboard doesn’t tell the whole story.  What if an athlete messed up counting and ended up doing a few more or less reps but that loss of counting was reflected in the time on the board?  What if something effected the workout result? We may not know the whole story behind the time listed.  

My advice is take the whiteboard for what it is, a board we write your name on and keep track of your score.  That’s it.  The real question should be how much better are you than the day you began your fitness journey?  We try to describe a workout and it’s intended intensity so you can choose how you scale so you get the best workout for you.  

What are you thoughts on the whiteboard?  Love it?  Hate it?  Let’s hear it.



  1. Jason :

    I love the whiteboard…that being said, any chance of taking it one step further and moving to Wodify or a similar type platform?

  2. Scotty :

    Its the world vs. Kaplan…. that is all 🙂

  3. Peter :

    I dig the white board, it gives me something to aim for. For whatever reason that keeps me motivated throughout the wod.

  4. Jen :

    I love the whiteboard, but I love our gym’s subscription to Beyond the Whiteboard even more. BTW allows you to track everything and add comments regarding any issues, etc. that may have affected the WOD or lifting session that day – things that you can’t really list on the plain ol’ whiteboard. Plus, I’m such a data nerd, and I love seeing how much I’ve improved over time on BTW with their charts and other snazzy features. If any of you haven’t joined BTW yet, ask Clancy to be a free member through Verve – you won’t regret it, especially since we just started a new strength cycle!

  5. Jason A :

    I like the whiteboard. I like to look at the range of times or weights so I know about where I should be. I’ll look for a couple people I know I match up well with to help give me a general goal to aim for.


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