Posting Your Times (and Why it’s Important)

By: Dan Chamberlain

In CrossFit, the whiteboard is the crux of where the magic happens.  There, you will find your assigned warmup, strength work and Workout of the Day.  Most of the time, you will also find thetimes or scores from the previous classes’ athletes. 

At CrossFit Sandpoint, most of our athletes aren’t all that competitive.  Most of us just want to get in, get a great workout in, spend time with our favorite coaches and workout partners and go home.  Trying to win or have our loss illustrated on the whiteboard is not always (or ever) a part of that equation.  So, a lot of us are guilty of not writing our times on the board or even keeping our score. 

That is completely fine.  We will never guilt or force you into either of those things.  We totally get it.  However, I’d like to discuss how it can be very helpful to the rest of this community regardless of your performance or how little you care.  

I have two points of view on this topic.  One is as a coach.  The other is that of an athlete.

As a coach, there are times when I walk into the gym, and I don’t see any scores for the workout. As many of you know, we write your names on the board for every class.  However, we do not know your scores, and we don’t always ask.

Most of your perfectly happy just completing the workout with no care of what your score is. And in those cases a 🙂 is perfectly acceptable as your score.

However, as a coach, if there are no scores on the board, it makes it hard to know some very relevant information.  When scores get written on the board, it gives us coaches an illustration of how long the workout is taking, what weights people are using, and drastically helps us with helping you to scale the workout appropriately.  When we can see what happened in previous classes, it gives us context to how we should coach our classes.  As we all know, workouts don’t always go how they look like they’re going to go according to the whiteboard.

Plus I love to give out high-fives, and it’s hard to do that if I don’t see that you killed it on the workout!

From an athlete’s perspective, looking at scores is a little bit different.

I’ll share an example with you to show how seeing someone else’s score helped me perform and make an accurate plan for my workout. Last Friday, the workout for Sport was for time.  It consisted of: An 800-meter run, 10 muscle ups, 20 strict handstand push-ups, 10 muscle ups, 800-meter run.

I was super excited to see this workout when it was posted. I have no issues with any of the movements in this workout, so I knew I could approach it without too much regard for muscular endurance or skill development. In casual conversation with another athlete during the 4:30 class, he mentioned how he finally felt a hundred percent after being sick for a couple of weeks. We talked about his time in the workout, how he approached it and how he felt magnificent about himself based on how well he did.

As we discussed these things, I was able to formulate a good plan, pacing strategy and set some goals for how I wanted to perform and attack the challenge laid in front of me.  Now, the athlete in question is a bit faster on the running, and has a bit more capacity for the gymnastic movements, so I knew he’d tackle it differently than I would be able to, but it gave me a rabbit to chase.  I ended up finishing within about a minute of his time.  For me, that’s a great performance, and it felt awesome to execute my plan in that way.

None of this would have been possible if he had not posted his score. I wouldn’t have this awesome feeling of accomplishment in myself.  Remember, I didn’t win the workout.  But, that feeling of accomplishment I achieved was far better than winning.  That little extra push, motivation and information was what needed for an awesome Friday afternoon WOD.

So the next time you’re in the gym, and you finish your workout. Think about the person who checks your score and that competes against you. They’re not doing it to beat you they are doing it to make themselves better, and you’re helping with that.  If you find yourself feeling bad about getting beat, or not performing as well, try and remind yourself that that is just your ego talking, and that no one else cares. 

If someone goes after you and beats you, know that you set the bar and that it’s almost universally easier to one-up a score that has already been set.  Ever heard the story of the 4 minute mile?  (Google it, if not).  If the thought of competition is too much to make this fun, then please feel free to leave your scores off the board.  If you’re good with it, just remember how much you’re helping your fellow workout buddies by posting.