For 10 minutes I was in my element, on the other side of training. I coached an athlete who recently started CrossFit, as in today was her 5th workout.
CrossFit Owings Mills introduced a “new” type of programming wherein every member will be doing some sort of benchmark workout, titled Judgment Day. It sounds scary and almost Terminator like, but it’s actually quite opposite. For the next four weeks of programming, the movements from the benchmark workout will be a focal point of the next month. At the end of the four weeks, everyone does the same benchmark workout again, to see if he/she improved.
“Having someone judge your workout adds an element of accountability and pressure that is not always found in the daily WOD.” - Coach Nick
To get a true feel of what it’s like to be in competition mode, this box introduces a format in which members can be the coach/judge and competitor. In a pretty packed class of about 20-30 athletes, we were broken down into pairs and the head coach explained how to be a judge (e.g. what to look for in each movement, what a “no-rep” is). In addition to counting reps and looking for good form, the judge is also there to encourage the athlete through the workout.
I didn’t realize how much I missed this aspect of coaching – cheering on an athlete to fight through each rep. I took into consideration that my partner was new to this (she mentioned she’d never been in a competition like this before) so I made sure I wasn’t being too hard on her. Since this benchmark had a time limit, in the moments where she was resting I gave her succinct cues on how to strategize the next movement, by breaking down the rep scheme. As a newbie, and I’ve been through this as well, you don’t necessarily know how to strategize the WOD. Typically you just fight through each rep ‘til exhaustion, and that’s not necessarily the best way to go about a workout – as in you’ll get burned out early on.
Completing all 270 reps (ranging from single-unders to thrusters to pull-ups) in 9 minutes and 42 seconds, she finished her first competition-like workout under the 10-minute cap. Although exhausted, and lying on the floor in true CrossFit fashion, she was completely stunned and elated that she got through it all.
Kudos to her for pushing through, and I’m proud to say I had a minor role in her accomplishment.