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What is Test week?

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Hello Harbor Park Crew!

We are fast approaching that time again.. yes, test week is upon us! If you’ve been with us for a while, the undoubtedly you’ve done test week before. If you’re newer, then maybe not. Either way, that’s ok! This guide should help explain WHY we do test week, and what the purpose is for.

What exactly is Test week?

Test week is a weeklong period in which we attempt to specifically test certain movements, skills, strengths or specific workouts. Greg Glassman (the founder of CrossFit) labels the definition of fitness as encompassing the 10 general physical skills, which are: Cardiovascular/respiratory, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.

Our goals for test week, is to give everyone a gauge, or better yet, a baseline on the above physical skills. For example, when we specifically test things like “Gymnastics” movements – we are testing your Flexibility, coordination, balance and accuracy.  When we test something with olympic weightlifting, we are testing – Speed, Power and coordination.

Think of test week like any other benchmark workout we do in the gym. The workout “Fran” or “Karen” is a perfect example. These workouts periodically re-appear so we can re-test our previous personal records – “PR”. When we re-test a workout, and can lift heavier weights, score more reps, or beat our previous time, then this is an example of how we are improving!

WHY do we do Test week?

Aside from the points that we listed above, we want test week to be fun! To help enhance this experience, we’ve assigned different points to each lift, WOD and score you submit on SugarWOD during the test week phase. These points that you earn will give you the right to “level up”. The level up process doesn’t have to be followed by everyone, but the reason for leveling up is to help athletes understand their current fitness levels, as well as give you something to strive/work for! Think of it like this, if the reason you couldn’t advance to the next level was because your gymnastics skills just aren’t as well developed, then you will be more likely to continue to work at that particular weakness. So, although we turned the levels system into a little game where you can earn points and level up if you wish to partake, it can help you decide where you need to focus your time so you can continue to advance! HINT: Generally a weakness we have, is something we don’t look forward to, or tend to skip the WOD when it’s programmed!

Levels & Changes

This time around, we’ve changed things up slightly from times prior. Before, we were very strict on only leveling up if you hit a specific score, time or reps on certain things. Although we had fun with this, we felt that it could also be discouraging to some. For example, if I needed 5 pull-ups to advance, but had everything else checked off, but I didn’t have my pull-ups, then why even try? We found that some people would try to get their minimum numbers, but if they failed to convert that left some feeling discouraged… The opposite of what we are trying to achieve!

For this test week period, our plan is to assign a certain amount of points to each workout during the week. To level up, you just need to accumulate a certain amount of points. This could mean that just because you don’t have a pull-up, you have the potential to earn enough points somewhere else you are stronger in to gain the necessary points to level up!

Also, instead of 5 levels, we have now incorporated 10 levels! The 10 levels are as follows:

  1. Recruit
  2. Deck Hand
  3. Navigator
  4. Cartographer
  5. Mariner
  6. Swashbuckler
  7. Buccaneer
  8. Captain
  9. Admiral
  10. Pirate

Levels <—- Click here if you want to see every level!

We hope that test week is enjoyable for everyone, and you have as much fun as possible with this! Remember, if we aren’t having fun, then it’s just work… Also, remember, be humble, and just embrace and respect the process. Don’t compare yourselves to others. Be you, because that’s all that matters!

Yours truly,

Harbor Park CrossFit