You cannot improve what you do not test or measure. That is a fact. If you don’t measure, you are simply guessing. CrossFit exploded on the fitness scene because it allowed & encouraged people to test & measure themselves on a seemingly daily basis. In terms of Ticker Training we test & re-test as well. Here’s how!
Ticker Training, at its core, measures aerobic capacity. In the beginning we have our athletes take a PNOE Test. This measures the heart-rate where you burn the most fat calories & where you transition to a carbohydrate burning state. Over time, if you burn more fat calories at a higher heart-rate, you have gained a positive adaptation.
Ok, cool. What does this positive adaptation mean for me? It means that your body is better at using the oxygen it breathes in.
There is also a higher likelihood that you are able to recover faster from a variety of efforts. To test this, complete any type of exercise. Say, 20 double unders. Watch how high your heart-rate gets. Rest, & watch how low your heart-rate goes & how much time it takes to get there. If your heart-rate comes down faster or even lower than before you have improved.
In addition to recovery time you’ll most certainly be able to lift more weight repeatedly. Take 100 barbell thrusters for example. To get through this you’d probably go pretty light, maintain proper form & chip away at it. Smart move. We would too.
We’d also break these 100 reps up in a metcon, pair it with other heart-rate friendly movements like rowing & get to work on it. We’d strive to use light weight at first, allowing our hearts & bodies to accommodate the work we are asking it to do & do it well.
When we’ve found the heart-rate to respond positively, i.e. staying low, we’d add more weight. That is a version of our test & retest. The big difference is that we can see our heart-rates on the screen, while someone else might be guessing or following what someone else is doing.
Another test is simply putting the monitor on everyday & seeing where or heart-rates are before the session begins. If the heart-rate is elevated I might not have slept well, ate or hydrated appropriately. The list goes on. We are able to gauge our lifestyle choices before training begins. If the heart-rate is unfavorable then we can live the next day differently, put the monitor on & see if there are any positive adaptations. It brings our lifestyle into the picture & does not focus solely on the “workout.”
The test & retest is simple. We don’t put a ton of pressure on ourselves to “perform” like we do for Fran or Diane or whatever. It is a simple, not easy, but simple way to show how we improve our lives, not just the training. Ticker On.