Progression is important at all level of athletics. It's critical to know where you are, where you have been and set goals for the future. These set of ideals are not limited to just the elite athlete but all athletes even the casual gym goer. As I headed to the gym on Wednesday our workout had two options either a lifting WOD or Max testing of three different lifts. I choose the second as it had been a long time since I max tested and had never max tested on a few olympic lifts I often find myself doing. As the rest of the class choose the WOD it had me thinking, how can you progress if you never know your max? It's important at least twice a year to test your 1 rep max if you lift often, benchmark WOD's for those in the Crossfit world, and sprints for those in the running world. It's definitely not the most exciting thing to do and often it's dreaded by many but all levels should test for these reasons:
1. Know Your Limit - If you never move around the heavy weight you never know what you can do.
2. Proper Scaling - Whether you are scaling a WOD or lifting a percentage of your max. Unless you establish your limits you can never be sure if you are actually progressing.
3. Track Your Progress - Testing allows you to see if you are progressing in your training, whether it be for competition or overall fitness.
4. Out Perform Yourself - Often people are surprised when they finally work up the courage to push themselves to the max and go far beyond where they thought they were.
5. PR - The personal record, achieving a new personal record can be a huge boost in your training and help you to push harder to continue to progress.
A few tips when you are max testing. Make sure you have a spotter, it's more fun to have someone encouraging you and for your safety have someone to make sure you don't get hurt. Pre-workout, be sure to not skip your pre-workout routine! Be sure to eat, drink a shake or whatever your personal preference is. Don't rush - while testing do not rush the lift or the weight, work up gradually. Recovery- Have a post WOD Myofusion Elite Protein/Aminolast drink ready to go. (My favorite is mixing the Vanilla Protein with any flavor of the Aminolast) It might not have you on the floor balled up, but max testing will leave you spent. Overall, don't fear the max testing, embrace it and use it to make you a better version of you tomorrow.