Tangled in the Wodify Web
Written by: Erin Bremer
We are taught in our on ramp classes that Crossfit is measurable, repeatable and observable. Using benchmark wods, 1 rep max tests, and other repeatable challenges helps us to compare our data and see personal growth. Taking that one step further, Wodify is an incredible tool that allows us to record our frequently changing data- and thank goodness because who can remember all of those numbers!? It is to our benefit to use this program to log numbers and notes to reflect upon our progress. However, if the data becomes more than just points on a graph, we have given it power it was never meant to have.
When wodify becomes our only ranking system, it loses some of its benefits. When it tells me that I ranked 12th out of 14 that day, it begins to shift from something very positive to something very negative. It is not telling us whether we were ‘good’ or ‘bad’ that day- it is merely collecting my data. We are the ones that correlate the value with the number- and quite honestly we just need to knock that off. Wodify’s original intent was not to score members of the box against another, but to be a conglomerate of data that show one’s individual progress. Just because I landed last on the whiteboard doesn’t mean I didn’t have a personal gain that day. In fact, I could have beat my prior back squat by 80 lbs and still be last.
On the flip side, I could have taken the top spot that day but sacrificed my form to go as fast as possible, then too, I have failed. The whiteboard simply is not an effective measure of effort. So let’s move away from placing value on where we ranked that day, and instead use it to record the forward progress that hard work, dedication and commitment provide.
So how should we use Wodify?
It should be used as a data tracker and as a way to identify, keep and document goals. At the end of the day, the goal shouldn’t be about being at the top of the leaderboard- that doesn’t make me a better athlete. What makes me a better athlete is identifying my weaknesses and focusing on those. If my goal is endurance and I hate running, instead of subbing out for rowing that day (or skipping the WOD altogether), maybe I run the full distance and go lighter in my weights to allow my body to become stronger in my weakness. Whether I beat the girl next to me or lose by a landslide should not indicate how I feel about the day’s workout. Ultimately my personal effort should be the indicator- How deep did I dig?, How hard did I push?, Did I give up? Those should be the questions we are asking at the end of a WOD, not “How many reps did you get?, or What was your time? Or what weight did you use?”.
The community and people at my box drive and motivate me to do things I NEVER thought possible. That’s why I am committed to CrossFit. At the end of the day, if I can push a little harder in my WOD then maybe I can push a little harder at becoming a better person, a better wife, and a better mom. I CrossFit not for the whiteboard but for inner strength that is left to be discovered.
The goal should change from day to day and be driven by the athlete, not the whiteboard. Let’s be thankful for the gift that Wodify provides but let it be known it does not determine our worth.