Why Are Benchmark Days so Busy?

The purpose of our leveling-approach to goal setting and workouts is to measure progress. A program is only effective when it improves performance. Therefore, you can’t measure a program’s effectiveness unless you are regularly testing and reviewing the performance data.

At RxFIT, we have 15 benchmark assessments. Collectively, they help us determine the work capacity of each individual and gym across broad time and modal domains. In other words, each of the 15 assessments is essential; without one, we lose a piece of the puzzle to your fitness.

How We Got Here

We asked ourselves as a leadership team a few months ago, “How many times per year should we retest an assessment?” As a team we felt that retesting the same assessments twice a year wasn’t enough. We also felt that four times was a little too much. So we settled on creating an annual program that cycled through the 15 assessments three times a year.

Then we talked about how regularly those assessments should occur. In the past, we did one of the 15 assessments every Monday (“Benchmark Monday”). While it was efficient and fun for a while, the common feedback overtime was that benchmark days were losing their excitement.

So we asked ourselves, “How do we test the benchmarks regularly enough to see our effectiveness, but irregularly enough to keep their excitement?” After a long discussion on a Saturday afternoon, we settled on having once a month.

That left us with 45 assessments a year (15 assessments tested three times) and 12 benchmark days (one every month). When you do the math, we’re forced to squeeze 3-4 assessments in during every month’s benchmark assessment.

So then we divided up the 15 existing benchmarks in a way that made sense–both from a muscular perspective (i.e. not overtaxing a specific muscle group) and a workout flow perspective (i.e. doing the Aerobic Power Intervals and Rowing assessment in the same day would not be feasible to fit into a one-hour class).

Benchmarks and Goal Reviews

These 15 benchmarks are grouped into four days, thus allowing three cycles every year. These now play well into the Goal Reviews each manager does throughout the month.

Goal Reviews are one-on-one meetings between you and the manager. They last anywhere between 20-30 minutes and are an opportunity to review your attendance and level history. At the end of the meeting, we then set new goals to hit for the next quarter.

These goals can vary. But with so many different types of events to choose from now at RxFIT, maybe one of your goals includes joining a specialty program and preparing for an event. But this is why your level history is important–we can’t adequately “prescribe fitness” without first understanding where your current capacities lie.

Why Are Benchmark Days So Busy?

Having completed the benchmarks a handful of times, and led a few hundred other athletes through them, it’s not unreasonable to complete the busy benchmark days in an hour. They’re full days, no doubt; but if coaches and athletes stay on task, it’s not unreasonable.

You may have noticed, however, that the coaching on these days is different. The coach’s group management and presence/attitude skills become more important than the technical seeing and correcting skills. But that’s on purpose–it’s a testing day afterall. You spend 30 days of the month on the mechanics and consistently hitting points of performance of a movement… benchmark days are a time to really focus on the intensity. We want to see what you got!

Takeaway

Here are a few key takeaways that you can expect here at RxFIT.

  • An event worth participating in will happen every month. In some months, multiple events will occur.
  • The Group Class workouts will continue to use levels. The first Monday of every month will be a full testing day.
  • Goal Reviews are included for free in your RxFIT membership. Strive to have one every quarter. Simply schedule one with your gym’s manager.

I’m excited! Are you?

Tyler

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