Did it help?
How do you know?
Because you immediately lifted more…?
Because it “felt” good…?
If these are your only reasons you’re missing a big opportunity to improve your lifts with a better testing strategy.
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POOR TESTING STRATEGIES
Poor testing of changes is something that I see everywhere with athletes wanting to get better at the Olympic lifts. Often fueled by the ego, fear and frustration athletes try something they heard somewhere and if it isn’t an immediate positive result they’re on to the next thing…
Or, even worse, they make a change that they heard somewhere and then forget about it. Not realizing that it stuck and it isn’t the best thing for them. Rep after rep they continue to do this until hopefully sometime in the future they catch it.
Testing is very important when it comes to improving anything. Especially the Olympic lifts. Let’s look at a couple of key points that can turn your tests into gold.
THREE KEYS WHEN IT COMES TO MAKING CHANGES IN THE OLYMPIC LIFTS
- Discuss it with your coach: If you have a coach your first step to testing something new is talking with them about it. If they’re a good coach they’ll be open to the discussion. If you don’t feel you can have this conversation with your coach you don’t have a testing problem you have a coaching problem.
Your coach should be able to help you look at the proposed change to your technique from various different aspects. And, help you understand if trying that makes sense with what stage you’re currently in at the moment.
- Document the test: Don’t forget what it is you’re changing or testing! I see this way too often when an athlete finally realizes, “oh yeah… I decided to try that a few weeks ago… I forgot” You can’t make a good decision on something that you’re not aware is going on.
- Set a time period for the test (Often takes longer than you think): Come up with a plan and decide how long you’re going to test it. At the end of the test, you make the decision whether it helped you or hurt you. Don’t make decisions on a whim based on feelings. Hold to your decided test duration and then make a decision.
*Watch the video above for a great story from two Olympians in 2012 about how long they test changes.
RUN TEST AND GET BETTER!
With a good testing strategy, you can really start to make technical changes that help in a big way and avoid the emotional whims of the moment. If this all seems too complicated then get a coach! Let them help you through the process.
March is the founder of the Barbell Beauties. Here goal is simple… Empower every woman to grab a barbell and LIFT. She’s been an active CrossFitter for 7 years and credits that sport for turning her into a true athlete.