When you think of Crossfit, nothing can be more representative than the whiteboard. It is right up there with barbells, bumper plates, and pull-up rigs. You can find one in any Crossfit gym around the world. At Hyperformance Athletics our whiteboard is filled with announcements , the workout of the day, skill work, and a scribble of names and times. You always leave class with feedback on how you performed. Every day I see athletes come in before class and look at the whiteboard to see what their buddy's score so they know what time or weight they need to hit. I want to talk about the pros and cons of what I call "leader-boarding".
One of the best things about having all of our athletes scores and weights on the whiteboard is that it can motivates us to operate at a higher level. We all, as athletes, have someone who we are competitive with or inspired by. It might be a friendly competition but face it, we want to win. Sometimes nothing can get us more motivated then seeing a crazy fast score or super heavy weight that we feel we now have to beat. You have to take into account that you have the advantage of seeing their score so you now know what time you need to hit. Now all of a sudden with 1 minute left there is no way you will put that wall-ball down or get off that pull-up bar. Interesting what having a number in your head can do!
Support current or future goals
Writing your score down after each workout can also help you to stay on the path reaching goals you have set within the gym. These goals can range from 5 unbroken pull ups to adding 20lbs to your back squat. Being able to see your numbers daily not only gives the gym access into seeing how you are performing, it also lets you know if you're going in the right direction in reaching your goals. Each time you step into the gym, its a victory and you should be proud of those numbers no matter how small or big.
Lastly, the whiteboard can help us to encourage one another and celebrate individual victory's. If one of us succeeds, the whole gym does as well.
Cons of the whiteboard
Staying in YOUR lane
Just as looking at your buddy's numbers can launch you into a new form of athleticism, it can also make you lose focus on what YOU are capable of and what YOU need to do. When people get lost in "I have to win, I have to lift more" mindset, we can forget about what is most important like form, strategy, did you have fun? These things can begin to take a back burner to the necessary aspects of what make a truly successful hour in the gym.
I have dealt with this personally and it really burns you out and makes you stop loving why you started training in the first place. Our main goal at Hyperformance Athletics is for you to improve your health and achieve your goals while being safe and having fun. If you are able to do this while maintaining a healthy competitive rivalry, awesome. But so many times I have seen athletes stop working out for themself and start only worrying about the perception their peers might have of their score.
Numbers on the whiteboard are just that, numbers. What if one athlete didn't count all of there reps? Or they weren't breaking parallel on there squat, or maybe they were nursing an injury.
In the end, the whiteboard is there to remind us of where WE are and what we need to do to reach the goals we have. There are way more pros then cons but you can easily loose your way trying to compete with someone else. I encourage you to write down your scores and develop a fun competitive rivalry who can help you stay accountable. Never forget why you're in the gym - your health, our community, and to have fun!