What Does Benchmark Mean?
Even if you’re pretty new to the Functional Fitness/CrossFit world you’ll have probably heard the term ‘Benchmark’ thrown around already. But what does it mean? Essentially, it’s a baseline measurement that can tell you where you are ‘at’ in terms of your fitness or strength at a particular phase in your training.
The idea behind doing these types of workouts is that you’ll retest the exact same WOD at various points throughout the year as a ‘check in’ to see where you are making improvements, or, which areas might need a little more attention.
In the world of CrossFit, people might ask something like ‘What’s your Fran time’, and then from your answer be able to have an idea of what level of fitness you might have. So, if you’re serious about getting stuck in it’s always fun to know your times for some of these popular Benchmark WODs so you can compare notes and times with your friends at the gym.
Why Do We Need Benchmark WODs?
All benchmark WODs are designed to test different areas – modalities, times (e.g sprint, short, medium or long) and levels of intensity, but despite their differences each one is meant to really push you to your limits.
For this reason, it’s important not to be testing your benchmarks all the time. Chances are you won’t see significant changes in outcomes if you try and retest in the same week, or even in the same month. Instead, you might tackle a particular benchmark WOD around 2 to 3 times per year and keep trying to improve or maintain your conditioning at that WOD while you are working on other areas of fitness in your daily training.
The idea is to give it your all – see where you’re at, work on improving areas of weakness and then retest again when you’ve put in the work to see how much progress you’ve made.
3 Benchmarks To Try (With RX Weights & Times To Beat!)
What’s a good score for Nancy? Well, the best athletes should be aiming to finish in under 9 minutes, but average scores might sit somewhere around the 15 minute mark with more advanced scores coming in at around 13 mins. (Remember, you can find average times and leaderboards for all times in your box in your BoxMate app – see below!)
Fight Gone Bad
What’s a good score for Fight Gone Bad? To give you an idea of where the very top athletes sit, Rich Froning (3 time CrossFit Games Champion) has scored just over 500 on fight gone bad. 🤯 A very competitive number would be somewhere around 400 for men and just over 300 for women.
What’s a good score for Fran? According to a survey of over 5000 athletes in the open, the average male time for Fran was 5.26 minutes while for females the average was at around 5.53 minutes.
Competitive, advanced athletes will be looking to hit somewhere around the 3 minute mark.
But, How Do You Know What You Should Be Aiming For?
In BoxMate you can easily see where other people at your gym are on the leaderboard. You can view your box’s ‘average score’ for any given benchmark and filter by female and male leaderboards too. So, if you’ve got a friend (or gym rival) who you know you have a similar fitness and strength level to it might be worth checking out their score before you tackle the WOD for the first time.
See an example leaderboard of Fran here. You can see we’re looking at the full leaderboard and can see the top 6 athletes in this box for Fran. The top male score is 2.27 minutes, and the top female score is 3.10 minutes so others at this gym know the scores to beat if they want to get near the top of the board!
Leaderboards not really your thing? No problem! You can base what you’re aiming for by trying to beat your own previous score looking at your progress graphs. Here you can clearly see how you’ve matched up to previous times on this workout (you can then compare your scores easily with the box averages if you wish!)
See this example here of Fran scores over a period of 3 years.
So, if you notice a benchmark WOD in your app that you’re yet to tackle why not give it a go and then retest again in 6 months time? After all, you have to start somewhere and all progress is progress no matter how small!
Thanks for reading. Love and High Fives,