In our gym in Seattle we run the moveSKILL level tests every quarter. The idea is two fold; help members who are ready to move to the next level of their training verify their progress, and assess the standing of those who are in the “middle” of the Skill Levels. This article is mainly to address the second group.
In the weeks leading up to test day, we spend a good amount of time encouraging our members to sign up. Most are more than willing, but a large group give us a similar answer, “I’m not ready.” or “I know I can’t do _______.” This is a fundamental flaw in the understanding of why we need to test our fitness. Growing up we take tests to pass them. Failing them is the worst possible outcome. When testing our fitness we need to view the test through a different lens.
Think of this test as an assessment of your current standings. You will discover what areas you excel in and what areas need more attention. No one is above this! Everyone has a weakness in her or his overall fitness. For some, it is bodyweight movements; chin-ups, push-ups, or L-sits. For others, it’s heavy weights. Sometimes these imbalances are obvious, other times it is harder to assess. This is why we love the Skill Level Tests. While not the final answer for fitness assessment, the Skill Level Test used in conjunction with the moveSKILL Levels can provide you with a fantastic map of where your abilities stand.
If a client takes the test and excels at the Bodyweight section, but fails to pass the Work section, they shouldn’t leave feeling defeated. Instead they can use the information to help address their weakness and make some changes to their programing. Maybe training with a dedicated partner will help you to push yourself more in the workout. Maybe you are skipping the Work section of the day more often than you should.
The bottom line is not to feel defeat in the face of a “failed” test. Use this as information and motivation to help develop your training. When we filmed our Beginner Test with Meg, she failed to complete even one push-up. This lit a fire under her ass. She added some extra push-up work to her daily routine and within two weeks she had several full range of motion push-ups.
If you haven’t assessed yourself using the moveSKILL Level Testing yet, I strongly encourage you to do it today. Find a partner and test each other. Holding yourself accountable will only speed up your progress.
Zack Finer has been a strength and conditioning coach since 2008. He was a founding member of Israel’s first CrossFit gym, and is a co-owner of moveSKILL.com. Recently Zack has shifted his focus to gymnastic strength training under the tutelage of Ido Portal in an effort to better understand human movement development.