The Secret Way to Read the Whiteboard at the Box

We’ve all seen the whiteboard at the box, right? It’s the first thing we look at, particularly if our box owner likes to surprise us. (CrossFit is about the unknown and the unknowable, which is probably why my gym bag weighs a ton: lifters, knee socks, wrist wraps, knee sleeves, lifting belt…) After I skim the WOD (wall balls again? What is this world coming to?), I check out the other side of the board – the part where the coaches have written down everyone’s scores.

If you go to a box where the coaches write everyone’s score on a whiteboard, you’re ahead of the game. The whiteboard at the box is chock-full of valuable information: upcoming competitions and box events, the WOD – and, of course, everyone’s scores. It’s a different way to read the whiteboard, but it’s not.

The whiteboard at the box
There’s a trick to reading the whiteboard at the box.

My Rabbit

First, I look for my “rabbit” – the person I’m always chasing so that I can be better. My rabbit is more advanced than me, so I check to see what she’s used for weight. Usually, she’s gone heavier than I would, so I’ll scale it down to what I know I can do for the WOD. For example, if she’s used 70 pounds for cleans, I’ll use 55 pounds.

The RX Athletes

Then, I’ll look at the scores of the RX athletes at my box. At this juncture, I’m ignoring weight. How much they lifted doesn’t matter. What I’m looking at are their times for timed workouts or rounds for AMRAPs.

The Big “Secret”

And here’s the big secret: if I scale appropriately, I can beat anyone’s score on that board. But I need to scale appropriately. That means, if the RX athletes are doing 14-pound wall balls, I’m hefting a 10 pounder. (Actually, I probably can’t beat anyone’s wall ball score. Wall balls are the enemy.) I am not always proud of my score. I don’t usually beat the RX athletes – although in theory, I could. Maybe with a 6-pound wall ball, but I digress.

And the other secret is that I know I should aim for somewhere in the middle. The whiteboard above, for example: I looked at what the previous athletes had scored, and I figured I should aim for six rounds.

Does anyone else have tricks for reading the whiteboard to set goals for their WODs?