Written by Coach Jason Lapadula

In the next month and a half, we will be going through a testing phase at CrossFit NYC. The purpose of this testing is to gather data for the gym to better tailor the programming to our individual needs. These tests will be primarily for the Black Box WOD classes. These tests will be on Wednesdays and Saturdays, with the Beginner WOD classes having a similar test on Saturdays only. The tests will be the same on both Wednesday and Saturday of that week. That means, if you come to both the Wednesday and Saturday classes each week (due to your work schedule or otherwise), we suggest you join the Beginner WOD class on Wednesday and perform the test on Saturday.

Coaches will have alternate WODs during these days if you decide to opt out of the test, however, they may not be able to give you as much individual attention as usual. Make sure that you are adequately rested at least 24-48 hours prior to the test – this doesn’t mean you have to stop working out, but take it easier on your body. Also, if you are not feeling a PR on that particular testing day, please don’t push yourself to the point of injury. Try to do the WODs as prescribed, as any scaling will not be counted towards our data set (although the amount of people that have to scale will be taken into account). The testing schedule is as follows:

1/16, 1/19 – Strict Press, Weighted Pullup, “Fran”
1/23, 1/26 – Front Squat, Back Squat, max reps Back Squat @ 85% of 1RM, 3 minutes max reps Burpees
1/30, 2/2 – max reps Strict HSPU/Pushups, max reps Strict Pullups, max reps Kipping Pullups, 500m Row
2/6, 2/9 – Power Clean, Deadlift, 100 KB swings for time (1.5pd/1pd)
2/13, 2/16 – max height Box Jump, “Cindy”
2/20, 2/23 – Overhead Squat, 10 minute AMRAP: 10 KB swings (1.5pd/1pd), 10 Wallballs (20#/14#), 10 Box Jumps (24”/20”)
2/27, 3/2 – max height Box Jump, “Cindy”

Keep in mind that if you choose not to participate, the only person you are negatively
affecting is yourself.
If you have different needs than the rest of the gym, and it is not expressed in our data, we cannot tailor the programming to your needs. You will be asked to fill out a form at the end of this phase – please keep track of your WODs/numbers!


  • Dave B

    Are the kb swings Russian or American style

    • Jason L.

      American, just clearly overhead, no crazy rules (like bell must be vertical, etc.)

      • Dave B

        Thanks man, I may skip the 100 swings then, my shoulder would not like me much if I didn’t 🙂

  • Daniel L

    Looking forward to the testing, but Is there a reason we don’t split some of these up into more days? For example, why would you go for 1RM front squat, back squat and 85% back squat on the same day? Doubt you’re going to be able to get a true max for the latter two exercises. Same for max reps strict and kipping pullups on the same day.

    • dbe

      Agreed. I think it’d be better to split up 1RMs for similar exercises.

      • reisbaron

        You guys might want to skip the next day we do the Crossfit Total.

        • Daniel

          While obviously it’d be great if you 1RM each exercise, you’re going for a combined score of all three exercises with Crossfit Total so it’s a bit different.

          • reisbaron

            I would think these testing days are similar. You’re going for your max effort on that day for each lift. If it doesn’t match or beat your PR, adjust the percentage accordingly. It’s been over a year since we’ve done 1RM lifting-only days, and it doesn’t seem they’re returning anytime soon. Nobody would love to see Back Squat 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 come up on the schedule more than me. But I’m not holding my breath.

          • Coach Avery

            For most Crossfitters, their 1 RM front squat is way under their back squat for a variety of reasons, but some reasons include: lack of upper back strength, lack of midline stability/strength, poor overall organization, weak rack position, and mobility. If your front squat is significantly under your back squat then you can start to think on what you need to improve above to change that discrepancy.

            Use that heavy single on the front squat as a warm up for your back squat if you truly want to find a “max”. Finding 1 RMs are fun, but if you haven’t been specifically training to max out or do heavy singles, it’s not going to really matter IMO. Especially for people that have been training for a year or less.

            All that matters is that all of your numbers and technique are improving across the board – remember Crossfit is about a general broad and inclusive fitness. Not that you do one single lift well under perfect conditions and circumstances.

            As for testing strict movements before kipping movements, the competition team does this frequently. We also test multiple lifts in a day. Or a heavy lift with a benchmark WOD in the same day. Coupling a push with a pull movement is not uncommon for testing.

            For a Crossfitter, I’m much more interested in their total work capacity, not just their ability to do well in one thing.

          • Icand Marquez

            Doesn’t matter what the format is but I am stoked. Got three weeks to get 1 strict HSPU.

          • Daniel L

            Now this is a much more helpful response (Sean M. should take notes). Thanks

            Seems like this is more of a test gathering exercise to assist with future programming, rather than an opportunity for members to find 1RMs/PRs, which is cool just wanted to clarify if the goal was the latter why we were doing certain similar movements on the same day.

          • Jonathan P

            There was also a WOD that came up a few times over the last few years, Back Squat 1-1-1 Front Squat 1-1-1 OHS 1-1-1. The format tests all three while moving from a strength focus to a balance focus. Anyway… the more squats the merrier.

          • Jason W

            “As for testing strict movements before kipping movements, the
            competition team does this frequently. We also test multiple lifts in a
            day. Or a heavy lift with a benchmark WOD in the same day. Coupling a push with a pull movement is not uncommon for testing”

            As a member of the competition team, i can honestly say, “holy shit, this is so fucking true.”

    • Sean M.

      That might make sense if you were trying to get on the leader-board…but, (and I hate to disappoint you) the tests are designed this way for a reason, not to test your “eliteness.”

      You should assume that the tests are tailored to capture specific data and some thought was put into the schedule and grouping of the movements.

      For example – the 85% test is relative to the number you hit in the BSQ for that day, its not a max reps @85% while fresh test.

      Same goes for strict and kipping pull ups, the tests are relative to each other for that day.

      Again, this is not a “look at me I have the most kipping pull-ups in the gym” test.

      I’m sorry the testing schedule and parameters were poorly designed for your expectations, but you should realize that this is to gather data, not flaunt your ego. Sometimes you get the test you get, not the test you want.

      • Daniel L

        Wow, really? Sorry for being curious about the rationale behind the programming. While I’m sure the coaches who come up with the workouts know what they’re doing, as a paying member of the gym, I don’t think it’s wrong to ask questions. Thanks for assuming I just want to test my “eliteness” and providing little in the way of a thoughtful response.

        • Sean M.

          Questions are great.

          You lost me with “Doubt you’re going to be able to get a true max for the latter two exercises. Same for max reps strict and kipping pullups on the same day.”

          This assumes the testing hasn’t been thought out relative to your expectation.

          • Daniel L

            I would say the statement implies that the testing wasn’t thought out relative to my expectations. Based on my read of the description I thought the testing was designed both for the coaches to gather data and for members to find PRs, hence why I asked the question regarding the inclusion of similar movements on the same day. Now that this has been clarified think we’re all good.

    • Jason L.

      I’d also like to add that I’d much rather test front vs. back squat on the same day, even though the back squat will be more fatigued. I believe it’s a better format than telling people to do their front squat max one day, then keep all stress levels, sleep quality/quanitiy, nutrition, etc. the same for the day we will be doing a max back squat. It’s just not going to happen – a back squat with a little fatigue will be much more telling than a back squat while hungover and on 4 hours of sleep.

      • Hari Singh

        One possibility would be for us to alter the program to meet everyone’s special needs. Another would be for people to note in their journals which effort(s) was (were) preceded by poor sleep and/or heavy drinking. Yet another option would be for people to take advantage of the fact that we are announcing these tests in advance and be guided accordingly.

  • Wayne

    Hey Jason – do you have Masters’ scaling for Fran?

    • Hari Singh

      The general trend during the CF Open is for male masters 55 and over to use the same weight as the younger woman, which in this case would be 65 lbs. There is no scaling on the pull-ups.

  • Sara

    In addition, I would like to say that Jason has put a great deal of thought into the programming and the upcoming testing. He has asked me personally every single day how it’s going, what is/isnt’t working, and he has answered every single question I’ve had. He has taken my input (as well as other coaches) and has always been able to give an extremely thorough explanation for why we are doing certain things.

    If you take my class and have questions, please come see me. If I can’t personally answer them I will get a response from Jason immediately.

    Please partake in this testing. It will help you, the gym, and Jason out so that we can keep having his great, well thought-out programming.

  • Jim S

    It doesn’t look like I’ll be in town either this wed or Saturday. However, I’ll do the test anyway for my own edification. If the want the data i can submit the numbers through btwb or here on the blog.