by Ryan Humphries, Co-Founder & Fitness Coach, Axistence Athletics
Increasing your fitness level is a smart goal to have, but here's the deal: You don’t have to sacrifice form to achieve that fitness level. You must know your physical limits and choose appropriate weight/speed/movements to push those limits. You must realize that you don’t have it all figured out and that you must continue to PRACTICE. This means that intensity must increase at an appropriately safe rate for the individual.
There is currently an unfortunate trend in the fitness industry where coaches (and I use that term loosely) are emphasizing speed and intensity over proper technique. Although it's true that in order make progress, you need to test yourself, when and how you perform these tests can make or break your progress. For instance, if you test yourself too often, you may not be recovered well enough between tests. On the other hand, if your tests are infrequent, you may just be playing a guessing game.
Even if you aren't a member at Axistence Athletics, here are some things to look regarding benchmark testing at whatever gym you choose. Plus a few red flags.