Workout of the Day

Elevating Average


I recall sitting in an undergraduate philosophy class and hearing a fellow student ask the professor what the average test grade was for students who had previously taken the course. Though the student didn’t say it explicitly, the context and delivery suggested that he was setting a goal for himself: get an average grade.

The average is an interesting notion in that it may not be representative of any one of the data points (you can have an average score of 70 with no participants actually scoring 70), but all data points have an equally weighted effect on the average. It is one of our most common ways of looking at and interpreting data, and it is often used to assess performance and to set standards for future performance.

We are all a part of some average -- the average performance markers of a gym, average output at your workplace, average body composition, etc. -- and as such, we all have an equal opportunity to affect the average. This opportunity can be taken a couple ways.

On the one hand, it can be taken as an opportunity to fall in line with average. This ultimately has no net effect on the average. A performance that is exactly equal to the average will not change the average in any way.

It can also be taken as an opportunity to raise the average. The addition of even one data point above the average will raise the average to some degree. The addition of many data points above the average will have a profound effect on the average.

It should come as no surprise that I’m more interested in the second option. In my mind, average should never be a goal. That pursuit, by definition, leads to stagnation. The opportunity to raise the average, however, is significant. It’s a chance to improve yourself and to have a chance to improve others, too. When you improve your performance, it increases the average. Now, regardless of whether your peers’ goals are average or higher, the standard has been elevated. Average is elevated. Your improvement has made a small step towards a new (better) normal. That’s significant.
Now what if 5 people elevated their performance (and therefore, the average)? 10 people? 10,000 people?
The very fact that you are a human, that you are a part of a group with its own averages and standards, gives you the power of influence. Sure, you can decide to be comfortable and complacent with falling right in the middle, having no effect on average. Or, you can elevate the average, and push yourself and everyone else one step further into better.

- Preston Sprimont


  • Max effort 15 cal on Assault Bike

  • Every 5 minutes for 20 minutes, for time:

    • 20 push-ups

    • 200m sandbag front carry (AHAP)

*record slowest time