Previously I wrote a post on the Hawthorne Effect. Yesterday I experienced this phenomenon again. The WOD programmed was simple:
10 rounds of:
15 Deadlifts, 135 lbs
As you can see, nothing special was involved. A basic couplet with light weight and high reps. I went into the WOD hoping to finish around 12 minutes. My biggest asset is my upper body pressing strength. Like I've covered in the past, I feel that chest-related movements are neglected by main site programming (the programming my box follows). This asset is something that I work on during Open Gym as it will help me when WODs like this pop up.
Final time: 10:05
Next closest finisher: 14:24
Yeah I dominated. But not without some help. My coach was there next to me counting reps and keeping my breaks short. He made sure when my deadlift form got sloppy that I would drop each rep from the top and do them one at a time. In my opinion, his presence and coaching shaved at least 60-90 seconds off my time. This simple change in behavior due to my awareness that I was being watched/studied (aka Hawthorne Effect) pushed me beyond my normal limits.
Other than the sense of community, the Hawthorne Effect is the single biggest reason why I have achieved more physically doing CrossFit than I would have accomplished had I decided to continue working out at 24 Hour Fitness on my own.