A growing problem…
Lately the coaches and I have been noticing a growing problem in the gym and I’m sure some of you have noticed it, and probably been frustrated by it, too. It’s called rep shaving. Rep shaving is when you cut down the number of prescribed reps in a WOD but claim credit as if you did all of them. I’m not talking about the times when you get burpee-brain and legitimately can’t remember what rep you are on, or the times where you make the necessary choice to modify the workout. I’m talking about the times you get tired, feel like you’re falling behind, or just plain old don’t want to. Whatever your reason, it’s just not ok to claim credit for work not performed.
The coaches and I work hard and take pride in offering the best CrossFit program we can. But at the end of the day, it’s the work you as the athletes put in that makes the difference in the gym and ultimately delivers the results you’re looking for. I know there are many times where the weight and reps add up and it gets hard. I know there are times where you don’t feel like you can finish and you just want to quit. And I know that cutting a couple reps here and there may not seem like a big deal, but think about this scenario:
Nate and I are doing a workout together. Let’s say that workout is 21-15-9 of Thrusters at 95 pounds and Pull Ups. Say hello to Fran! 3-2-1 Go, the workout begins. Nate whips through his first set of 21 Thrusters and I drop the bar after 10. I pick it back up and do 5 more, then 4 and head to the pull up bar. I get 18 Pull Ups in and get back on the barbell. I bust out two sets of 7 reps and it’s back to the pull up bar for two sets of 6. For the round of 9’s I do all the reps and collapse on the floor just 30 sec after Nate.
While it seems like I just cut a couple of reps here and there, in reality I skipped out on 9 reps . That’s half a round or 10% of the workout! Imagine what my time might have been had I done those 9 reps.
So what’s the problem? I’m only hurting myself right? Yes and no. We’re all here to get the best results we can and get in the best shape of our lives. When I shave that 1-3 reps here and there it can add up to a significant portion of my workout and that over time can hinder my results. Not only can rep shaving hinder our training it can lead to our fellow athletes taking our times and scores less seriously. You may think it’s none of their business but athletes count each others reps, often times to keep pace with someone else. And when that athlete drops out early it can be a little demoralizing. You know there gonna put a better time on the board than you and you also know that time is bogus.
The goal here isn’t to make anyone feel guilty, it’s to emphasize that putting the work in is how to get results. We’re here to physically adapt and alter our bodies, improve our mental fortitude, and better our emotional resilience. In the Marine Corps we defined integrity as doing the right thing, at the right time, for the right reasons. So next time your on your 19th Thruster do 2 more! Work pays off!