There are many ways that one can cheat in CrossFit. ¬†It not always the obvious. ¬†Although it’s cliche, when you cheat, you are only cheating yourself. ¬†Here’s how:
1.) The first way is the most obvious, and that is by shaving reps, or rounds off of your workout. ¬†Honestly, I don’t understand why anyone would do this. ¬†I suppose that it’s born out of a competitive spirit, or a perhaps the embarrassment of coming in last place. ¬†However, what honor is there in a victory that you haven’t earned? ¬†By shaving reps, you are intentionally eliminating the volume of your workout, and believe it or not, the volume of¬†each of your workouts is purposely calculated; less work, equals less results. ¬†In addition to this, when you shave reps off of your workout, you cheat your peers. ¬†They see you advancing, and are perplexed, or worse yet, discouraged by your false success.
2.) Another way that you can cheat is by continuously performing a movement incorrectly, even after being instructed otherwise. ¬†Now, I’m not talking about the time that it can take to correct poor movement. ¬†I’m talking about blatant disregard to correction. ¬†The, “I can’t help it. ¬†This is how I move” attitude. ¬†Why is this cheating? ¬†The standards are the standards for a reason. ¬†Chances are, if you continue with poor movement patterns, you will eventually injure yourself. ¬†Also, better movement equals more efficient workouts. ¬†Once again, you’re cheating your results.
3.) Similar to the previous point made, not performing movements at full range of motion (ROM) when your body allows you to do so, is also cheating. ¬†How is your half squat, and thereby inflated score, fair to the athlete beside you getting below parallel? Okay, so forget about him. ¬†He can mind his own business; after-all, he’s still getting good workout….Well, the ROM¬†is the ROM¬†for good reason. ¬†Once again, you will not get the results you desire with half of it present.
4.)¬†The next way in which people cheat is by arriving late to class. ¬†You rush the warm-up and jump right into a WOD ill-prepared. ¬†Why is this cheating? ¬†Well, first off, are you looking to burn calories and fat? ¬†This does not occur until several minutes into your workout. ¬†If you are shortening your workout, you are delaying this process. ¬†More important than this, arriving late is putting you more at risk for injury. ¬†Your warm-ups are methodically calculated. ¬†They are designed to raise your core body temperature, stretch the primary muscle groups that you will be utilizing, prep your heart-rate and instill muscle memory for movement patterns. ¬†You miss this, and you’re are missing a lot. ¬†It’s showing up to a concert for only the encore performance…
5.) Another way that you could cheat yourself is by not taking advantage of the coaching that is provided at our gym. ¬†You are not a nuisance. ¬†You are not “asking stupid questions”. ¬†We don’t mind modifying for an injury. ¬†If you don’t ask, you won’t receive.
6.) You’ve often heard me say, “You can’t out-train a poor diet”. ¬†If you’re looking for results, you will get them as soon as you begin a CrossFit exercise regimen. ¬†However, if your diet is poor (high sugar, high carb, lots of “bad” fats), you will plateau. ¬†The results will stop. ¬†You will never become the best version of you.
7.) A seventh way in which athletes cheat is by performing the WOD at a weight or movement standard that is too challenging for their fitness level (i.e. doing the “rx”/Performance weight, or doing pull-ups when you should be doing ring rows). ¬†Several things happen when this occurs. ¬†First, you put yourself at great risk for injury. ¬†Secondly, you are NEVER going to get better because chances are that you are instilling poor movement patterns at a ROM that is not full. ¬†Lastly, by moving slower, you decrease your power output, which will never make you better (for a great article on WHY this occurs, I advise you to read Zatsiorsky Scaling and Power¬†by Jon Gilson¬†at¬†https://www.againfaster.com/blog/2012/01/13/zatsiorsky-scaling-and-power/).
8.) Another way that athletes “cheat” is by doing the WOD half-heartedly. ¬†Sure, some exercise is better than¬†no¬†exercise, but you’re certainly not going to get the same results as the gal next to you that puts her¬†all¬†into every WOD. ¬†And why pay 165 bucks a month to perform a half-a#%@* workout?? Jimmy Russell, maker of Wild Turkey bourbon once said, “Do one thing well and do it all the way“. ¬†From making bourbon to working out, this couldn’t be truer.
9.) The ninth way I’ve seen athletes cheat is by constant comparison to other athletes. ¬†This is an unrealistic goal. ¬†You are a different athlete, with a different body, mind, and fitness background. ¬†You are your own yardstick.¬†You can only strive to be a better version of ¬†the you that you were last year, last month, last week, or yesterday.
10.) The tenth, and last, way that I have noticed athletes cheat is with inconsistent effort. ¬†You’re at the gym for two weeks, following a healthy diet, and then you take a two month hiatus… ¬†How unfair is this to the hardworking you??!! ¬†It’s as if you are taking all of your hard work and throwing it away. ¬†Not to mention the mental toll that this takes on most athletes. ¬†Get in the swing of things, and keep on swingin‘.