03 June 2015 – Honesty is the best policy: Counting Reps & Hitting Movement Standards

Think they got to the Games by cheating their reps? I think not.

Cheating your reps (by miscounting or not doing all of the reps programmed) or not hitting movement standards during a workout is the Big Elephant in the CrossFit room and, unfortunately, it’s time we have that conversation.

Do your reps. Do ALL your reps. And do them properly.

Let me tell you why…

1)     Do what your coaches tell you to do

Believe it or not, there is a method to our madness and, whenever we programme a workout for you, we have a desired stimulus and a certain total power output we want you to achieve. We would never programme a 21-15-9 workout if we only wanted you to do 18-13-7 reps! Unless you are injured or have discussed with your coach your need to scale for another reason, you need to do the workout as it is written, not as it is easier to do. Listen to your coaches and do all your reps.

2)     Your improvement and development as an athlete

Following on from point 1, think you’ll become a top athlete if you only do half of the work programmed? Or think you’ll get stronger in your pull ups by counting your reps, even when you don’t get your chin above the bar?? Think again. You won’t. You will only improve your fitness if you put in the hard work. Cheating your reps slashes your potential for gains. Nobody wants that.

3)     Tracking your progress

CrossFit is unique in that it is a measurable, observable and repeatable fitness. This is one of the reasons we ask you to keep track of your WOD results on Beyond the Whiteboard. In 6 months’ time, when you redo a benchmark WOD or test your lifts, you can look back and see how much you’ve improved! But how are you going to know that you’ve actually improved if you only did a portion of the required reps? Or did the reps, but not to the movement standards? Don’t cheat yourself out of being able to celebrate your progress because you let your ego take over the workout.

4)     Check your ego at the door and leave the drama at home

Speaking of ego, we have a set of Box Rules and Rule 7 is: Check your ego at the door and leave the drama at home. I’m as competitive as the next CrossFitter and I’m a strong believer that friendly competition is healthy and makes training more enjoyable by giving you that extra push in a workout. However, fudging your reps in an attempt to get a top score and boost your ego is not friendly OR healthy. In all honesty, it just makes you look like a dick. Don’t be a dick.

5)     RESPECT

Aretha let us know how important it is and I’m certain that you all work hard in your jobs and daily life to attain the respect of your co-workers, bosses, friends, family and significant others. Why should your time in the gym be any different? In my humble opinion, you can win all the medals, trophies and podium finishes you like, but if you don’t have the respect of the athletes around you, you have nothing. I would rather finish last in a workout and retain the respect of my fellow athletes, than finish first knowing that people thought that I didn’t put in the work.

I have spent most of this blog talking about how cheating reps and movement standards affects you personally, but guess what? It’s not just about you. A loss of respect doesn’t just hurt you individually, it hurts the entire gym. It ruins the relationships we work hard to build, it tarnishes our image as a dedicated, passionate, and quality group (which Phil and I know you all are!), and it breaks down the sense of trust built through the feeling that we are all in it together as a community. And as you know, community is the most important part of CrossFit. It’s the glue that holds it all in place.

Phil and I are your coaches and not your parents. We cannot (and will not) stand by your side and count every rep for you as it’s not fair to the other athletes that need our feedback and encouragement. We are relying on you to be diligent and honest. We know that, as you get fatigued in a workout, the basic act of counting is pretty damn challenging and sometimes miscounted reps are a genuine mistake. If you need a whiteboard to count your reps and rounds, grab one before the workout begins. Think you’ve only done 8 reps, but maybe you did 10? Do 2 more, just in case. Unsure of what the movement standards are or if you’ll be able to hit them for the entire workout? Get advice from your coach. IT WILL ONLY MAKE YOU A STRONGER ATHLETE IN THE LONG RUN.

I am proud of the group of athletes we have at CrossFit 1864, impressed and humbled by the work you all put in, and love watching our community grow stronger with every day. Let’s keep that going by being honest with yourself and being honest with others.

Now go forth and smash it!


A) Alternating EMOM x 10
Even minutes: 5 Zercher squat
Odd minutes: 20 second planche hold into 20 seconds max sit-ups

But what IS a Zercher Squat?? Watch here and Read more here.

B) 6 minute AMRAP:
10, 20, 30 m... Farmer's carry (32/24 kg)
10 Goblet lunges (32/24 kg)

- Rest 2 minutes -

6 minute AMRAP:
10, 20, 30 m... Shuttle sprints
10 Knees to elbows