20 Aug The G-Force Source: shaving reps is shaving away your improvement
“I would prefer even to fail with honor than win by cheating.” — Sophocles
You walk into the gym, you see a workout and on paper, you think that you’re going to own it. You begin the workout and realise that you’ve just been punched in the face with overconfidence and fatigue. You start to shave reps and hope that no one realises. You finish the workout in a top-scoring time. You walk out of the gym, rinse and repeat. Sadly, it is a repetitive offence committed by repetitive offenders and it is noticed.
We can see (but won’t accept) the why: you fall too far behind in a workout, or you’re never 1st on the whiteboard. If you’re falling too far behind, you haven’t scaled properly. The importance of scaling to your abilities is something we harp on at G-Force. If you’re never 1st on the whiteboard, we say patience because one day with the right training methodology (diet, commitment to the program and a positive mindset), you may just top the whiteboard results.
As coaches, it would be our responsibility to call people out on their dishonesty. Do we do it, though? Generally, no. Why? Because it’s about as awkward as sending your girlfriend’s father a sext (sex text for those not with the modern lingo). It’s embarrassing to the coach, but more so embarrassing to the athlete you’ve just called out. No coach wants to put their members in that crap-filled position. Who wants to be labelled a cheater? A dishonest person? To hold responsibility of doing that to someone—as well as the repercussions—is far greater, of more severe burden and in turn outweighs the necessity of it.
Thankfully, there is one event that keeps the people honest: The CrossFit Open. Every athlete is judged and no one can shave reps. The Open takes the responsibility of calling out cheaters away from coaches and makes the cheaters and potentially their peers realise that they’re not as good as the rest of the year they made themselves out to be.
The crunch of the matter lies in a number of points:
- Shaving reps off a workout completely ruins the purpose of the workout. For example, if a particular workout consists of weight, multiply the weight by the amount of reps you’ve not lifted and you’ve just changed the purpose and intended results of said workout.
- Cheating is dishonest to yourself and to your peers.
- Cheaters puts their peers and coaches in an uncomfortable position.
- If you’re cheating in the gym, you’re more than likely cheating and/or being dishonest outside of the gym.
We have one simple message: unless you’re scaling your workout (modifying it to your abilities) don’t do it! It serves no one any purpose whatsoever! You’re doing yourself a disservice, your gym a disservice, and most likely many others around you in and outside of the gym a disservice.
You might look good on the whiteboard, but your dishonesty will outshine your false results.