This is a throw back post from last year, but still a very important topic as we near Opens!


Register for the 2016 Crossfit Opens HERE

Monday- The toughest question in Crossfit

I am going to ask you a very difficult question today.  It’s going to require you to do some real self reflection.

Is every rep of yours legit?

Here’s my answer.  No.  I am guilty of not hitting my toes to bar.  Missing the wall on a wall ball.  Not fully opening my hips a a burpee and probably every other way a movement can be flawed.  Now, please don’t take this as an admission of purposely falsified scores but it’s an admission of the truth of Crossfit.  A dirty fact.  Sometimes, we miss reps and just keep moving forward.

Whether we mean to or not is an answer that each of us will only every really know.  Between mobility, relative strength, experience levels, and even the mental/ physical fatigue level our everyday lives there are many factors that can come into play.  There is no fault in trying.  When I coached girls swimming,  one thing I emphasized to my team was that it didn’t matter if you were the fastest or the slowest kid on the team.  Give me an honest effort, try your best, and I am going to be proud of you now matter what.  No reward for just going through the motions.   It was a mind set I had to build them up to.  I had to make them care.  I had to make every girl know that what they did at every practice and every meet  mattered to the team.  And I truly believe, that overall, that’s what I got.  A team that cared, that wanted to be better, that knew they mattered.  Why’d it work? Because I cared- I wanted it for them and they knew it.  Within 3 years we went from a winless season to back to back conference championships.

I think that the next question you have to ask yourself is:

How much do I care about doing things well? 

When you come to the gym are you just going through the motions or giving that honest effort?  Maybe I am looking at this too much from an athlete and coaches perspective, but I figure if you are working out next to me you probably share at least some percentage of my competitive passion.  When I attack a WOD it is never my intention to short change a rep.  And when I do, I notice.  And I try to fix it.  Slow down.  Do the rep again.  Make the next rep better.   Give that honest effort because I care about doing things as best I can.  Some days are better than others, but that’s life.

Sometimes we think that the weight we throw up or the time we post on the board are the only marks of improvement.  But is that the case?  Do you feel better about completing 100 burpees 45 seconds faster than last time if you never flashed open your hips or jumped off the ground to achieve the PR?  I guess it just goes back to what you care about.  How well to preform each movement is just as an important mark of improvement as anything else.  Crossfit made movement standards for a reason, so lets work to hit them.

One day Amanda and I were over head squatting.  We wanted to PR and wanted it bad.  I had hit a PR and when it was over, turned around to Amanda and Coach Justin saying to me…. “Um, Andrea… that wasn’t quite below parallel.  Compared to your other squats…”  So, was it a best? Not really.  Was I upset that they told me? Not at all, not at them at least.  How would I have known if they weren’t watching? Sometimes you can feel when you short change a rep like a squat and sometimes you are so focused on something else you miss it.  That’s what friends are for!  So, I went back, did it again, and ultimately ended up with more weight and a legit rep to add to my myWOD app.

We all have buddies we lift with when we are at the gym.  People we feel comfortable with and celebrate successes with.  Maybe it’s time to take a look at the things we need to check each other on.  Feedback doesn’t only need to come from the coaches.   Let’s start recognizing when we may need to “no rep” ourselves.  It really will make a difference.  If you get hard on yourself,  over time you will work to hit that depth or kick that bar because you will be so sick of doing more that you need too because you aren’t satisfied with your performance.  It doesn’t have to be every movement all the time.  I always say focus on one thing at a time.  Maybe today’s wod you pay attention to the depth of your wall balls.  The next time you really work to hit the line.  Sometimes you have to piece things together for them to work better rather than slapstick it all together quickly.

One of the most difficult things we will have to do as Crossfitters this year will be to count reps and judge movement standards for each other in the opens.  Believe me, it is much easier to no rep yourself than  to no rep your friend when they are working so damn hard and you want them to do well.  Collectively, as a gym in this case we have to ask each other: How much do we care about our reps?  Some of you will read this (or not) and say, “Well, I don’t really care”.  To that I say, then why are you doing this?  Others will read this and say, “I care.  I want to do my best.  I want uphold the Crossfit standards that are set the best I can.” And that’s great.  So let’s work to get on the same page now.  Our reps are legit.  And if we miss one we will try out best to fix them.

I got a card from a friend, to celebrate the start of the opens that read ” The reward of a thing well done is to have done it” -Ralph Waldo Emerson

So lets do it.