Article by Rory Boyden
Cheaters have no place in CrossFit.
A cheater is someone who makes a conscious decision to cut (and lie about) the amount of repetitions performed during a workout. The phrase, “if you cheat, you are only cheating yourself” is partly true, but not entirely.
Let me explain why…
Yes, if you cheat, you are cheating yourself. In order to achieve results you should finish the workout prescribed (assuming you are not injured). If your coach is any good they have programmed a certain number of repetitions for a reason. Cutting the workout short means you are not getting the desired stimulus your coach intended for that workout.
Imagine you are performing the workout DT…
If you cut – 1 repetition, each exercise, per round = 1000kg not lifted. It is very easy to see how this variation in load could change the stimulus intended.
Secondly, it is crucial to count repetitions honestly so that you can compare times and scores from benchmark workouts. When you redo a workout it is encouraging to see an improvement from previous efforts. Consistent miscounting of reps taints your scores and does not give an honest representation of whether you have actually improved. Why would you do this to yourself? You do want to improve don’t you?
If you cheat you are also cheating those around you.
An important part of CrossFit is the competition brought on by working out with people of similar abilities. It makes you push that little bit harder and achieve better results through higher intensity. However this relationship is thrown out of balance if an individual chooses to cheat.
The person may not realize it but their cheating negatively affects the whole gym. It isolates them. Other members become aware of the cheating. It may encourage others to follow suit and cheat as well and it can hurt the friendships built in the gym. A sense of trust that “we are all in it together” is broken. It shows a lack of respect for the values of self-improvement.
Finally, I am a big believer that your mentality in CrossFit can dictate your mentality when you step out of the gym. Positivity during any task, training session or challenge, can help breed positivity while tackling everyday life. For example, they say that the simple habit of just making your bed every morning is the start of a positive day of accomplishments.
To the same token, negative habits inside the gym can breed negative habits outside the gym.
I once knew a CrossFitter who was notorious in his community, for being a “rep shaver” during WODs. He would reduce his amount of repetitions in workouts and brag when he beat those he was competing against. He lost the trust from his friends in the box and was ostracised in the community. Funnily enough this particular guy was also caught cheating on his girlfriend only a couple of months later. I admit, it is a far comparison, but I stand by the statement that your attitude towards your health and fitness is just another way in which you are building habits in the rest of your life.
So if you actually have desire to achieve your CrossFit-related goals and improve as a person, think about how your attitude to CrossFit may be a reflection on your self. If you cheat in a workout it may be a reflection that you are willing to cut corners in life. So instead switch those negative habits for positive ones. Enjoy better training results, a stronger bond within your CrossFit community, and the building blocks of a successful day of accomplishments.
Remember, YOU are what you do repeatedly. “