Integrity is defined as the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles. This of course can and should be applied to everything we do in life including our daily WOD. Most of us have come across a situation in which maybe you were competing with a friend and both of you started a movement or station during the middle of a WOD at the exact time but somehow the other person finished before you even though you both were going rep for rep. For a competitive person like myself this could get under my skin, concerns of did he lose count, did something begin to hurt, did he just choose to stop, or was winning simply too irresistible as to shave reps or disregard range of motion and cheat.
At the end of the day, if you’re the one WODing with intregrity, its important to not let another person’s choices affect you. While we never know what may be going on with someone’s body, what we do know is if they were intentionally doing less than the required work, at the end of the day it will only hurt them, not you.
What about when I lose count by accident?
At some point or another, we’ve all lost count on a workout. These unintentional slip ups when we’re trying our hardest on a workout are OK – as long as its not a regular event. In my experience with CrossFit, I have come to find out some WODs have some very elaborate rep schemes and often ridiculous amount of rounds where losing count is inevitable. For this reason before going into a WOD like Cindy (20 min AMRAP: 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 squats) it helps to keep some counting beads by my side just to ensure that I don’t have to ask myself if I was on round 13 or 14. Often, when we do lost count in a WOD, its tempting to assume we left off at the higher number, its important however, to avoid the temptation, accept your mistake and choose the lower number- not only will you save face when going up to the board and writing your score, but you will surely PR the next time the WOD ever comes up.
What if part of the WOD aggravates an old injury?
Again this would be an exception to when changing a rep scheme isn’t a problem. While in the midst of a WOD we often experience tweakyness that is sometimes beyond our control, for example a little shoulder aggravation while doing pushups. Its always important to keep in mind that we workout to increase the quality and longevity of our lives, so if ever you are in the position where a WOD is hurting you should never feel like you have to push through. Stop, let the coach know and ask for a replacement movement that you can do until your body heals. Sometimes, scaling in the short run is the best thing you can do for your body in the long run.
Intentional Rep Shaving
At the end of the day, the coaches aren’t going to count your every movement and you are ultimately responsible for putting in the work that it takes to get to your goal. CrossFit in itself has a competitive nature, but winning doesn’t mean anything if comes at the cost of cheating yourself, because at the end of day you’ll still be losing. The hour we spend at the box should be filled with quality hard work. That is the only way that you will ever reach your own personal full potential- which is the point of CrossFit. The point isn’t to finish before others its to finish faster than you thought you could- no matter what level you’re at. Full range of motion throughout all movements will take longer of course but the reward is greater then simply calling time early. When someone shaves reps off the WOD knowingly,coaches notice and their peers notice. People interested in the competitive aspect of CrossFit should perform every WOD as if there is a judge next to them validating range of motion and total reps, if not, the next time the level test or a competition comes up, the gaps in their training will be obvious. At the end of the day, integrity in training isn’t difficult once your ego is put aside, because then and only then can you make room for all the PRs, gains, and goals accomplished that will surely come your way.