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Every Rep Counts…Or Not

Posted on by Alycia

This one is for those of you who signed up on the CrossFit Games website for the CrossFit Open.

Congratulations!

You are one of the brave ones – the ones who were willing to commit to posting your scores in workouts that are yet to be seen. You are putting yourself out there for the CrossFit community to see – the good, the bad, and the ugly.

You realize that you haven’t mastered EVERY CrossFit movement yet, but it doesn’t matter. The fact that you are signed up is enough motivation to do well and get through these workouts, RXed or not.

WOD1 went really, really well. We had over 60 people complete the workout that day, and 36 of you posted your scores on the Games website. The energy in the gym was electric, there was pressure to perform your best, and enthusiasm was at an all time high.

Yet some of you walked away from the workout saying things like “I could have done more. I should have done more. If only I had gotten ONE MORE REP”. A few of you (myself included) wanted to re-do the workout. You were confident that if your tried a little bit harder, you’d get at least a few more reps….

…and then what? If you re-did the workout and got more reps, would that prove that you are a better athlete than you were 2 days ago? Would it change the way your coach or the other members viewed you? Would it miraculously catapult you into the top tier of elite athletes? Unless you are competing for the top 3 spots in the world,  the answer is probably No.

Re-doing the workout to get a few more reps would have made you sore, put you at potential risk for injury, and might have even resulted in less burpees, given that you had just done the same workout the day before.

Yes, every rep counts, in terms of scoring your workout. But the number of reps you get in any given workout does NOT determine how good of an athlete you really are, how much you have improved over time, or how skilled you are.

What determines your ultimate success in CrossFit is this:

1. Consistency in your training. Come 3-4 times per week, every week, and you will make improvements.

2. Practicing the skills. Spend more time under a jump rope, and you’ll get your double unders. Spend more time on the rings and you’ll get strong enough for ring dips. Spend more time upside down and you’ll eventually be able to walk across the gym on your hands. Master the ‘hip pop’ and get under the bar faster, and your Olympic lift numbers will skyrocket.

3. Demonstrating perfect form in practice. If you can consistently hit depth on your squat,  show a perfect overhead position on every rep, do pull ups without craning your neck, and hit the wall ball target every time, then performing to the CrossFit standards on game day will be effortless. The only thing you’ll have to worry about is how much work you can get done in the allotted time – not how high your kettlebell is flying, or if your chest is hitting the bar for pull ups.

Yes, you could have done 1 more burpee during those 7 minutes. But that wouldn’t have made you a better athlete.

The next time you find yourself saying ” I could have done more” after a workout, take a step back and evaluate your training, consistency, comfort using good form, and the amount of time you spend in and out of the gym working on high skill movements. Find the real source of your weaknesses, and start making improvements today.

Annie Thorisdottir, winner of the CrossFit Games 2011 didn’t make it there by counting reps. She made it there by practicing consistently and improving her weaknesses.

 

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One Response to Every Rep Counts…Or Not

  1. Matt Lucas says:

    Found this through the CrossFit affiliates site. Nice to put competing into that perspective. Thanks!

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