With the massive increase in group based functional fitness, like CrossFit, there is a lot of competitiveness between members, and that’s not even referring to that seen between competitors at actual events, we’re talking about daily training.
Unfortunately, with daily training, there isn’t a lot of control or ‘judging’ which is done or really needed to maintain the right levels of virtuosity and integrity. Movements, reps, loads and workouts are explained and high standards are expected of you by your coaches. Cheating in training is unfortunately seen in almost all facilities – it needs to be stopped and not just for the sake of those who feel cheated, but for the facilities and the cheater too…
The conscious decision to cut reps during a workout can create a lot of problems. When we say conscious decision, we’re not referring to the point where you get WOD drunk and miscount reps because you’re blasting through reps and your heart is pounding, your breathing is out of control and you can’t remember your name. The conscious decision to cut reps is when you know you’re doing it, just to push ahead.
Firstly, the prescription of reps and load during workouts has the aim of getting you the results you’re seeking through relative intensity – regardless of if your gaols are health, aesthetic or performance based. Cutting reps means you lower the desired intensity required, and that means that you’re cheating yourself and your goals will take longer to achieve.
Secondly, cutting reps will eventually effect those around you and will likely create a negative reputation for yourself. It’s inevitable – you will be caught out. It’s not hard to understand that during a workout, others are also competitive and will either consciously or subconsciously gauge your pace and reps, alongside theirs. When you cheat, especially when it’s major, others will pick it up sooner or later. The last thing you need is a bad reputation and a disbelief in your abilities, even if they are up there with the best of them. You’ll be called out at some point and people aren’t always easy to forgive or forget.
Finally, cheating affects the facility you’re training at. If cheaters and members who know what’s going on create a culture of acceptance, due to the lack of addressing this issue or being fine with what’s happening, that reputation is something the facility could be known for, negatively affecting its business. Unfortunately, cheating may also cause those around you to cheat – not something any facility wants either. Yes, obviously a facility and its coaches should make an effort to be on the lookout for this kind of activity, but they’re often more focussed on looking out for members who need cues on movements and are worried about other things like pushing intensity and ensuring safety.
When it comes to cheating, it’s not ok. Make an effort to focus on finishing reps, moving well and growing yourself as an athlete. If you’re competitive, work hard to beat others.