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Both Sides of the Coin

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“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.”     – C.S. Lewis

Cheating. No one likes the implications of that word. And when it comes to rep shaving, we tend to get all fired up and gossipy.

“That dude always shaves reps!”
“She never squats below parallel on wall balls!”
“There’s no WAY they beat us in this workout!”

Now, I’m not talking about someone who can’t squat to depth yet from mobility issues, or those times when we miscount or get lost in the middle of a WOD…because we’ve all been there. I’m talking about the person whose Karen time is maybe more along the lines of 135 reps, and whose pushups never meet the standard. If your version of 21-15-9 is more like 18-12-7…I’m talking about you.

However, I’d like to point out that there are two sides to this situation. Both are equally destructive. Whether you’re the shaver or the person complaining about it, both of you are hurting your own progress in fitness.

To the shaver, I’d like to say this: who do you think you’re fooling? You know what you’re doing when you intentionally shave reps or short-change your movements. Your coaches know it too. And most importantly, your community knows it.  So why are you doing it?

If it’s winning that matters to you, think about all those reps you didn’t do that could have improved your fitness! If you’re only doing 75% of the work, you’re only getting 75% more fit. You’re leaving 25% of your potential on the table for the sake of a spot on the top of the whiteboard that you didn’t actually earn; a spot that everyone in the gym knows doesn’t really belong to you.

Fitness is a long game, and cutting your workout short day after day only hurts you in the long run.

To those who complain about it, I’d like to say this: who cares? How exactly does it hurt you or affect your life? Your workout is just that – YOUR workout. The whole point is to compete against yourself.

So in the end, it doesn’t actually matter what everybody else is doing. If you go out hard and do your best in each and every workout, you win. It’s that simple. Wasting energy worrying about someone else’s workout takes away from your own. So why bother?

Besides, a little good-natured competition can be fun! So if a shaver puts up a score, valid or not, that inspires you to push yourself that much harder, then they’ve helped you improve your fitness by giving you something to shoot for.

In the end, we’re all just trying to get a little bit better every day. So keep your eyes on the prize and focus on your own biggest competition – YOU.

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