I’ve been CrossFitting for almost a year now, and until last week, I could probably count on one hand the number of times I no-repped myself in a workout.
Obviously, my mechanics, technique & depth are always perfect. [insert laughter]
We see “no reps” all the time from elite athletes in Regionals & The CrossFit Games. We see them regularly at local competitions. If you’ve ever judged a CrossFit competition at any level, you’ve certainly awarded your fair share of “no reps.”
But when was the last time you no-repped yourself?
Now that I’m getting more comfortable with most CrossFit movements, I’m starting to hold myself to higher standards. Notice I didn’t say higher expectations. But higher standards. Specifically, higher standards of movement.
Higher expectations could be misinterpreted as faster scores, more rounds or heavier max lifts. Sure, all those things are great, and many of us are working hard to improve those things, but it’s important to do them right.
Knees-To-Elbows > Toes-To-Bar
I used to think knees-to-elbows was a progression for toes-to-bar. Ha! Turns out, they’re actually more difficult.
When I saw them come up in a workout last week, I asked one of our new coaches, Rachel, what the standard was for knees-to-elbows. Little did I know I was simultaneously increasing the difficultly level of the WOD, exponentially.
My knees have never actually touched my elbows… at least not while hanging on the rig. They hit my triceps, about 2-3 inches above my elbow. I mean, who would’ve thought you actually had to touch your elbows?! Ain’t like it’s in the name of the movement or anything!
So I no-repped myself. Multiple times during that workout. My anticipated sets of 8 became sets of 2 and 3. I helplessly watched time tick off the clock while the rest of the class finished.
A few days later, we had wall balls. The few times I missed the target? You guessed it. “No Rep!”
But what if I’m never going to compete?
Why do no reps matter if you’re never going to compete? There are no judges in the gym when you’re doing the WOD. There are no scores to submit, titles to claim or prize money to be won.
But “no reps” aren’t about the scores or the money. They’re about accountability, safety & proficiency.
CrossFit teaches you these things, and helps you get better at all of them.
Holding yourself accountable… for showing up, for putting forth effort, for helping others and for doing what’s right.
Moving safely… the weight, as well as your own body through space.
Becoming proficient… so you can do more with less effort, and prepare yourself to conquer the world.
Above all else, the first thing this does is force you to actually learn the standards of movement. You might have a pretty good idea about most things already, but ask your coaches what the standard is. There’s a good chance you’ve been doing something inefficiently.
In the gym, it’ll make you stronger, more proficient and keep you safe.
Outside of the gym, it’ll hold you accountable and keep you honest. And there are few life lessons as important as those.
No rep yo self, before ya wreck yo self.