How to Train with Integrity

By: Jenessa Connor

Every time you step in the box you’re entering a competition. Even if there are no official judges or even other athletes, you’re still competing against your current PR, last year’s time, yesterday’s skill set, or today’s comfort zone. And no matter your end goal, you owe it to yourself to pursue that goal with integrity. 

People with integrity are honest. They hold themselves to high moral code, even when no one else is watching. So what does that look like for a CrossFit athlete?

Respecting Movement Standards

Movement standards exist to prevent injury, allow you to get the greatest benefit from the movement, and provide a benchmark that enables you measure your progress. Plowing through a bunch of shallow air squats or consistently missing the wall ball target may give you a faster metcon time, but at what cost? You’re missing out on the opportunity to develop strength and endurance by shortchanging the movement. And, if you never adhere to the standards, how will you ever know when you’re truly improving?

Of course, it may take time to gain the strength and flexibility to perform a lift or movement correctly. The coaches at 718 are always happy to provide guidance and modifications. And, if you’re ever unsure about a particular movement, just ask. 

Completing Every Rep and Round 

Your score means nothing to you or anybody else (but especially you!) if you skip even one rep. Wouldn’t you rather slog through a full 400-meter run, take a few extra breaks during pull-ups, or be the last one on the rower than have a fast but meaningless score?

And if your own integrity isn’t strong enough to prevent you from skipping reps and shortchanging rounds, know this: people notice when you cheat. And they don’t like it. 

Knowing When to Scale 

Ultimately, RX weight guidelines are suggestions. If they push you beyond your comfort zone, that’s great. If they completely destroy your form, it’s time to be honest with yourself and your current fitness level. Always scale accordingly. Listening to your ego instead of your body will only set you up for failure and injury.  

Scaling also pertains to reps and rounds. For example, if five rounds of two rope climbs is too many to do correctly and safely, you may want to scale down to one rope climb per round. However, it’s important to declare your intended reps before beginning the WOD (versus just skipping reps), as you should hold yourself accountable to a specific rep scheme. And be sure to record any modifications in your notes.  

Recording an Accurate Score 

Logging your workouts is one of the best ways to measure your progress and set future goals. Whatever momentary satisfaction you may gain from shaving time off your score to secure a higher ranking on the leaderboard comes at the cost of your development as an athlete. Plus, it simply isn’t fair to those who are doing the work and being honest with their results. 

Remember: a culture of integrity starts with you. Stay honest with every WOD and every rep –no excuses!