Only Count the Good Reps

We’ve all been there before. You’re tired, it’s your 50th pullup, handstand pushup, power snatch, or whatever. You sort of, kind of, maybe executed full range-of-motion, but then again, maybe you didn’t. Then, you tried to squeeze in another (no) rep! Your coaches see this, your fellow athletes see this, and you see this.

With a judge in front of you – whether it’s a regular group class, during the Open, or at a local throwdown – you’ll have a harder time getting away with garbage reps. We’d suggest that you shouldn’t let yourself off the hook in your daily training either. Your continued progress over the long haul is the ultimate goal. You want your movements to be truly quantifiable. If you count reps where sometimes your chin gets over the bar and sometimes it doesn’t, then you’re left comparing apples to oranges.

At DCCF, we strive for virtuosity – the principle that you should aim to perform even the simplest movements exceedingly well. With effort and practice, your 300th squat in “Murph” can and in fact should be a mirror image of your first. Be honest about your reps and if you’re not 101% sure, then don’t count them. It sucks, yeah, but don’t be that person who moves really fast but really poorly. Don’t be the person who the next class coming in looks at and says “Uhhh… that’s not a rep.” Be the person with whom you’d be impressed, even if it slows you down a bit. Consider that you may need to scale WODs sometimes. The Sport version isn’t for everybody, and sometimes even the Life version is a bit of a stretch where you should scale load and/or volume.

Mostly importantly, even when you really, really tried to do a good rep but didn’t, resist the urge to count your effort as execution. Only count the good reps.

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