Why Do we Talk About Integrity in CrossFit?

Integrity is doing the right thing even when no one is watching

Integrity is defined as “the quality of being honest and having strong moral principles that you refuse to change.” Whether your gym’s mission statement includes the word “integrity” or you’ve heard it in a conversation with a coach, integrity is central to the CrossFit methodology.

Where do we see the concept of integrity in CrossFit?
1. In every CrossFit class, you are given a required amount of work whether this is based on a time frame or repetitions. This is intentional. For example, a rep scheme of 21-15-9 creates a particular stimulus that 3 rounds of 15 would not. If your coach wanted you to do 3 rounds of 15 reps, that’s what they would program. This is also true if there is a designated amount of rest programmed. Sure, you could rest for 1:00 instead of the required 1:30 and get a faster score, but 1. this is cheating and 2. you are not going to hit the intended stimulus of the workout.

2. We also see integrity at the whiteboard when recording our scores as time to complete the work or number of reps completed within the time frame.

3. Finally, we see integrity when it comes to meeting the standard for each movement. If the workout calls for chest to bar pulls ups, but you do chin over bar pull ups for the majority of the workout, acting with integrity would mean recording that you scaled this workout.

How and why does having integrity in your life as a CrossFit athlete impact your overall progress and outcome?

Acting with integrity in the CrossFit community matters for a number of reasons.
We keep track of our scores in CrossFit as a way to measure our progress over time. If you are recording inaccurate scores to boost yourself up on the leaderboard, looking back on your scores in the future will not provide an accurate representation of your growth in fitness. There is a reason we utilize benchmarks and repeat workouts over time. This is for your benefit and you are only cheating yourself if you are not acting with integrity. If you are performing movements differently each time you do them (squatting below parallel on wall balls during some workouts and not others), you will also not be able to accurately gauge your progress as this shortened range of motion will impact your overall time. Not to mention, meeting the standard of movements will allow you to reap the full benefits of the movement itself in terms of improvements in strength, mobility, and overall fitness.

If you respect your coaches, your fellow athletes, and yourself, you will continue to act with integrity each and every day you walk through the doors of your CrossFit gym.

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