To Rep or No Rep

Courtesy of Shutterstock.comOver the weekend I had a horrendous CrossFit nightmare one night: I was exhausted, hanging from a bar, giving every last effort to perform a chest-to-bar pull up while a Coach stood below me screaming “no rep” with each attempt.

I woke up frustrated. Not only did I continuously fail at an exercise I regularly struggle with, but I was discouraged and aggravated by a Coach that could say nothing but, “no rep!”

I started thinking … what if I wasn’t me? What if I hadn’t experienced that type of coaching before or was really struggling with the CrossFit philosophy? What if I was on the verge of leaving your gym and it was your no-rep Coach that pushed me over the edge?

On the flip side, what if I was so close to getting that first real chest-to-bar and the Coach, instead of just screaming “no rep,” actually said “no rep, but look do this and you’ll get it,” and then I got it?

The second scenario, if used by any Coach when working with a member, would fulfill two needs. First, it would follow the CrossFit scheme of keeping athletes performing prescribed exercises correctly. But, second, and most importantly, it would make athletes better and build a greater trust among members and Coaches.

The no rep can be one of the most devastating phrases to hear during a WOD. There is nothing worse in my mind than being fully fatigued, giving it all you’ve got and get a “no rep.” However, the no rep actually keeps CrossFit legitimate and maintains value in the success of each and every rep.

The no rep also provides Coaches an opportunity to approach a member doing a WOD. It’s a clear indication of someone needing a modification, scale or just a little push. Coaches that take the no rep as an opportunity to act like Billy Badass have no place in your gym.

Your gym is your livelihood. It puts food on your table and a roof over your head. You don’t have time for Coaches that are going to use their power as a “Coach” to bully your members out the door because they don’t meet their “standards.”

Your standard should be to improve the fitness and life of your members. Positive coaching, as well as a well-placed “no rep,” can help you achieve both of those standards you have established.

So next time you catch a member struggling, give them a no rep and then a great tip to help them as they pursue that next rep with support from their trusted Coach.

Tyler is a former editor of Box Pro Magazine.