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Amanda and Miranda: The importance of real reps

Amanda and Miranda are best friends that started at CrossFit X together January of 2012. They start CrossFit at the same level. They both have never done CrossFit before and had no idea what a thruster was. They went to the gym together and were always able to do the same weights. But as time went on during their year at CrossFit, Miranda really started progressing more. Miranda got her first pullup months before Amanda. She completed WOD’s faster at heavier weight. Amanda couldn’t figure out why. During their first couple of months they used the same weight and finished at the same time. Why was Miranda progressing so much faster than Amanda?

Let me start off by saying, sometimes some people build muscle faster. Some people have more of an athletic background and their cardio increases faster. Everyone is completely different, however, those that don’t complete reps or skip out when the tough gets going, always progress more slowly.

Month 1 at CrossFit X: Amanda and Miranda are learning all the movements. They take it easy during the WODs because they are always so sore the next day. They can’t lift too much weight because they never did these movements before.

Month 2: The coaches at CrossFit X start pushing Amanda and Miranda to add more weight. Miranda is really excited to push herself but Amanda has a negative attitude that she can’t do it, so she doesn’t. Miranda’s cardio starts improving so she starts getting through the WODs a little faster than Amanda. Amanda hates that she’s not where Miranda is. They started the same time! How can this be?

February 6, 2012

WOD
5 Rds
10 Pullups
20 Situps
400 m Run

Amanda and Miranda still need a resistance band to do pullups. Miranda keeps doing them strict like instructed by the coach, but Amanda realizes kipping will make her faster. Miranda has no idea why Amanda is able to do pullups so fast, so she keeps pushing herself to keep up. In Amanda’s last couple of reps, she doesn’t always get her chin over the bar, but she counts it anyway because she wants to finish first. Miranda is struggling with her pullups. She puts every bit of energy she has to get her chin over the bar in the last round. She misses two, but she doesn’t count them. She sees Amanda get off the pullup bar in her last round. Miranda is determined. She gets back up and finishes her last two reps. Chin all the way over the bar each time. She catches up to Amanda on the run and puts in all her effort to pass her. Miranda feels amazing because she gave it her all. She never doubted herself or put herself down. She just kept moving and setting goals, and she conquered them.

February 15, 2012

Strength
Find a 1 RM Back Squat

WOD
Fran
21-15-9
Thrusters
Pullups

Amanda and Miranda are working together during their strength to find their 1 RM back squat. Miranda is so excited to see what it might be, but Amanda has been complaining all day because she hates squatting. Amanda squats 75# and makes it look easy! Miranda tries it and same thing. Amanda says “I think I’m done. You keep going.” Miranda was confused, “why are you stopping.” Amanda replied, “You’re so much stronger than me, and I can’t”. Miranda just keeps going. Amanda is constantly negative towards herself and Miranda knows she’s holding herself back because of it. Miranda keeps going because she knows that’s how she’ll improve.

The WOD starts. “Thrusters.. great.. more squats” Amanda complains. Amanda goes light so she can get the thrusters done super fast. Miranda adds a little more weight on and tries to keep up with one of the strongest girls in the room that’s going RX. It’s an extra 5#, but she’s ready for a challenge. Miranda gets ahead of Amanda on the thrusters. She hears her complain to the coach that squats are hard. Miranda is not a fan of thrusters either but she doesn’t let it bother her. Amanda gets to the pullups after Miranda finishes 10. Somehow Amanda finishes all her pullups before Miranda. Miranda tries her hardest to keep up. Once again she’s giving it her all.

After the workout Miranda says to Amanda, “You are so fast on your pullups! You’re getting really strong arms!” Amanda explains to Miranda that she’s been kipping and doesn’t care when she doesn’t get her chin over the bar. Miranda was confused. Why would you cheat yourself?

 

Months go by and same thing. Miranda works hard everyday and makes sure all her reps count. Amanda tries to finish as fast as she can, doesn’t increase weight and just keeps complaining about how hard it is. Soon after Miranda is doing pullups without a band. Amanda does not understand how her friend progressed so fast. She becomes more down on herself because she can’t lift as much weight. She can’t do workouts RX yet. But all of those missed reps, they didn’t count. All those times making the WODs easier just because it sucks when it’s hard, didn’t help.

 

So … what’s the point?  The moral of the story is, if you want it, you have to work for it. YOU have to hold YOURSELF accountable. You have coaches here to help and guide you, but you are the one that needs to put in the work. If you don’t hit the target on a wall ball, do it again. If you don’t get you chin over the bar, do it again. Even if it’s the last rep and you’re so close to finishing, finish for real. Complete all the reps (THE RIGHT WAY!) and you WILL become stronger faster. Being negative and constantly thinking, I’ll never get there.. will never get you there. If you put in the time and effort, any goal is achievable, but with everything in life, you have to work for it.