16 Ways you “Eff-up” CrossFit: 1-4

Compiled by some of your Coaches


Look. You all know we like to tell it like it is. And that’s why this HAS to be written—stop giving us “your version” of CrossFit.

So many of you are sabotaging your gains and totally EFFING UP CrossFit for yourselves!

We’ll be honest, it really kills us to see this stuff. You come to Rebels 5 or 6(ish) (maybe) times a week, and we know it isn’t easy. But we’ve noticed certain types of behavior going around the box that just make CrossFit THAT MUCH more difficult for yourselves.

So here they are, the first 4 of 16 ways you eff-up CrossFit,  (so you can cut it out and make some new gains, and only have to spend about 5 minutes reading)…

  1. You lift heavy before your technique (your shape/form) is on point.


If this is you, you are CrossFit Offender #1. Form should ALWAYS follow function. So yeah, we say it, but what does that mean? THIS: Form follows function is a principle associated with modernist architecture and industrial design in the 20th century. The principle is that the shape of a building or object should be primarily based upon its intended function or purpose. (Wikipedia — and yes, we just quoted Wikipedia at you!)

So okay, how does that pertain to your body? It means that if you lift PROPERLY, you can lift MORE (and hello — safely!). Form is your foundation. If it isn’t sturdy, you can’t build.

Leave your ego at the door. Your coaches respect a lower load with good form waaaaaaay before they will genuinely cheer a crappy backed deadlift or a squat on your toes.

  1. You continually attempt to Rx WODs but your form is bad, the load’s too heavy and you blow the cap.

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Please see #1 above. And now, allow us to elaborate. We believe that for every bad rep, it takes three good ones for your body to unlearn that bad rep, and when you’re in the middle of a WOD, those bad reps ADD UP. (Referring again to #1, you’re basically laying down and drilling home a BAD foundation.)

To fix this, make every rep a good rep… or at least attempt. If the load is too great and you move to slowly, you miss the intensity that CrossFit is meant to give you ­—intensity that is scientifically proven to make you better, fitter and stronger. The intensity that we’ll show you below is the key to your fitness and body composition….but another common eff-up for a lot of you (see #3).


  1. You think “running extra” will “get you lean” and help you lose body fat and make you “fitter”.

We have to step back for a second on this one and give a little context, since it’s the toughest to get across to athletes.

We recently, on a Monday, programmed about 50 minutes of “cardio”. You’ll see that ONCE EVERY 3-4 WEEKS, not daily, not weekly.  Get that through your pretty little skulls.

CrossFit works and is designed to work in a linear fashion for BOTH STRENGTH AND METABOLIC CONDITIONING (how hard and fast you can work/expel energy). Doing CrossFit, you will see a progression in BOTH. But that is for CrossFit, not CrossFit PLUS CARDIO.

CrossFit will make you lean. Short, high intensity WODs with an added “load” (weights) are the key. Mix in a few long WODs, some independent cardio and gymnastics and BOOM. Success. Don’t you look good!

But when you try to run or do extra cardio to “lean out,” what you’re usually doing is eating up all that hard earned muscle that ultimately help you become leaner! (And trust us, it’s easier to let your muscles burn your fat than to believe the treadmill is your fat burner.) Your muscle mass is DIRECTLY related to your basal metabolic rate (how many calories you burn at rest). So stop running off your muscle and let your gains burn your fat for you!

We’re not berating long distance runners. Not at all. That’s a choice, your choice. But it’s virtually impossible to be a good CrossFitter and a long distance runner. Distance runners have less muscle mass, less explosive power, less strength…all things we need to be good CrossFitters. (They also have a higher incident of heart “issues”…but we won’t go there today).

Here’s a nice explanation of one of the key differences between sprinters and endurance athletes:

So please stop “bragging” about all of your extra cardio. We’re trying not to react in judgment when you tell us, but we flat out believe your wrong (and it shows in your strength, power, and body composition!).

  1. You don’t use your warm up/cool down time productively

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This INCLUDES showing up late! (Obviously.)

We don’t give you a warm up for our health — we do it for YOURS. The warm up is designed to get your blood flowing, roll out the tightness and adhesions in your muscles, and prep the muscles you’re going to use in the WOD. Ask Sam, Paul, Mal… not spending enough time warming up leaves you constantly “tweaked.” Similarly, post-WOD time should also be used for mobility, or to tackle a skill or movement you’re lagging behind on.

Too often we see folks show up late and dive right in, or chat through the entire 15-minute warm up period. Yes, it’s a social atmosphere, but get on it! Drag your buddy to the pull up bar or grab a lacrosse ball while you’re mobilizing.


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