CrossFit cheaters don’t deserve to post scores on the whiteboard with their fake performance. Some people tend to cheat all the time at sports and they could have many reasons to do so. Cheater usually cheat so they can benefit from it like winning something or qualifying to major events (“Hello CrossFit Games Open cheaters!”).
But there is special group of CrossFit cheaters – people who cheat their scores daily at CrossFit boxes. If you are doing CrossFit with group of people I bet you have probably already met CrossFit cheater.
Thankfully daily WODs aren’t competition and cheating in them is very lame. But still having someone in group who is cheating sucks and it’s great to remind all CrossFit cheaters they are cheating only themselves.
Quick note to all CrossFit cheaters: “Everyone knows you are cheating. Your win means nothing. Nobody is taking you seriously. You will improve more if you stop cheating.”
Who is CrossFit cheater?
- Person who is shaving reps – usually we count like that 1, 2, 3, 4, … but they count like that 1, 3, 4, 7, …
- Person who is making up scores – they say: “I didn’t count the reps” and then they post one of the best scores on whiteboard
- Person who is shaving time of WODs – cheater is finishing WOD in 9:30 but an hour later you see 6:30 on whiteboard
- Person who is doing half range of motion (ROM) – today’s WOD is Karen, everyone is doing full depth squats and hits the target except cheater who is doing only half squats and hits under the target which allows cheater to have one of the best times
Who is not CrossFit cheater?
- Beginner – usually they even don’t know they are cheating
- Person who has problems with full ROM – if you can’t do full squats than it is OK to do half squats
- Person who miscounted reps/rounds – it can happen to anyone but it shouldn’t happen on regular basis
- Person who cheats intentionally to make cheater angry – it’s one of the ways how you can kill cheater’s ego
Before accusing someone from cheating make sure you know he/she cheats regularly because everyone can make mistakes and miscount reps from time to time.
Why you should do something with cheaters?
- Cheating takes fun out of classes – no one cares about CrossFit cheaters but doing WOD with cheater takes some fun out of it
- Cheating is stupid – cheater’s performance doesn’t deserve to be written on the whiteboard
- Everyone can feel cheater’s ego – and it may make some members of the class uncomfortable
11 Ways How to Deal with CrossFit Cheaters
There are many ways how to deal with CrossFit cheaters from simply talking to them to involving everyone in the gym.
1) Speak with cheaters
The easiest thing you can do to make someone stop cheating is to tell him it’s not OK to cheat. When you make your point cheater will know he is being watched and won’t probably cheat again.
When speaking with a cheater there is no reason to start conversations with bad words. Make sure to mention:
- When he was cheating
- How he was cheating
- Why you mind about him cheating
Most people will admit their mistake and stop cheating after you say them it’s lame to post made up scores on the whiteboard or to do half ROM. But some cheaters will not take you seriously or will feel accused by your words.
Anyway don’t feel bad about saying cheater that he cheated because you are the one who plays by the rules and all you want are the same rules for everyone.
2) Speak with coach about cheaters
Are you uncomfortable speaking with the cheater? Let coach do that.
Coach probably already knows who is the cheater and maybe he told cheater something in past but it’s great to remind coach that it’s not OK to let cheater write fake scores on the whiteboard.
Also letting coach to speak with a cheater could be better choice because coach is the one who leads training session, who is keeping eye on everything and who is the authority.
Good coaches won’t let athletes to cheat so it’s great to remind them that you there is the cheater in the class.
3) Record cheaters on camera
I don’t mean holding camera in front of the cheater. Better idea is to set camera somewhere in the corner where you would see all the athletes including cheater.
If someone asks you why are you recording, just say that you want to record yourself to see how are you doing during WOD.
After WOD review the video you have recorded and find out if cheater was really cheating. If he did approach him with something like this (John is cheater in this example):
- “Hey John, I’ve noticed we were going rep for rep in the workout but you miscounted yourself by X reps.”
- “Hey John, you’ve probably miscounted rounds, I quickly checked this video of myself doing workout and it looks like you have done X rounds less.”
- After missing like 1/2 of wall ball shots but still counting all the no reps. “Hey John, why you don’t try wall ball shots with lower weight? I saw that you had some problems hitting the target. I can you shot what I mean on this video.”
- After “new PR” on cheater’s half front squats. “Hey John, I was watching my PR on video and I saw you in the background, I think you should try to do your squats little deeper so you will at least hit parallel.”
If cheaters will deny cheating just show them evidence. Many cheaters will stop after that and start playing fair.
Sometimes cheaters doesn’t even know they are cheating, they may think their movements are in full range of motion even if they do only half ROM or they may think they count reps correctly. Just show them video and let them know they are doing something wrong.
If you show CrossFit cheaters how they exactly cheated they will probably stop with cheating because nobody wants to be caught while cheating.
4) Speak with other members
This method will not stop cheaters from cheating but will help you clear out the situation. You will find out important information like:
- Are you the only one who know about the cheater?
- Do other members really care about the cheater?
- Do other members want the cheater to stop cheating?
- Have anyone already told the cheater to stop cheating?
- Do coaches know about the cheater?
- Are coaches doing something with the situation?
Speaking with other members will not just give you their insight on the situation but it will also allow you to tell them why you care about the cheater and how do you want to stop the cheater. And catching the cheater cheating will be much easier if you will plan it with other members.
5) Go rep for rep with the cheater
This is one of the best tactics how to eliminate all the cheaters, all you need is to be at least as good as cheater while doing everything correctly. If you are not in top shape just find someone who can beat cheater in almost any CrossFit workout.
Before starting WOD make sure to face cheater the way that he can see your every rep. It is very similar to the Open announcements where athletes look to each other when doing workout.
Doing all reps synchronized with the cheater will not allow him to shave reps and if he do so just tell him he is missing X reps. And if you are in better condition than cheater just push the tempo in last minute and beat him.
6) Play cheater’s game
If you want really piss off cheater be the one who shave reps and beat cheater by HUGE margin. Let them taste bitter taste of 2nd or worse place.
It won’t make you better person by playing cheater’s game but if you are looking for redemption this is the way how you can do it.
But do it just once or twice, it’s not worth getting down to cheater’s level just work on your fitness and forget about cheater’s stupid performance.
7) Suggest cheaters to join local competition
Cheaters usually have one of the best times/scores in the classes so why don’t suggest them to join local competition and show how good they are.
There is no place for cheating in the competition. All false reps will be no repped and everything will be counted correctly.
People who tend to cheat on almost everything will have very hard time during competition WODs.
If you really hate the cheater you will feel good watching cheater putting much lower performance than he is used to.
Competition won’t stop all cheaters from cheating but some of them will find out that being fair in training will reflect into their competition performance.
The CrossFit Games Open is also great opportunity to see how cheaters are doing when they are judged but be sure that cheater’s judge knows how to call no reps.
“Let the Open separate the men from the assholes. We have a few guys like that at our gym and when the Open rolls around they’re always full of excuses.” – OliverHutton, Reddit
8) Do workout that cheaters can’t cheat
Not everyone have chance to choose what WOD will be but if you have that ability you can make workout that can’t be cheated.
There are some workouts that are hard/impossible to cheat. For example:
- 50/100/200/500/… Row calories for time
- 500m/1K/2K/5K/10K/… Row for time
- Run certain distance for time
- Do every 10-20 sec some heavy movement
- For Example: Every 15sec 1 x Squat Clean’n’Jerk x 70-80% of 1RM
I am personally fan of 50/100cal for time or 500m/1K Row.
Good thing about such workouts is that they are nearly impossible to cheat and they really hurt. Also cheater’s score is easy to check and everyone will know how he performed.
It won’t probably stop CrossFit cheater from cheating but watching cheater suffer and doing worse than usual is fun.
9) Make a sign: Cheating is not allowed
Warning signs are usually useless and no one reads them but having at least one in the box is great idea.
Everyone will know that cheating is not allowed there and some people who mind about cheaters will find confidence to speak about that unpleasant situation with coach or cheater.
Also CrossFit cheaters will cheat less during WODs because they will know that someone in the gym wants them to stop cheating during WODs.
10) Let coach be the one who writes scores on the whiteboard
Some gyms allows members to post their score by themselves on the whiteboard. Cheaters use that as advantage to post false scores.
It can be easily avoided if coach is the one who writes scores on the whiteboard and to make sure score is correct coach can just count all the reps to make sure cheater doesn’t shave reps and look after correct range of motion. If cheater fails in something and coach sees it then it’s OK to write that cheater has done modified version instead of RX version of CrossFit workout.
11) Just ignore cheaters
Some people won’t stop cheating even if you try every trick to stop them. There is no reason to speak with cheaters about fair play if they won’t listen.
When they are ignoring you and gym’s coaches all you can do is to just ignore cheaters too and just make fun of them.
If you are ignoring cheaters there is no reason to be mad about their cheated performance. Cheater won’t usually stay long in the gym and sooner or later they will stop with CrossFit.
But don’t forget that every cheater deserve a chance to change and sometimes all they need is time so they can find out why cheating sucks.
Before accusing CrossFit cheaters from cheating make sure he/she is cheating intentionally. The easiest way to stop cheater is to tell him or your coach about your problem. If you don’t feel confident speaking with cheater or coach you may speak with other members of CrossFit box and you may make a plan to punish cheater like signing up cheater to real competition with judges, doing workouts that are hard to cheat or beating cheater’s ego during class.
Fighting against cheaters is worth but if nothing works then ignoring cheaters might be the best option. I’ve met few cheaters but the ones that were cheating the most stopped with CrossFit after few months.
And what is your experience with CrossFit cheaters? Have you met one? Or do you have any tips & tricks how to stop one?