A Subject that does come up every so often, which we as your coaches always hope is through a little misguided enthusiasm and misplaced competitiveness. A few critical points to take note of if you truly want to improve physical abilities and not cut yourself short in your training. Becoming the best you can be, which is what we are all about.

Post Courtesy of. CrossFit Southbay

First, the clock is a visual aid that you can use to push yourself. How many of you have fought your heart out to PR by only a few seconds, or destroyed yourselves for the last minute of an AMRAP to finish with just those couple extra reps?? Its those fights that make us proud, and additionally, that same fight that improves our performance the most.

Additionally, the clock is part of the reason for the camaraderie we share through CrossFit. Everyone can relate to the struggle as they chased a PR, and it is this sense of struggle and triumph that truly bonds us together.

Finally, and most importantly, the clock provides a data point for every workout we do, so by comparing the times, weights, and reps from past workouts, we can track performance. This illustrates the improvements we have made and allows us to revel in the amazing amount of hard work and pain we put in to achieve such performance gains.

The Dark Side
However, the clock also has a dark side, that if left unchecked, can lead to performance decreases and at the very least, some unreal results. First off, the definition of a “clock whore” as quoted from Hyperfit is:

“Clock Whore: Person who is so obsessed with beating the clock/others that they will prostitute themselves and sacrifice important and vital components of training such as range of motion, repetitions or other performance metrics for a ‘better’ time. ”

To begin, I think I am qualified to speak to this, since I am guilty of this as well: I used to be the exact definition of a “clock whore”, as I would short the range of motion (ROM) on many workouts in order to make up those extra couple seconds to improve my numbers and compete with my friends. That is until I realized a very important point, that I wasn’t in competition with anyone else, and that only by properly measuring my performance could I truly see the results of my training.

First, by shorting reps, or overcounting to decrease your time or increase your score, you devalue your own results. Usually this happens because you feel like you are competing with other people at CFSB to set the best time or score; this simply isn’t true. While it can be helpful to compare your results to others to determine your approximate level of conditioning, beating someone else in a workout does nothing to further your own fitness. And that is exactly what we want at CFSB: for you to increase YOUR FITNESS, not your ego by beating another person’s score. Do you think that a world-class or Games level athlete shorts reps or overcounts to set a better score during training?? Not a chance, because they aren’t competing with anyone during training; they are pushing themselves as hard as possible and only by pushing themselves harder do they improve.

Next, if you repeatedly avoid full ROM during workouts, you will never develop strength throughout the entire range of motion, causing those chest-to-bar pull-ups to never lead to muscle-ups and hitting stubborn plateaus on the Olympic lifts.

Finally, to truly compare your future results, you need honest evaluations of your fitness, which is what the WOD’s are meant to illustrate. However, if the standards you use for each workout are different (for example: one time not going full depth on a squat, or not getting the bar fully overhead on a thruster), this eliminates the possibility of comparing your results since the workouts are no longer the same. Thus, you have no metrics to determine if your fitness really did improve, and since this is the focus of CFSB, you missed out on what we offer.

*Additionally, if you shorted reps or overcounted to PR on a benchmark workout, this destroys any chance of measuring your last couple months of work!!* How do you know if your last couple months of work actually made you fitter if you shorted the workout. Maybe you tweaked your programming, modified your diet to improve your performance, or added an extra, excruciating stretching every day, now you will never know if it helped or hindered your fitness.



A) Back Squat

B) 21-15-9

Power Snatch

Box Jumps

C)  Run 400m

50 Pull-ups

for time


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