Weak Behavior: One-Upping

By Mike Warkentin

In CrossFit

May 28, 2013

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Mike Warkentin advises you to find your own limit in your next workout.

Ever watch an auction and want to choke the guy who continually adds a buck to the top bid?

You know the guy. He’s the same one who ruins office pools with the ultra-clever “and one dollar” bracketing strategy learned from contestants on The Price Is Right.

He’s also the guy who ruins any poker game without a minimum raise by forcing everyone to call dumbass nuisance raises.

That guy can be found in a lot of CrossFit gyms, too. Let’s call him the one-upper.

In the clever article Clock Whores by Doug Chapman, the owner of CrossFit Ann Arbor/Hyperfit USA wrote about those who care nothing for integrity or fitness but desire only to have the best time of the day by any means necessary. They’d jump over a bleeding family member to get that time, and they’d count the jump as two reps if a trainer wasn’t watching.

One-uppers are a lot like clock whores; they’ll definitely sacrifice integrity at times, but one-uppers don’t want to win big. They just want to win by a pound or a second, and their whole workout strategy involves gaming WODs to worm their way to the best time on the whiteboard.

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7 Comments on “Weak Behavior: One-Upping”


wrote …

Wait a second... I use double collars, but to keep shit from moving, not to one up!!


wrote …

Very Good.


wrote …

Only comparing yourself against your own box is small "pond" thinking.. If competition is that important, compare yourself against other prominent boxes that publish their results.. You may find that you are a big fish in a small pond, but surprisingly average at several other boxes.. Or you may find the opposite is true..


Rob Barrese wrote …

Mark we need a name for the one-upper's bastard cousin... you know, the one who won't post ANY score because it isn't the best!


wrote …

It's just a sad by-product of the competition that Crossfit breeds in general. This lack of integrity was a contributing factor in driving me away from Crossfit years ago. This is one of the very few issues I'm incredibly passionate about.

I had never heard of it, and one of the guys in my unit told me about it. Swore by it... his wife lost 70lbs in 6 months by doing it along with the Zone diet, so it's gotta be awesome, right? Dept of Defense paid for our memberships for 6 months because we were stationed so far away from an Army base, so I figured what the hell. I just so happened to have my first experience at a sorry ass box. The trainers/owners bred cliques within the box and alienated their own members. They drove clients away because they couldn't keep from spreading gossip and trash talk. There's tons of reasons why that place is shut down. It was an epidemic there, though. People cutting their reps short just so they could have the top time that day. Tons of members were getting away with pissing their crap scores all over the white board.

One thing I can't understand is that a membership at any box generally runs from about $60.00 all the way up to $150.00 a month, or more! Why pay that much and short change yourself! It's ignorant! I never renewed my membership there, and it took almost 3 years before I put all my bad experiences aside and actually found a good box to call home. So just to be clear... we all know who you are; we all can see when you when you cut your 21 thrusters short by 3 three reps, or when you complete 6 rounds and claim 8 plus 2 burpees. Keep smearing your crap all over the board, because no one else takes you seriously anymore. Take your ass to planet fitness and save yourself some money.


Jesse Gray wrote …

I couldn't disagree more. Competition is one of the primary drivers of performance in Crossfit. I'm just fine with being driven one pound at a time. If I'm going back and forth with a "one upper" at my gym and we're both making one pound or one second or one whatever gains everyday then we're getting better.


Frank DiMeo wrote …

Good article Mike!

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