Increasing Reps


Getting a new movement is always exciting. It is the cumulative result of effort put in. The hard part is we then realize that it takes just as much if not more hard work to increase our rep range for this movement, add it into a workout, or even just to get multiple reps.

Take double unders for example. They are frustrating for most when we first begin, but with constant practice, we begin to develop them. Once this happens the challenge really starts. I have said this many times but I believe to be proficient in any given workout with double unders you should have a minimum of 100 unbroken. Consistently unbroken. Fast and slow unbroken. But, if you can do this then no workout with double unders should be an issue. Even if the workout demands 200 double unders per round you know you can at least get halfway through them with few worries. It may be uncomfortable, but you can do it.

This is the same for every movement from snatches to toes to bar. In order to improve and increase our rep ranges we must work at it. We must commit to adding a rep every time we workout to whatever movement it is we wish to get better at. We must hold on to the bar, or rig, or whatever else, for those extra reps because they make us better. They may lessen our score for the day. But they make us better long term.

One toes to bar is good. 10 is better. Getting your first muscle-up is awesome. Doing them in a workout under fatigue is better. We all have the ability to develop or stagnate. We don’t need to settle for just getting a movement. We need to get it and then learn to excel at it.


Commit to getting better at weaknesses by adding additional reps and challenging ourselves accordingly. There is no shortcut to this. We don’t just wake up one day with 100 double unders or 20 toes to bar in a row. We add reps over time until we get to that point. We test it. If you want to know something about yourself then test yourself. See how long you can hold on to reps, go for broke and then learn how to hold on. No one ever achieved anything of note by playing it safe. We generally understand this from a strength perspective. As we gradually get stronger and more competent our weights go up. The same is the case for any movement. The more we work to increase reps the more we will get.

This is not to say don’t be excited with getting a new movement or being happy with the movements or reps we have right now. Just don’t be content to settle with where we are at. Life is about the journey, and so is CrossFit. Enjoy the process and push ourselves to places we never thought we could go. The results will speak for themselves.

Joseph TownsendComment