By Neil Anderson

(Over the years I've gotten a lot of heat for this article.  For the record, only about 90% of what you'll read below was even meant to be serious.)

The following is an ever growing list of cheats seen almost daily at GPP that, if applied, will hold you back. If max effectiveness and efficiency for speeding your way to Optimal Health is your goal for completing workouts at GPP (why else would you be here?) let us strive to eliminate the following:

The Chalk Cheat - Did you really need to chalk up to do 5 pull-ups? Really? Every single round? OK, if you were crazy enough to put lotion on your hands before you came to do a workout, you deserve to slip around on the bar – NO CHALK FOR YOU!!!

The Hydration Situation Cheat – C’mon, most of these workouts are only 20 minutes long. The notion that you may dehydrate before the end of this workout is more rooted in your suckery NOT your physiology.

The Target Cheat - In the middle of this workout it occurs to you that your squats aren't low enough. This is honorable. However, this discovery does not mandate your walking all the way across the gym to get a med ball target. Of course you couldn't just do the squats where you find the med ball. You must carry it all the way back across the gym before you begin squats. All the while you were on the clock.

The Groundhog Day Cheat – It’s the same cheat day after day…after day. Two things: 1. you will never get out of this cycle until you make a conscious decision and put forth the effort to do it right. 2. Your health and fitness will never improve until you cover #1.

The Prudery Cheat - In the middle of your burpees you must stop to pull down your shirt. In fact, you must stop after EVERY – SINGLE - STINKING burpee to pull your shirt down. After all you can't go showing 2 more seconds of skin to a bunch of people who really aren't looking and wouldn’t care anyway.

The John Hancock Cheat – We hate this one for two reasons. 1 – Storming to the board to make a mark after every round in an AMRAP takes more brain power than it would take to simply accrue several rounds and keep track of them in your head. 2- Most of the time after you storm to the board to make your mark, you KNOW you are cheating. Now guilt-ridden and ashamed, you hurry back to work without closing the marker.  

The Tandem Cheat - "What round are we on?" is the phrase that starts this 30-40 second cheat. Somehow it seems mandatory to stop all work while the two of you are considering this question of the ages. While you’re pondering, make sure you put up your fingers and pull funny faces at them.

The Life is an Open Door Cheat - Somehow it appears that the 25 seconds you spend finding a weight and propping open the side door of the gym is necessary for your workout success. I’m guessing it has something to do with the full ¼ degree drop in temp (only near the door) that this action affords you.

The Squeegee Cheat – Thank you for wiping the sweat from your brow and not letting it slop onto your neighbor, but you and I both know it doesn’t take a 20 sec stop in the action to do this.

The Kleenex Cheat – OK, we can clearly get all the way on board with this one. Take whatever time it takes to keep from horking a snot bubble onto the ground and/or from slopping it on a fellow Peep.

The Pinball Cheat – The floor is the floor wherever you use it. Bouncing around the gym looking to find the right place to pound out another burpee doesn’t make any sense. Burpees count everywhere you do them.

The Chiseler Cheat – It is hard to imagine that anyone saw you cut the corner on your run. Even harder to imagine someone saw you chisel your reps, rounds, sets or movements. But we do see. Others do too. You would never believe how many of you have been ratted out by a fellow Peep.  Look if you don’t want to do all the work, fine. You’re only cheating yourself. 

The Safety First Cheat – Oh no! The weights on the barbell you are using (with collars secured) slipped an inch! OMH! Now someone is likely to die! Make sure you stop whatever you are doing and fix this immediately. In fact, you may want to stop and adjust the weights and collars between every rep – JUST IN CASE! Oh, and heaven knows we can’t go doing dead lifts without collars. Every time this happens, somewhere in the world a kitten dies.

The Walkabout Cheat – On rep 10 of a 20 rep thruster set you drop the bar to take a rest and begin to walk away. Far Away. You just keep walking and walking until you've caught your breath. Problem is, now you have to go back. All the FRICKIN way back.

The OCD Cheat – In the middle of the workout you storm to the dumbbell section only to find there are no matching pairs close by. This is problematic. It costs you time. So, you think to yourself, “I should organize this section so that next time I come to it they will all be matching.” So you do. Here is the thing, as soon as you leave the area they will all get mixed up before you come back. I realize you have a disease. But it is NOT OCD! It is full-blown wussitis. You and I both know you are taking a break.  Get back to work.

The Kill the Music Cheat – Fine! You’re an artist. Your music is VERY important to you. You want to have great music to inspire you during the workout. Now shut up about the music and inspire us with some pain storm. Trust me, when you are going at max capacity you won’t even hear the music - no matter how sucky you think it is. BTW, they have these new things out called earphones.

The Sweet Home Alabama Cheat – “Turn it up” does not take 30 seconds of workout stoppage to say. And again, if you are listening to the music, you aren't going hard enough. You should be storming the workout so hard that a tornado could be tearing the building down around you and you wouldn't hear anything but your own heart beating and the trainer asking for faster, lower and more perfect reps.

The Listening to My Body Cheat – 90% of the time this is a stupid excuse for a break. Mistaking a raging case of wussitis for a potential injury is rooted in sheer self-indulgence and NOTHING else. IF you truly are about to suffer an injury, figure a way (we’ll help you) to work around it. The operative word here being – WORK!

The Miracle Ear Cheat – “Get lower” the trainer yells … after placing a target ball under you … while looking right at you …after getting your attention first …while standing smack in front of you … right in your personal space … while repeating herself 20 times … as you keep ignoring her rep after ugly, stinking rep.

The Stick-it-to-the-Man Cheat – Yes, it is clear to all of us that you are the supreme expert on all things exercise, health and fitness. You know everything there is to know about it and you won’t be needing ANY help, encouragement or advice from the likes of a mere GPP trainer or veteran while you are here (NOT) doing our workouts. You are a rogue. A true maverick. And you’ll do these workouts YOUR way and non-other. Dude, there is no need to front. We couldn't do all of it when we first started either.