Cheating In OUR Box

  • “What’s the big deal?”  You might ask.
  • “Are you serious, Chuck?”  Yes, I am.
  • “Shouldn’t you do something else first?”  Been there.  Done that.
  • “Why punish someone who is scaling?”  I’m not and never will.

I recently made a pretty bold post about a new policy:  If you are found intentionally cheating a WOD just in order to boost your own ego to have the fastest time on the whiteboard, we will terminate your membership with us, remove you from all of our lists and from our community.  This is something that we have tried to attack from all angles over the years and I’m ready to put a nail in this coffin forever.  Let me explain my WHY.

I started this box in 2008 to create something special and unique in our community that would help others become the best version of themselves in a great environment.  Although our programs are competitive by nature (and I do like fostering competitiveness), it was never my intention to create a system that create a culture of opportunistic, self-promoting, ego-centric cheating,  just to fuel the ID or ego and rise to the top.  Like in school, teams and professional sports, cheating will never be tolerated nor will the negative energy that it produces.  I have no time to tolerate energy and time-sucking vampires and I will not allow it to live in OUR box.

Here’s the big deal.  When someone cheats they’re f’ing lying to me, my coaches and teammates, just so they can finish first.  That’s not sportsmanship but just a desire to trump others who are working their asses off.  It’s not going to get a cheater any stronger or faster but will just make them look like a cheating-McCheater jackass while pissing off the coaches who work their butts off writing WOD for us.  Is this something I take personally?  Yes it is.  I’m working my ass off trying to provide a really cool environment for people become the best version of themselves and when someone disrespects my facility, our values with no regard for other effort, I’ll do what’s necessary to protect what I’m working hard to create.  I WILL NOT tolerate dishonesty.  I’m not a totalitarian, I’m not unilateral and I’m not a draconian dictator – but I DO have my limits of what I will accept and what I will not accept and I will not compromise over a few dollars each month.

How do you cheat in CrossFit?


Cheating in CrossFit is easy, if you don’t have a coach watching you. All you have to do is either cut the reps or rounds shy of the Rx.  Let’s say that the exercise prescription is a 21-15-9 workout.  Knowing that the head coach is leading a class and not counting everyone’s individual repetitions, the cheater may intentionally complete 20-14-8 to finish faster.  But it’s not just 1 rep shy of the prescription, most of the time.  Usually it’s 19-12-6 or something similarly gross.

What if you scale?

Hey, I’m a big fan of scaling the prescription, even for Rx athletes.  I don’t do the Rx all the time and even when I do, I don’t give 100% continuously.  There’s just too much margin for injury.  I think one of the things that make us incredibly unique is the ability to scale across frequency, intensity, load and repetition variables to keep athletes inline with safe, linear progression.  If you scale, you are NOT cheating the wod.  If you don’t intentionally finish the repetitions that we prescribe to your scaled WOD, then YES!  You’re a cheating McCheater.

This isn’t about me.  It’s about Core Values. 

Core Value Plate

The Core Values of Pacific Personal Training & CrossFit Hillsboro

This is about protecting my house.  Protecting my culture.  Protecting my brand.  Protecting my values.  Not only the professional Core Values of our company but my personal values as well, including trust, honesty and transparency.  Those aren’t just throw-around nouns either.  Instead, those are additives that I hope all of you can see and feel.  I have never been a cheater when it comes to hard work and I know that there are thousands of similar people out there.  Even in the work that I have done from college to commercial fishing to construction to probation to training, I’ve never settled for the easy road.  The path less chosen is in my blood and that’s the way I’ve always lived.  It should be no surprise that I created a company that represents incredibly my values with with a NEVER, NEVER, NEVER  give up attitude. I mean, why else did you sign up with us at the box?  Did you sign up for easy or did you sign up for results?  Did you sign up to continually be at the top of the board or did you sign up to get 1/10th of 1% better each day?  Did you sign up with us because you saw a bunch of slappies in the box that you knew you could beat or did you want to be around such a great group of people who continue to INSPIRE, IMPACT and be a POSITIVE INFLUENCE to you each day?

“So, what Chuck?  Am I expected to be a fire-breathing CrossFitter everyday now, in fear that I may be kicked out if I forget a rep or a round?”

I don’t expect each of you to have a goal to make it to the CrossFit games, be a competitive CrossFit athlete and show up everyday to get the hell beaten out of you. What I do expect when you’re here are qualities like:

  • Honesty
  • Dedication
  • Determination
  • Discipline
  • Support
  • Inspire 
  • Self-Accountability & Ownership


I absolutely love what I do and I love working with so many different men, women and kids in our community and I’m not going to jeopardize the culture of the business.  I’ll do what’s necessary to protect the energy, the members and the staff and if that includes eliminating energy-sucking vampires, so be it.  By the way, I would highly recommend the same for anyone reading this too:  When is the right time to eliminate an energy-sucking vampire from your life?  RIGHT NOW.  When is the best time to make a difficult decision that you have been putting off?  RIGHT NOW.  When should you STOP cheating, suffer through the conditioning and assassinate your ego?  RIGHT NOW.

If this offends you and you have an issue with me expecting any of the qualities above, I would be more than happy to speak with you in person about my Power of Why over a cup of coffee.


Chuck Gonzales, CSCS, USAW, FMS, CrossFit Coach
Owner, Pacific Personal Training & CrossFit Hillsboro 
2074 NW Aloclek Dr. S. 411
Hillsboro, OR 97123
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