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CrossFit Gainesville- School Of Elite Fitness

Motivated Reasoning that Doesn't Motivate

How we feel has very strong influence over how we act. If a particular behavior (such as eating a big mac, drinking a beer, smoking a cigarette, or just sitting on our couch watching tv vs. getting up and moving around) makes us happy, we will have a difficult time abstaining from that behavior even if we are presented with much evidence for why we should. Today I wanted to give you a bit of background for why this happens.

Psychology research calls the above tendency Motivated Reasoning. In general, it means that when faced with evidence for what we want to believe (such as, having french fries every day is not really that bad for me) your mind will go through the process (often without you knowing) of asking itself: Can I Believe This? Well of course you can – French fries are da bomb! If, however, you are presented with evidence that go against your preference for french fries, your mind will instead ask itself: Must I Believe This? Hmm – no, the research that's cited is only one study...and it's not done on people like me – it's using college students/middle aged men/mom's/insert-not-you as participants...and it's not really talking about french fries, but fried food in general – there's a big difference...and I bet it's not even published yet...etc. That is, we come up with various reasons for why this evidence could be incorrect, thus creating a much more stringent threshold for what is valid evidence than if that information was in line with our preferences to begin with.

No doubt, this is at least partly the reason behind why some groups maintain such a negative view of crossfit – it gets fed each time a video or blog comes out about less than stellar form used by a crossfitter and allows people to ignore or discount the mounting evidence on benefits of crossfit and the many quality boxes that exist.

The research supporting motivated reasoning is very extensive. It exists and affects us on a daily basis, often without our awareness or consent. I sometimes catch myself succumbing to it when researching a topic I have a stance on, accounting research has shown that investors succumb to it as well, and psychologists have very cleverly shown how it can affect the extent to which you believe a diagnosis given to you by a doctor (see references below).

But all is not lost! Research also shows that being aware of our biases can help us adjust for them – even if only a little. So next time you have a strong negative reaction to an argument a friend, coach, boss, or family member presents to you – stop and ask yourself, is it because of your own beliefs on that topic, or because their argument truly has no basis? Similarly, next time you have a strong positive reaction to an argument – stop and consider whether that person is playing on your emotions and telling you what you want to hear, rather than truly presenting you with supported facts.

References (if you're interested but can't access some of these on your own, let me know, I'll be happy to send over the PDFs):
1. One of the first papers written on the topic (it's been cited by more than 1,700 subsequent papers) – Kunda, Z. 1990. The case for motivated reasoning. Psychological Bulletin, Vol. 108(3): 480-498.
2. The clever psych study I mention above. Very cool read: Ditto, P. H., and Lopez, D. F. 1992. Motivated skepticism: use of differential decision criteria for preferred and nonpreferred conclusions. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, Vol. 63 (4): 568-584.
3. If you REALLY want to read accounting research, this is a good start: Hales, J. 2007. Direction preferences, confirmation processing, and investors' forecasts of earnings. Journal of Accounting Research, Vol. 45 (3): 607-628.

Bad-ass coaches DO motivate: Aimee Green and Adrien Bottari working on 14.5 at last year's Friday Night Lights!


Workout of the Day


Ax3; Hang Power Snatch Instruction x5 reps, rest 60-90 sec
Bx3; 3x Press, Push Press x5 reps unbroken, rest 90 sec

C. 10 min AMRAP;
5x Pull Ups
10x DB Push Press
15x Sit Ups



10 min Alt EMOM;
A1. Back Squat x3; working up to about 80-85% of max
A2. Muscle Ups/Transitions + Dips; x3-5 reps

B. 3 min AMRAP, rest 1 min x4;
1. 6x Wall Ball, 4x CtB Pull Ups
2. 6x Box Jump Over [24/20], 4x Shoulder to overhead [115/75#]



Building Strong and Lean Legs with Squats!

Did you know squatting is one of the best exercises because it trains the whole lower body and activates your hamstrings, glutes, quadriceps, calves, and trunk? Studies reveal that how much weight you lift and how deep you squat will dictate how much strength and muscle you develop from your workout!

A recent study that tested muscle activity in a squat showed that the best activation of the muscles happens at loads over 80% of your 1RM and when done all the way below parallel. This is because when you squat all the way down your muscles perform more work.

Variations of Squatting

Back Squat
Front Squat
Over Head Squat
Single Leg Squats (Unilateral)

Read more on squating and see the full article here!

Daniel in a deep squat!

Workout of the Day


A1. Front Squat x5; 22x1, rest 30 sec
A2. Double Under Practice x30 seconds, rest 60 sec

B. 5 sets, rest 30 after each set active
100m run
12x Wall Ball
50x Jump Rope Passes/20x Double Unders


Alt EMOM; 12 min;
A1. Power Clean x5, touch & go [working up to about 70% of max....for turnover, not max]
A2. Burpees x10 [working on efficiency on these & pacing]

B. EMOM 12;
B1. Row 150m
B2. Toes to Bar x8-10

America's Biggest Problem

Each week for the next 5 weeks we will post a weekly Lifestyle Challenge for those participating in the Lift it Up Cup. Those who complete the challenge gain points for their team. Even if you are not participating in the Lift it Up Cup, we invite you to take on the weekly challenge.

Each Friday during Friday Night Lights when you check-in you will report whether or not you succeeded with the challenge.

This week's challenge is for you to go to sleep. We challenge you to get at least 7 hours of sleep for 5 days between now and next Friday. Sleep should be a priority for all those who strive to live a healthy life! You need sleep to rebuild and repair your body, restore and replenish hormone levels, efficiency in your metabolism and a host of other reasons.

This Tedx Talk by Dr. Kirk Parsley contends that chronic sleep deprevation is America's biggest problem.  He drives home the importance of sleep in all aspects of your life. He challenges the preconception that sleep is for the weak. It is filled with some great information and facts about what chronic sleep deprivation will do to your health.  The Barbell Shrugged interview with Dr. Parsley gives even more detailed information on sleep and your health and performance.  Check them both out!

In order to get to bed at a reasonable time, take a look at your bedtime routine. Are you losing time on social media or watching T.V.? Maybe try fixing a cup of herbal tea and a 5 or 10 minute yoga practice instead. Try it for a week and see how you feel!


Click on the photo to hear the Barbell Shrugged interview with Dr. Parsley


Workout of the Day


1000m row
50x Thruster
30x Pull Ups


A. "Fran"
21-15-9, reps for time
Thrusters 95#/65#
Pull-ups (chin/chest to bar)

B. Back Squat build up to one set of 3 reps @75-80% of 1RM

Page 9 of 439

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