What is “Pretty Work?”

“Pretty work, guys. PRETTY WORK!”

If you’ve ever been at the gym while Tyler’s around, you’ve probably heard this praise for “pretty work.” Tyler is an artist. He’s rarely talking about how fast one is moving. I’ve never seen him make a claim about someone’s bar weight. Yet, we keep hearing this, “Pretty work!”

I’d imagine that, to him, the reason is recognition of quality. In this recognition of “pretty work,” he’s not talking about what’s being done even, but how it’s being done. I love it.

I’ve recently dug into the question, “What is quality?” and how one can foster it in other people. The text “The Zen of Motorcycle Maintenance” notoriously seeks answers in this often-circular logical question. “The Quality School: Managing Student with Coercion” seeks to change education by fostering quality in the work of school children.

A common theme amoungst thinkers in the area of “quality” is a connection between subject and object. Quality school work, for example, would be an authentic pursuit of excellence by a specific student on paper based on who they are, the assignment, and their attempted execution. It’s different for everyone, but it’s exactly as difficult and important to pursue for everyone.

Quality practice in the gym (or as Tyler would say: “Pretty work!”) isn’t a result like time or weight, but a practice when the subject and object (student and his/her movement) is connected well. It’s the old, “do your best” business.

Come in here like an artist. Like an artisan, inject your training with quality, attention to detail, and passion. It will be challenging, but always possible. It will come from intrinsic motivation and send you to gains only possible with quality. Make your work “pretty.”



Logan Gelbrich


12/16/15 WOD


1 Snatch (AHAP)



Then, complete for following for time:


Overhead Squats (95/65)

Box Jumps (24/20)