So when I posted 10 Common Mistakes CrossFitters Make I got a lot of responses asking how people could fix them. Last time I wrote about Rest and De-Loading ,so in continuing on with that, I thought I would go over the issue of whether or not to Rx a workout, and how to know when you are ready.
So what does Rx mean exactly. Well, it means that you did the workout exactly as prescribed on the whiteboard, or WODify like we use at my gym. SO prescribed=Rx, like a Doctor gives you. I don’t know what an R and an x has to do with a prescription, but I’m not a Doctor either. This means that you used no bands for your pull-ups, you did ALL the double unders, the weights where exactly what the board indicated, you did it exactly how the coach programmed it. Lets just clear that up, you have no idea how many texts I get from people saying so and so didn’t Rx cause they used a band on their pull-ups.
Now when we program, we program for the strongest athletes and the rest of the athletes should scale down accordingly. Its easier to scale down than it is to scale up, plus this gives everyone a baseline. So when should you start to Rx the workouts? Well, there is a couple of things to consider.
First thing to consider is how good your form is. If you are doing the Rx weight, but doing shitty reps then you shouldn’t be doing Rx. If you are doing a squat of some sort and not breaking 90 degrees. That’s a no rep. That means you need to lighten the load. If you are deadlifting and your back is curved like a cats, and it looks like your spine is going to rip out of your back, maybe you should go a little easier. Don’t compromise your form and hurt yourself. Trust me, nothing is worse than being injured. Basically the bottom line is this, if you can’t do all of the reps, with full range of motion, keep the weight low enough until you can. It’s not worth hurting yourself just to say you Rx’d.
The next thing to think about is, if you Rx, am I compromising cardiovascular conditioning by having the weight be so heavy that you can’t move fast enough. If you are constantly slowing down, you won’t get your heart rate up high enough to get a good workout. The point of CrossFit is to work on all aspects of fitness, strength, and conditioning. If you aren’t breathing hard, and you haven’t broken a sweat, congrats you just accomplished a workout you could have competed at your local Globo gym. Minus the mirrors, and the water fountains.
So when should you Rx? That’s a tough question to answer yourself really. But someone who would know, and should know, would be your coach. We see people who are struggling with weight using bad form, and we tell them to back off a little, and that’s totally OK. We respect that you are trying! But the thing that really frustrates us is those that have the movement down and cruise through the workout without Rx’ing! I mean if you can do a perfectly sound power clean, but you still have the training bar out, you need to step it up. The point of all of this is to get stronger in all aspects of fitness. And don’t even get me started on that you don’t want to get bulky bullshit.
So here’s the bottom line. If you can’t do the workout with pretty damn good form at a speed that gets your heart rate going, then don’t Rx. If you have the form down, and you are cruising without breaking a sweat, then try and Rx. Remember, Intensity is key. And on that note, here’s a funny picture of my dog.