Let’s get straight to the point: Can you complete the workout as it is prescribed (as RXd), and should you? It’s a simple yes or no answer to both questions, but it seems to be such a conundrum for many.
Can refers to your ability to perform the movements and/or loads that have been prescribed. Remember, the workout you see on the blog and on the whiteboards is a guideline to ensure that everyone achieves the desired outcome of that workout. Given that everyone is different, everyone performs a modified version of the workout that’s relative to their goals and abilities to ensure that the desired outcome of the workout is achieved.
The question of can you perform the movements/loads as you see it on the whiteboard simply refers to whether you can or can’t complete at least a few repetitions of that task, not taking into account the entire workout. Can you do the RXd workout? If no, modify to ensure that you move with good technique AND intensity while meeting the objectives of the workout. If yes, the next question is should you?
You should complete the workout as RXd only IF you will be able to do so with the desired intensity.
The guidelines loads and reps, the time domains set, and the expectations the coaches give you in class are all there to help you decide on whether you should attempt the workout as RXd or not. There is no point attempting a workout as RXd because you can do everything if you aren’t going to get the right amount of work done within the right amount of time.
If you halve the time of a workout, you double your power output even if you had a lighter load. Double, no ifs ands or buts, double!
Given that power output (which is exactly defined as intensity) is the one variable most closely associated with favourable adaptations to exercise, you should be aiming to optimise your power output at every workout. And that means smartly modifying and scaling the workout, 99% of the time.
Note: “scaling” the amount of reps down to enable you to do the RXd loads is not smart scaling, it’s stupid.
The RXd workout is a guideline and certainly something to work towards. But it’s not a destination.
-The workout you see posted on the blog and whiteboards is what we refer to as the RXd format of the workout – the original prescribed format of the workout. Some days L1 and L2 groups have different RXd workouts, and other days the same. Although that’s the workout posted, we recognise that no two members will be completing the workout. Everyone’s physiological and psychological tolerances will be different on any given day. So we scale the workout to ensure that the athlete a) moves safely and effectively and b) achieves the intended objective of the workout, all of which is required to ensure sustainable progress.
Scaling for some, however, is a dirty word. You can’t do that, that’s a cop out!
I think that going RXd is often a cop out.
Every workout has the potential to make you a little bit fitter, IF you attain a good power output. Power output is the amount of work you do relative to the time you do it in. Lots of of work in a short time frame equals a big power output. The greater the power output, the greater and faster the results. Your power output is directly influenced by how you scale a workout.
Let’s use some examples. Look back to yesterday’s workout for L2 athletes: 50 strict dips and 50 strict chest-to-bar pull-ups for time. ‘Jane’ is able to do the workout RXd, but knows that she’ll probably need to do the C2B pull-ups in singles and doubles, whereas she will be able to do head-over-bar pull-ups in sets of five all the way through, thereby completing a scaled version of the workout quicker. Yes, it means slightly less work due to the shorter movement, but because she’ll get it done so much faster she’ll have a much higher power output – better result.
Or last Friday’s KB swing/power jerk workout where the time was fixed and athletes had to complete as much work as possible in that time. ‘Jack’ decides to go RXd and completes five rounds. Dissatisfied, he allows his body to recover fully before attempting the workout again. The second time he scales the power jerk load down by five kilograms and completes six rounds along with some change. The first time, he perceived the lighter load to be less work. Not only did he complete a whole lot more work the second time (bigger power output), but his rating of exertion was far higher!
In both of the above examples, although the athletes were using more load and a greater range in the RXd workout, they moved a whole lot slower and completed far fewer repetitions than they will have if they scaled smartly. RXd was in fact easier.
Scaling is there not only to ensure safe and effective movement, and results-based training, it’s done to ensure that you’re working as hard as you could be.
Sometimes ego gets in the way of scaling, other times it’s a bit of peer pressure. And other times it’s just a genuine misperception that you’re doing more work by going RXd.
Unless you can complete the same amount of work you would with scaling, RXd is just that – less work!
Completing some workouts RXd is a good goal and an okay gauge of progress. But that should never be the focus. Consistently good mechanics with good relative intensity is what gets you that big power output in training.
RXd is a privilege, not a given. Earn it through scaling.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, JUBIE GOUWS & COACH ZULEIKHA DESAI!
The primary goal of today’s workout is to improve technique and comfort in the snatch and overhead squat. By doing so we’re developing coordination, agility, accuracy, speed, power, strength, flexibility and balance. The every minute format keeps rest periods between sets short which keeps the heart rate elevated and muscles under load, thereby developing endurance and stamina too. So by selecting two movements for a strength/skill workout, we’re hitting all ten physical traits.
2 hang power snatch + 2 OHS
1 power snatch + 1 OHS + 1 snatch
*No re-gripping, this is a complex. I.E. Hold on to the bar for all reps.
Post results to comments.
In most workouts for all streams of programming we have prescribed (RXd) loads and volumes. The RXd workout, however, is merely a guideline for you. The workout numbers, coupled with the workout information given to you via the blog and at the whiteboard, are there to give you guidance on how best to scale the workout to your abilities. We also give you scaling instructions when warming up for the workout.
So just because that’s what the workout says doesn’t mean that’s what you should be doing. Instead of asking yourself whether you should be doing the workout as RXd or not, ask yourself “How should I scale that to get the most out of the workout?” If you’re not sure how to, ask a coach.
Performing more workouts RXd may certainly be a goal and will be a good gauge of progress. But if you’re going into workouts with the RXd mentality, you’re spiting yourself of long term progress and placing yourself at risk of injury. Rather focus on the basics to build a huge and solid foundation, and earn yourself the ability to perform a workout RXd.
RXd is a privilege, not a given.
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MANUEL BOYA!
Odd: 3 snatch (40/25)
Even: 14 alt. HIGH box step-ups
High=knee higher than hip with one foot on the box
LEVEL 2 & 3
Odd: 3 snatch (L2: 70/50; L3: 80/61)
Even: 14 alt. pistols (L3: 10 at 20/12)
Must be alternating legs.
Completing a workout scaled versus RXd is a topic we cover almost daily in class. I’ve written about it previously too. The following article offers some good perspective on the topic too.
The #CrossFit RX Fallacy
A friend of mine, Tyrell Mara, recently published a really good post — “The #Crossfit RX Fallacy and 30 Ways to Train Better” – that addressed an important issue in the CrossFit community:
…our tendency to sacrifice everything (technique and form, safety, range of motion etc) just to see those two letters beside our names on the whiteboard: ‘Rx’.
And Tyrell’s post was dead on. We’ve all seen it (or done it) and in the end this does more harm than good because we’re more likely to get injured and develop bad habits/incorrect movement patterns by training like this.
However, those two letters, which can tempt us into throwing common sense out the window, also have the ability to “hurt” us in another way: by allowing us to become content to sit at “Rx” and restrict our growth as a result.
Allow Me to Explain: “Rx” May Hold You Back…
When I first started CrossFit, I couldn’t get a 14-lb ball to hit the 10′ target to save my life (or a 12-lb ball either, for that matter), and so I scaled my workouts, telling myself that one day I was going to be strong enough/badass enough to Rx my wall balls.
Somewhere during that first summer (not sure exactly when), I finally got to a point where I was able to use a 14-lb ball and hit the 10′ target (most of the time), which was great; but at the same time I feel as though I have let myself become a little bit complacent, because I reached the Rx requirements.
Every now and then (If there are wall balls and I’m feeling super motivated), I decide that substituting a 16-lb ball sounds like a great idea (a decision I almost always regret rather quickly and don’t make again for quite some time), but most of the time I’ll admit that I’m content to stick with the “Rx” weight.
And now, those same two letters that once motivated me are enabling me to justify using the same weight, despite the fact that I know I am much stronger now than I was that first summer.
“Rx” as a Guideline
Yes, it is important to have prescribed weights and established standards that give us something to shoot for and a means of measuring our performance and improvement. However, that does not mean there is no more room to grow once we reach the Rx weight; in the end they are only guidelines.
The most important thing we can do as athletes is learn to listen to our bodies and listen to our coaches. Why? Because unless we are competing, what really matters each day is that we are doing our workouts so that they hit us the way they were intended.
If a workout calls for 30 clean and jerks at 135/95 (aka Grace) and you struggle with those weights to the point where you’re doing singles right off the start, scale the weight back so the workout is difficult but doable. On the other hand, if you can easily C&J more than the prescribed weights, then challenge yourself and up the weight a little rather than coasting and getting a top score score every time. There is a big difference between training and competing, and there is a lot to be learned and gained from training above the Rx when safe and appropriate.
Although it might be tempting to live by the Rx, just keep in mind that Rx is a guideline, nothing more — except in competition, where the prescribed weights are required. Whether we train above or below that benchmark does not affect our legitimacy as CrossFitters at all. Being a good athlete is about more than doing the right weights; rather, it is about getting to know and listening to our bodies when training so that we maximize our improvements and minimize our risk of injury.
View the original article here: The Other Side of the RX Fallacy
Skill of the Week (15 mins)
- If you haven’t got a kip, practice the first two steps of the kipping pull-up
- If you haven’t got a C2B pull-up yet, practice that in singles or doubles
- If you are proficient at C2B pull-ups, practice bar muscle-ups
4 rounds for quality:
6 floor to stand rope pulls
10 alt. front rack lunges (AHAFP)
4 rounds for quality:
3 bar MU (must drop off each rep) or 6 C2B pull-ups
10 alt. front rack lunges (AHAFP)
4 rounds for quality:
3 bar MU (must drop off each rep)
10 alt. front rack lunges (AHAFP)
Posts tagged with ‘RXd’