We wanted to write a few thoughts on what RX means to you and how that can affect your training.
The technical definition of RX means as prescribed. In other words, if a workout calls for 3 rounds of 20 wallballs at 20lbs, 20 chest-to-bar pulllups, and 20 box jump at 24in, and you did it exactly as written then you completed the workout RX. However, there is a alot more to this than it appears on paper. How do you choose when to go RX or not in a workout?
At Boulder CrossFit, we use the term RX to convey the intent behind each metcon. Sometimes a workout calls for a fast sprint where most if not all of the barbell work should be done unbroken. Case in point, “Fran”. 21-15-9 of thrusters at 96/65lbs and pullups. This workout is meant to be done in 7 minutes or less. Could most people in our gym do this RX? Absolutely. However, if it’s taking you twice as long as everyone else, you know you missed the intent behind the workout. This means you should have scaled down to hit the suggested time domain. Go much lighter on the barbell and/or do ring rows/banded pull-ups.
On the flip side, some workouts call for long, heavy work which is meant to be done in 20 plus minutes. Think about Hero WODS like “The Sevens” where the average time is about 30-40 minutes long. If you’re finishing this workout in sub 20 minutes that means you scaled down too much. You went too light on the barbell or too easy on the gymnastics portion. Sometimes it’s super hard to know what to scale down and what to do RX. That’s where your coach comes into play. If you are on the borderline of RX or not, talk with your coach and they will guide you in the right direction. Us coaches normally use a percentage of your lifts when deciding what weight to pick. If you find yourself stripping down weight or adding weight in the middle of a metcon, then most likely you didn’t make the right choice from the beginning.
As a general rule of thumb, when you’re first starting out at Boulder CrossFit (first 6 months), most people should NOT be close to RX’ing the workouts. This is where it can either have a positive or negative impact on your training. If you choose to RX workouts and it’s taking you twice as long as the class, your form is more likely to break down when exhausted. This can lead to injury, fatigue, and frustration. Don’t be that person. leave your ego at the door and listen to your coaches/trust the process. If you continue to work the form, show up 3-5x a week and push yourself when needed, you will eventually be RX’ing the workouts.
At the end of the day, let’s not all get so caught up in the term RX. Yes, all of our goals vary but most of us should just try to focus on having fun and getting a great workout in!