Tag : wod

Let’s Talk About Rx Baby

Ahhhhhhh…the good old RX. What a great feeling it is to have those two letters beside your name on the whiteboard. It’s what we all strive for in our workouts, right? It helps us see that we are progressing, improving, getting stronger, faster, more mobile and are mastering skills we never thought we could.
But it seems, as of late, that many CrossFit athletes are beginning to forget what the term “RX” truly means, and why it’s so important. They are also forgetting the importance of scaling movements and load during strength components and during workouts. It’s almost to the point where form and skill are thrown out the window, as long as RX is written next to their name, or they hit a certain percentage.

This is completely off track of why there even is such a thing as “RX”. The point of it is to  “strive for perfection of movement”, or in other words, perform the movement “as prescribed”.

In order for a movement to even be RX, the athlete must be able to perform the movement hitting all the right points of performance.

For example: The air squat should include the following:

  • Feet shoulder-width apart (for most)
  • Maintain lumbar curve (no rounding) 
  • Weight in heels
  • Chest is up (no folding forward)
  • Hips reach below top of knee (below parallel)
  • Stand to full hip and knee extension

All of these things should be what athletes are striving for in order to perform an RX movement as simple as an air squat. The exact same thing could be applied to a Front Squat. The only difference is that your air squat is now loaded with a barbell.

Just because you have the RX weight on your barbell, does NOT mean you performed the movement RX if you did not hit the main points of performance!

An example of this situation is as follows: RX front squats in a WOD are at 95lbs and the athlete performs the movement with the following:

  • Feet shoulder-width apart (for most)
  • Maintain lumbar curve (no rounding) 
  • Weight in heels
  • Barbell is in front rack position
  • Chest is up (no folding forward)
  • Stand to full hip and knee extension

However, the athlete is only able to squat below parallel 50% of the time under this heavy load, so they are not able to check off the following: hips reach below top of knee (below parallel).

This athlete did not RX the workout.

The reason I am talking about this is simple.

Performing outside of your own abilities and creating bad habits and poor movement patterns wreaks havoc on your body and will most likely lead to injury. All athletes need to realistically assess their current abilities, and begin to establish reasonable goals for themselves in order to get to where they want to be. This can be obtained through setting up a one-on-one with your coach to talk about what your goals are and how to get there, OR you can try to create ‘SMART’ goals on your own (a SMART goal is Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic, and Time-based).

Just keep these three things in mind:

  1. Safety
  2. Ability
  3. Quality

In order to progress and improve overall health and sustain longevity in CrossFit, athletes need to be OK with leaving their ego once they walk through those doors. Scaling a workout should NOT be something to be ashamed of. On the contrary! It should be something to embrace! Take heart that by doing so, you will get better, stronger, faster, more mobile and progress QUICKER than those who are currently performing RX with ugly movement patterns and have not yet established a solid foundation for those movements. Your character as a person will also be a heck of a lot better than those who do 80% of the work, but say that they did 100%.

On the flip side, this does not mean that athletes shouldn’t push themselves to be in uncomfortable situations. This means that sometimes it’s okay to attempt to RX a workout you don’t normally try to RX, as long as your previous movement patterns show that you can do so safely with quality movement patterns. Just be honest with yourself and understand your current abilities when you do so.

That’s how you learn and progress, but just admit to failing when it happens.

With much love,
Coach Emma

Original blog post: https://radiantframe.wordpress.com/2016/03/14/lets-talk-about-rx-baby/ 


Friday’s WOD – 03.04.16


2 Rounds (or 10 Minutes) – No Measure
Bar-hang from pull-up bar
Rest 1 minute
Side-plank hold each side
Rest 1 minute


2 Rounds
AMRAP 4 – Rest 1 minute
200/150m row
3 Clusters 115/75

Rest 5 minutes before next WOD


2 Rounds
AMRAP 4 – Rest 1 Minute
10 Kettlebell Swings 53/35
5 Power Cleans & Jerks 115/75

1 2 3 4 5 21

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