by Coach Fox
We all know that CrossFit is infinitely scalable. We have CF Kids who do scaled down versions of what our regular classes look like. You tell your Mom and your Grandma that yes; they too, can walk into their local CF affiliate and get some. In Foundations at CFSBK or at a Level 1 cert, your coach lectured you that CrossFit is constantly varied, functional movement, executed at (relatively) high intensity. Remember that adjective: relatively. After CrossFitting for a while you may feel like you should do every WOD Rx’d…not so.
What high intensity means for all of us is different. Sometimes the difference is scaled via time/perceived effort. For example: 2 athletes complete Fran as Rx’d. Athlete A finishes in 3:00 flat, while athlete B finishes in 6:59. One took more than 2x as long as the other. Did they both get a dose of CrossFit? For sure. Let’s assume that athlete B scaled back intensity and paced the workout more and didn’t redline because he didn’t sleep well the night before and was feeling sluggish. That sounds like smart scaling to me. Here’s another scenario. Athlete A is the same, but athlete B finishes the workout in just under 12:00. He breaks the movements up into 3 or 4 at a time from start, and his movement is a mess from the 10th thruster on, missing ROM on a few of the pull-ups along the way. He was well rested and just really wanted to do his first Rx’d Fran. Here athlete B gets a very different workout. It became more a matter of slogging through to the finish instead of sprinting to the end, and the metabolic effect of the WOD was lost. Some scaling on weight or reps may have gotten him the intended effect of the infamous 21-15-9 of thrusters and pull-ups. If his thrusters were the limiting factor using a 75lb barbell may have been appropriate. If pull-ups were the time suck then maybe going 12-9-6 on that portion would have made the difference.
Just this week you were challenged to find your max weight for a “4 minute Grace”. This was a great active lesson on scaling that I hope you got. Sure, sometimes it can be good just to go at a WOD Rx’d for the sake of completing it as such. There can be some real mental/emotional benefit to that. The majority of the time though, when it comes to met-cons, especially the short/intense kind, try and find where your intensity level needs to be for the intended effect of the workout. Then focus on getting stronger and the Rx’d weight will come. A good estimate for high rep barbell work is to use around 65% of your max. So if your max clean and jerk were 150lbs, then 95-100 lbs would probably get you a good dose of Grace. If you’re not sure where or when to scale, just ask one of the coaches as CFSBK. That’s what we’re here for. Cheers to good training.
What does Rx'd mean to you? Is it a goal of yours? Why or why not?