Rx: The Obsession Behind the Prescription

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by MIGUEL CARDIA|hashtag.miguel

Let’s Talk About the Other Side of “Rx”

Let's Talk About the Other Side of "Rx"
I have seen some gyms just tell people to Rx the weight and then watch them move like they belonged in The Exorcist. I have seen people do Isabel with rounded back deadlifts into a broad jump and then press the rest of the movement overhead.

Why? The only answer I can think of is because the coach didn’t care about movement and wanted their ego stroked or the athlete did. There is a time and place to learn proper movement and fail at movements and make ugly movement better. However, it sure as hell is not during Isabel or a met-con.

We have all seen the videos on social media of those max out quarter depth back squats.
NO REP. They were saving the rest of it for later.

Don’t be that person.

If you are Rx’ing workouts and not holding a standard for movement, you are telling everyone else in your class you don’t care about their effort.
If you’re an athlete or a coach, have integrity in your movement. You are not Rx’ing a workout if you cheat yourself in the range of motion. If you would no rep an air squat for not being low enough, that applies to any and every squat. Just because it’s Overhead or Back or Front squat does not change the range of motion of the squat.

If you are Rx’ing workouts and not holding a standard for movement, you are telling everyone else in your class you don’t care about their effort. Essentially, you are cheating reps, and people will resent you for it.

Members come into CrossFit to be supported by their community. They come to be encouraged. If they are hitting the standards at lighter weight, and for the sake of an “Rx” next to your name you are not, you are far from contributing to the community. Do not cause dissension in the box.

Most regular athletes or newer ones are encouraged by watching people who move well. They become inspired to move like that. Do your part in inspiring those in your box.

Ask your coach what the intention of the workout is. Sometimes the intention will be to go long and heavy. However, “heavy” is relative to everyone. An air squat for an overweight and/or de-conditioned person may be just as heavy for someone with 65 lbs overhead.

Intensity is the beast we seek, for through it we receive results.

Intensity is the beast we seek, for through it we receive results.
You also have to know what is the intention for you in the workout. Most coaches have an intention for the gym with the workout they programmed, but within that workout there is also an intention for the athlete. If the workout calls for movements that you are not good at, this is the time to dial in what you have learned and become better.

Lets go back to Fran for a moment:

I know I can thruster 95# for reps. However, my pull up game is weak. If I wanted to complete Fran in about 5 minutes, I know I would need to make sure the weight was lighter, and I would probably want to focus on my pull-ups because I know they would take me longer. Therefore I would scale the pull-ups to something that would allow me to finish within that time frame. I now have written the prescription of Fran that would best give me results. I did it “Rx,” as prescribed for ME.

Use the prescribed weights and movements as a catalyst to make you better and as something to strive for instead of the end all be all in the workout.

Final thoughts:

  • Don’t be a cheater; do the full range of motion.
  • Don’t go heavy to impress people — no one really cares. Seriously.
  • Seek intensity. Scale when appropriate and when needed.
  • Be an example in your community.
  • Coaches, lead by example.
  • It’s not always about the weight.

I’ll leave you with one of my favorite quotes.

“Be impressed by intensity, not volume.” -Coach Greg Glassman.

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