BY: Christy Jeffery

“Hey man what’s Rx?” How many times have you heard someone say this only to rush over to the board to check the weight? And for what? Only so they can check that little blue button on Wodify and “beat” everyone else when they have the fastest time or most reps. Now, don’t get me wrong, Rx’ing a WOD is a BIG deal. Most people work years to hit their first Rx workout, and that’s perfectly normal, so you need to celebrate when you hit that milestone. But you also need to remind yourself that every day is a new day, and CrossFit® is constantly varied, so maybe one day you Rx, and then next you scale, no shame in that!

What is Rx?

Rx = Prescription. Just like what you’d get at a drug store, it’s your fitness prescription for your life. So basically what we’re saying is CrossFit Hippo is just like a Walgreens or CVS. No, but seriously, just like any drug your doctor would prescribe, there are options like name brand vs. generic, dose amounts, and the same thing is true for the WOD.

Another aspect that is often overlooked when it comes to the almighty Rx is that it doesn’t just mean you did the weight, variation, reps, etc. that was listed on the board. It means that you did the weight, variation, reps, etc. while hitting the movement standards on every single rep. For example, have you ever done Wallballs with the 20/14# ball and marked Rx, but your ball didn’t hit above the appropriate target, or your squat depth was shallow? Or have you ever done TTB, but your toes didn’t actually touch the bar on the last rep of every set? Or maybe you tripped with one foot on your Dubs and counted the rep. Okay, you get the point right? These things take what you thought was an Rx workout and made it scaled.

Why Scale?

CrossFit® is defined as high intensity functional movement across board times and modal domains. Doing workouts Rx vs. Scaled does not determine the intensity level (unless you have 2 individuals who are exactly the same in every aspect of life performing 2 different workouts, but that’s beyond this discussion). Struggling through a workout Rx does not make it more intense than the person next to you who is going twice as fast with half the weight. Imagine you’re doing a workout, not to be named, but using 85# on Thrusters instead of 95#, how much faster could you go? Especially, when that said workout, is paired with Pullups, you can probably in turn go faster on those too, ergo earn a faster overall time, and that right there is one of the best forms of improved intensity.

When should I scale?

This question is tricky for a lot of folks. Here are few questions that are “must knows” and some tips to help you decide:

  • “Can I physically do this?”
    • It’s a no brainer that if you can’t physically perform the exercise as written, you should scale, so don’t be “that guy/girl” who still tries.
  • “Will I look horrible and lose my form?”
    • If you notice your coach is constantly correcting your form mid workout, it’s too much. The only time you should ever feel like losing form is slightly acceptable is during competition.
  • “Can I hit the movement standard every rep?”
    • If you’re missing standards, lose the ego, take it down a step and master that movement. Majority of the best athletes in the world don’t have fancy training programs, they are just REALLY REALLY good at the basics.
  • “Will I be able to make it under the time cap?”
    • If you’re constantly getting time capped, this isn’t good. Time caps are put in place because the workout has an intensity goal. Doing Fran sub 5 minutes is a completely different workout than doing Fran in 12 minutes.
  • “Will I need to do singles (rep)?”
    • There are some workouts out there where single reps are okay, but during the majority of metcons one rep at a time is frowned upon. If you’re doing one rep at a time because of a strength deficit, work on getting stronger. If it’s skill/technique related, practice; this goes for a number of the gymnastic movements. If you can only do a couple reps of the movement unbroken when you’re fresh, hold off using that variation when working on conditioning.
  • “Will this workout make me sore?”
    • Contrary to what you may believe, more soreness does not equal a better workout. Soreness, especially for days, is a BAD thing. It means you pushed your body too far and it didn’t recover. And recovery is where we see results. So if you’re constantly sore, start scaling more. Soreness could also be from poor nutritional choices or timing. The Hippo Nutrition Challenge 2018 starts first thing in January. Click here to read more and register today!

What Now?

CrossFit® is all about being your best. Hear that? YOUR best. Yeah, it’s great to compete, but if you’re trying to compete with others every single day, you’re missing out on the most important competition of all, the one with yourself. The one where you make you the priority; the one you make the best decision for you, for your fitness, and your success.

So next time your coach recommends you scale a workout, do us a favor, and listen to them. We can promise you, we aren’t trying to steal your glory, or hold you back, our goal at CrossFit Hippo is for you to succeed!

© CrossFit Hippo - Changing Lives Through Functional Fitness