Written by Coach Kelly Moates
Myth: Scaling means I am weak.
Truth: Scaling enables me to match the workout movements and intensity to my level of fitness.
Myth: Reaching Rx/prescribed should always be my goal.
Truth: My best effort, while constantly improving should always be my goal.
I have mixed feelings about workouts being posted with the RX version shown. I completely understand the logic behind it and I do think it is the most effective way to post a WOD (workout of the day) but my issue is with how RX is portrayed to new CrossFitters and in some cases, long time CrossFitters. Not being able to do RX means nothing when it comes to your fitness. RX is for elite athletes. It is always written for the ones we see at the Games and being that athlete is not the goal for many of us. The majority of us simply want to be the healthiest versions of ourselves that we can be. I know that is my goal.
I used to be the guy that wanted all of my workouts to be done as prescribed (RX) and if I wasn’t capable of doing it, I was unhappy. If that is you I would encourage you to reconsider. Each workout is written for a purpose. It is meant to be taxing either cardiovascularly or muscularly, high heart rate or high skill, strength or speed. In some cases, it can tax all of the above. Every time, the RX weight and movement is meant to reach that stimulus for elite athletes. For us, you and me, we should be scaling. We should adjust the workout so that we are getting a similar stimulus. Making a seven-minute workout last twenty minutes because you want RX is completely missing the point. You have just changed the stimulus, therefore changing the workout completely. As a coach, I always tell people that everyone should be finishing a workout at roughly the same time. Your scale should match the elite when it comes to the time domain. Mind you, elite does not mean better, it simply means that person has a goal of reaching high-level fitness. Often times, elite athletes have greater motivations than just overall health, typically some competitive goal.
So, what’s the goal, if getting to RX, or prescribed, is not the end game? In my opinion, your goal should be to make each workout as challenging yet accessible as possible. Work hard at adding movement capabilities as opposed to weight. Some people will never do a muscle up and some will never squat three hundred pounds but that does not mean that you are getting any less of a workout doing ring rows and squats to a ball.
The beauty of Crossfit is its scalability.
My goal is to move well. If we are performing a movement well and our strength level has surpassed that scale, then we move up a rung. Try the next scale or prescribed movement/weight. Until we reach the point where movement patterns, under load (weight), are sound there is no sense in moving ahead. Trust the process and trust your coach. Whether we advise more or less scaling, listen. Your best interest is in mind with the decisions that we make. One day, yes, you may get to point where you are capable of doing movements and weights as prescribed, but until then enjoy the process.
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