Scale UP

Here’s a concept I’d like you to seriously consider in CrossFit, and just fitness in general.

Often when we first learn something, we then see it as just that. When many of us first learned CrossFit (including me) we were immediately told about “Rx,” and it became everyone’s obsession. “Rx” was the goal, the destination, the end all, be all.

But, the thing is… Fitness is a journey. It’s a lifestyle.

A lil’ twist on a stoic quote, “There is no way to fitness, Fitness IS the way.”

“Rx” is not a destination, per se. You are NOT done if and when you achieve the ability to perform workouts as prescribed.

What I see all too often are newbie athletes who try to rush their progress to get to “Rx.” But, on the other end of the spectrum, I also see athletes who stop progressing, who stop pushing themselves, who start coasting in the workouts because now they can do all the WODs “Rx,” so they think they’ve reached the end.

Today’s workout is a great example:

400m Run
40 Bar-facing Burpees
200m Run
20 Deadlifts @ 225/155
400m Run

Now, most people used the suggest percentage of 50-55% of your 1RM Deadlift, which was great. A few people went “Rx” and probably should have gone a bit lighter in their deadlifts, but nonetheless, they got the workout done in a reasonable time.

There were also a few, though, who should have gone heavier than “Rx.” Wait, WHAT?! Heavier, you say?! You mean… Scale UP?!!!

I had one client this morning who warms up with 155. This is NOT meant to make any of us feel bad in any way, so please don’t turn this into that. This is a woman who puts extra hours in consistently to build her strength, so she has earned this ability. Anyway, I knew she’d fly through the 20 deadlifts unbroken without breaking a sweat. It would have been “too easy” for her. I knew it, and she knew it. So… She scaled up today, and she had a great workout, finishing well within the time frame we were looking for. :-)

So, while having “Rx” can be fun and give some of us a focal point, always remember that it is completely arbitrary and really only useful for competitive athletes who want to participant in the Open, in local events, or beyond.

Keep yourself in check.

Just as much as you are chasing those goals, especially those of you focused on “Rx,” remember that you must continue to move forward by scaling up when appropriate - Also known as “Rx+” for those of you who like to label things. :-)

Maybe eventually you’ll even reach “Rx++” ;-)

Bottom line, keep going. Keep leveling up as the time arises throughout your fitness journey!

Kara PurvesComment