There is no glamour in “Rx”
To be able to perform a workout as prescribed is an achievement, don’t get me wrong. But if that “Rx” score comes at the expense of movement efficiency or brings aches and pains that are more than regular muscle soreness, then was it really worth it?
There is glamour in moving well. There is accomplishment in getting through a workout with the intended stimulus. There is a sense of achievement that should be attained from reaching a new range of motion and finding better positions in a lift. There is a sense of well being that you create with smart movement and proper modification.
Intensity is not always the answer. Read that again. Yes, I coach CrossFit and yes, I just said that. Sometimes it is a necessity to slow movement down and focus on quality, or modify to a completely different movement that might be less “intense” but remarkably more beneficial for you. Sometimes, coach will have you do something that doesn’t look much at all like what the rest of the class is doing but it will help to fix the imbalance that you have which is causing movement “x” to be painful or uncomfortable.
On the flip side, if you can do the movements pain free but can’t maintain the intended stimulus or intensity, then it is probably wise to scale to a movement or weight where you can move enough to achieve the stimulus which the workout was desired to create.
“But Chase, how will I ever be able to Rx workouts if I don’t start somewhere?” This is a fair question. There will definitely be a time – especially with skill based movements – where you will be able to perform the Rx movements but not in high quantities. Once you have the requisite skill, scale the reps in order to do the Rx movement. This will keep you moving through the workout and not stuck at the pull-up bar or the wall just scratching your head. In time, the volume will be there. This however usually only applies to gymnastics movements. Anything with a weight, we will more often than not try to scale our athlete’s load before their reps.
We want to be in the gym consistently, right? If you blow yourself up on one workout because your ego told you to do something your body didn’t want to, that’s only going to result in more rest days and modification. Train smarter, and in turn you can train harder. Or at least more often.
I can’t speak for all the gyms out there but I can promise you that every coach here at CrossFit Algonquin will be more impressed with the person who scaled the workout, preserved the intended stimulus, and moved exceptionally well.
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