What is the fastest way to become an “Rx-athlete?”
Being an “Rx” athlete is a goal for many in the CrossFit community. For those who don’t know, when a workout is written, there is an intended stimulus for that workout. When it comes to programming, the motto CrossFit teaches is, “program for the best, scale for the rest”. So the idea is program your workouts for the highest skilled athletes in your gym, and modify the workout for those who can’t do the workout as prescribed, or, “As Rx’d”. Naturally then, the goal is to “Rx” the workout, or do the workout as written.
However, athletes want to Rx workouts so much, that they will attempt to do it to their own detriment! What ends up happening is they miss the intended stimulus of the workout, and therefore stagnate their own progress by not focusing on their biggest weaknesses first.
The Rx weights for a workout are not meant to be a statement of value if you can or can’t do them. They are a marker of what the workout should feel like for the individual. Should the weight feel heavy? Should it be light so they can move fast? Maybe the reps indicate each round should be completed within a certain timeframe. If your only focus is to be as close to the workout as written, and not as close to the intended stimulus as possible, you will not make progress as quickly as someone who is scaling the workout appropriately.
The most important variable in becoming an Rx athlete is consistency. Working out 4-6x a week, week after week after week is in fact the fastest way to be able to actually Rx most workouts. If you slowly, and progressively inch closer to Rx weights, movements, and reps, while maintaining the intended stimulus of the workout, over time you will get yourself closer and closer to having the requisite strength and skills needed to be an, “Rx athlete”. Conversely, if you push as hard as you can to Rx each workout, not only do you miss the intended stimulus, limiting your progress, you also make it more likely to miss future workouts due to lack of recovery, injury, or general fatigue/soreness from overexerting yourself.
So if you want to become an Rx athlete, what should you do? First is ask the coach what the intended stimulus of the workout is if they don’t have it written in the workout notes or don’t discuss it at the whiteboard. Second is listen to the intended stimulus and actually err on the lighter side if you’re in doubt. Third, is be consistent in your attendance as this will in fact make the biggest impact. Think of it like interest or a snowball effect. The longer your streak of consistent attendance the more of an impact it will have. While day to day it may seem like just pennies or that the snowball is hardly growing, pretty soon you’ll notice a difference and the results will be obvious to you and those around you!
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