To Rx or not to Rx? That is the question.
If you’ll remember back to an earlier blog post, you’ll be reminded that our workouts are not just randomly thrown together. There is a lot of thought that goes into making sure you are well-rounded as an athlete, that you’re training all of the different energy pathways without tipping the scales too far in one direction over another.
What does this have to do with whether or not you should Rx? Consider Fran: 21-15-9 of Thrusters (95/65) and pull-ups. Let’s say we have 2 dudes doing this workout. The first guy has a 1RM thruster of 200#, while the second guy has done 110# before once, but it wasn’t very pretty. These two gentlemen, while both can technically handle the 95# Rx weight of Fran, are going to have a TOTALLY different workout from each other if they use the same weight:
- Mr. #200 will whip through those thrusters no problem – it’ll be a sprint.
- Guy #2 will struggle with those thrusters. He’ll take a lot of breaks. He’ll need to rest a bunch in order to get his strength up to handle the weight without failing reps. His workout will be slow, deliberately paced.
Both men will get an excellent workout, but they’ll be working different energy pathways.
So, which one is better?
The answer is neither is technically better than the other – the only difference is which one you’re MEANT to be working on that day. Let’s stick with the Fran example…Fran is always meant to be fast. The fastest people in the world will do this workout in under 2 minutes, everything unbroken. A really good time for most mortals would be sub-5 minutes. Fran is a test of your mental game in being able to keep pushing even when your lungs are burning. It’s a sprint. If the weight is too heavy for you to be able to sprint it, you should scale down so that you’re using a weight that will put you in that sprint ballpark.
Fran is the ultimate CrossFit workout, probably the most famous of them all. It’s real easy to get seduced into wanting that little star next to your name. But think about the goal. Just because you CAN Rx doesn’t mean you should. Ask yourself what we’re trying to accomplish with this workout (and if you’re not sure, ask the coaches! 🙂 ) This applies to every workout you do.
The opposite is also true, by the way. You may have noticed a lot of really heavy Rx workouts come up on the board in recent weeks. Even if you’re not planning on going for that Rx weight, the goal of these is to push yourself a little out of your comfort zone and try a weight a little heavier than you might normally choose (assuming, of course, that your form holds up). On a workout like this, you’re not meant to fly through it super fast. You should choose a weight that will slow you down a bit, require you to break up your reps into several sets. Many folks get way too comfortable with the weights they’ve been using forever. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself every once in awhile!