We have all done it.
Finally, “I Rx’d a workout!”
It’s an amazing feeling when you finally finish a workout and you are able to hit that Rx button. While we all should be proud of ourselves and celebrate when it happens, let’s just make sure we did everything with correct form and we are confident it was the right decision.
Making sure it was the right decision
You just finished your first ever Rx or “as prescribed” workout but you are dead tired and everyone else was done 10 minutes ago. You think, “No big deal, I still Rx’d that workout.” While this may be true, it might have not been the best/right decision for you or your progress.
The reasoning behind certain workouts is to create stimulus at a macro and micro level. For example, your long chipper workouts should make you dive into your aerobic pathways, while a shorter 4 minute AMRAP will make you embrace your adenosine triphosphate, (ATP/CP), and glycolytic pathway (which if you want more information on these, please check out Tom Kelso’s article on Breaking Muscle.com). So again you ask yourself, “What does this have to do with me Rx’ing my first workout?” Well, you may be missing the whole point of the workout. Instead of scaling the workout and getting into the correct stimulus, you actually dove into the other pathway. Fran isn’t programmed to be a 15-20 minute workout. If it were, no one would ever say they got the, “Fran cough”. Fran is designed to be fast, efficient, and for you to tap into those ATP/CP pathways. We are not saying that with you Rx’ing the workout and taking twice as long as everyone else you didn’t get anything out of it, but maybe you would have been better off scaling a movement or two to get that correct stimulus. A properly scaled workout safely maximizes relative intensity (load, speed, range of motion) to continue developing increased work capacity despite limitations. A long-term goal of scaling is creating the ability to perform workouts Rx’d.
Doing everything the correct way
Okay here it comes. Form, form, form, oh and form! I know you hear us coaches talk all the time about it. And yes, we do progressions every time we clean or snatch, but it’s for good reason. We want to create a muscle memory connection; so that once you become tired, you can still maintain correct form. Keeping good form and correct movement patterns are the keys to safely moving fast through a workout and again creating that certain stimulus. For example, a workout that is programmed for deadlifts and double-unders at 21-15-9, everyone walks away from that workout saying how their hamstrings and legs are tired, yet you walk away saying, “Oh, well my legs are feeling it but my back is really tired and kind of hurts but hey I Rx’d it!”. Wrong. You should have scaled the deadlifts in the workout to the point that you still maintained proper form under fatigue but not light enough that you were done 5 minutes before everyone else. Everyone should know the proper movement standards or form for the workout, and if you are unsure of a good weight to use, ask your coach and together you can decide on the best, most appropriate weight or movement for your workout. Most of the time the coach will cover the movements, but on an off chance, if the coach did not cover a movement, ask about it. Everyone can benefit from the coach explaining the movement standards. Lastly, do not be a rep shaver. Make sure you are doing the correct amount of reps that are programmed. I know every now and then we have to think, “Crap! Was I on 13 or 14?” When in doubt, always go with the lower number and just keep moving.
So let’s stop thinking that scaling is a bad thing. If you ask any of your coaches, we are sure they have had to scale certain movements before reaching that correct form and proper movement standard. If you have questions or you are unsure of a modification/scale, remember to just ask the coach before the workout and they will be able to assist you. Remember why you are here in the first place, fitness. And when you do Rx the workout, while maintaining great form and reaching into the proper energy system, it will be a great accomplishment and without a doubt, something to celebrate!