You can usually catch me around the results board after a WOD is finished asking athletes for their scores. Every now and then the following exchange takes place:
Coach: What is your score?
Athlete: 7:25 but… I scaled.
Coach: So? You did WORK and that’s all that matters.
Have you ever decided not to post your score after a workout because you had to scale or modify the movements? Did you feel that due to the scaling you didn’t do the “real” workout? Some athletes feel like they aren’t getting a good workout when scaled. This is far from the truth. With the exception of a few advanced athletes, everyone in this gym scaled at one point, it’s how we got better.
If you’d like to start going RX, one thing you can do is stop “saving” it for the WOD. I’ve heard this often over the years during the strength part of the class. I’ll hear an athlete say they don’t want to lift heavy on the Strength/Skill side so they will be fresh for the WOD. You’ll never get the strength you want if you don’t lift heavy. Every time you fail to lift heavy, you leave a lot of progress on the table.
Sometimes your inability to perform a workout as RX has nothing to do with the weight prescribed but the movements. You’ll always scale push-ups if you never practice. If going RX is something you really want then tackling these weaknesses should be a priority. A great time to work on your weaknesses is during open gym hours. Last but not least, going RX when you’re not ready to go RX is only hurting you.
There is no point in going RX if you are going to be spending just as much time resting as you are working. A lot of times people want to ‘go heavy’ in workouts in order to build up their strength. This may be done with good intent, but it’s important to remember that there is a specific strength portion of the class before you head into the metcon. You won’t be able to perform a workout at high intensity with a prescribed weight if you don’t have the necessary strength to move it consistently. If an athlete does an entire workout as RX’d with terrible form, then they haven’t really gotten the ‘real’ workout at all.
The way to become a better athlete is to not hit your head against a brick wall with an “rx’d at all cost attitude”. Moving heavy weight inefficiently and inconsistently for repeated reps just to say you did as RX’d is asking for trouble. The fact of the matter is that regardless of what the RX is, you should pick weights and scale in such a way that it challenges YOU and preserves the intended stimulus. Everyone is different, and are all at different points in their fitness journey.