How To Read The RX Button & When To Hit The RX Button
RX is simply the prescription workout. The movements are completed to the standard, including full range of motion, weight listed in the first set of parentheses, reps completed, distance traveled, etc.
Let me specify what the RX button means to your goals… it is almost irrelevant. We, as coaches and trainers, and you as athletes, use the prescribed workout to determine the STIMULUS of the workout. Most days, RX might be used to replicate the performance of a higher end “model” athlete. This athlete has a VERY WELL ROUNDED fitness maturity and can complete the workout exactly as written, exactly the way we intend for the workout to go down.
What the RX button is not, is an opportunity to do that skill, distance, or weight JUST BECAUSE YOU CAN. Example, if we state that you should be able to do the number of reps, let’s say 40 wall balls @ 20/14# (to full range of motion) in 2-3 sets or no more than 2 minutes for the entire workout then that is what we want to see. If you can only complete sets of 5-8 reps then scaling the number of reps down or the weight of the medicine ball is a great opportunity to work on that skill. This scaled method would not allow you to hit the RX button… and that is okay!
Another example is maybe having Toes to Bar and Heavy cleans (185/125) in the workout. Maybe you performed the heavy cleans at the RX weight but you chose to do Toes to Something (not hitting the bar every single rep)… then you did not perform the ENTIRE workout as RX and this is a great way to scale to your abilities!
Last example is a classic…. workout calls for 20 calorie row within 1 minute. Guns blazing for the first round, you get 20 cals but only do that for 2 out of the 10 rounds. This desire to “go for RX” will always ruin the athletes stimulus of the workout. The workout wants you to be a consistent, progressively challenging pace that you can SUSTAIN. Often we bite off more than we can chew and our heart rate gets jacked up through the roof and even our other movements in the workouts start to deteriorate well before they ever should.
Each workout is an AMAZING OPPORTUNITY to assess your current abilities, play to your strengths, but also play to your weaknesses… you must do this if you want to match the stimulus of the workout and develop the skills, strength, stability, and aerobic potential in a healthy and consistent way. I KNOW FROM EXPERIENCE!!! I used to always try doing the heavy weights even though my lungs and heart simply couldn’t handle that type of intensity. Yeah, I completed 20 reps at 225#, but my normal 2:15 pace of my 400m run turned into 3:00 and then my form on the second round was compromised and my heart rate reached the 90% mark within the first 3 minutes… in a 20 minute workout. Not good. That’s suffering. And although I will gain mental toughness, resiliency, and possibly SOME strength (through compromised form… not pure strength), I will NOT benefit nearly as much as the athlete who scales the weight down to 155# and breaks up the 20 reps into 2 solid sets, paces their run, and maintains great form through both movements
If you don’t know exactly what to do, don’t just aim to do your best with the RX movements, dial it back, ask a coach what their considerations are, or LISTEN to how we explain the workout! We always give time frames, or remind you the reps should be done in X amount of sets, and definitely expect you to want to keep form top of mind.
Want to get to RX faster? Ask a coach for some Personal Training or Skill Sessions. We’ll work with you 1-on-1 and dial into those components and create a strategy for attacking your goals.