As Rx’d or Not As Rx’d? That is the Question.

In CrossFit, we use the term “as Rx’d” to denote that we did a particular Workout of the Day (WOD) “as Prescribed.”  This means that we completed the workout as written, with no scaling or modifications, with full range of motion (ROM).

The issue of what counts as “Rx’d” or not has been coming up more and more over the last few months.  Especially with the introduction of beyondthewhiteboard.com, many athletes are focusing more on their times than they used to.  This is fine, up to a point.  Let me offer some clarification.

In my opinion, marking a workout performance “as Rx’d” is something special.  It means something.  It means that you are a pretty solid athlete.  It means you did all of the prescribed reps, with no substitutions or scaling.  If you substitute an exercise, or scale the workout somehow, it is NOT “as Rx’d”.  It also means that you demonstrated solid form throughout the effort.  Some of your very last reps might not have been absolutely perfect and beautiful, but 97% of them should be.  It means that your ROM was complete on EVERY rep.  In order to do a WOD as Rx’d, you must redo reps that were not complete.  I know its hard to go all the way down to floor on each push-up, especially towards the end of a workout.  But if you don’t, you didn’t do it RX’d, Period.

Your development as an athlete is much more important than your time on a given workout.  If you shortchange your WODs to get a better time, you are just hindering your own progress.  Improvements in times that come from a reduction in form or ROM do not mean anything.  They just mean you’re not very honest or disciplined with yourself.

Remember, it will take at least 6 months of consistent CrossFitting before you can do the majority of workouts “as Rx’d”, sometimes much longer.  There may be a few you can do as Rx’d early on, depending on your strengths and weaknesses.  Don’t rush into trying to do all workouts as Rx’d.  If your push-ups are weak, use bands until they get strong enough.  That’s the fastest way to development.  Trying to cheat on your push-ups is not.  And this applies to dip depth, pull-up height, squat depth, Wall Ball height, etc.  Hold yourself to a higher standard and you will see the best gains.  Work on your weaknesses.

Jeremy consistently has the best times and the best form/ROM on just about every workout.  There’s a reason for that.

  1. moe

    I agree. I think this is really important because it can skew your perception of progress. For example, I recently changed my post for “Pull ups, dips and sit ups” to non prescribed because of my pathetic ring dip performance towards the end of the workout. I might not beat my time next time, but I will(hope to) do the workout prescribed. If I had left this post as prescribed it would look like I’m doing worse when I’m actually showing significant improvement.

  2. Ethan Doiron

    thats what i like to hear

  3. julianne kinnick

    and if you cheat, you’re only cheating yourself. and you won’t be able to be beast like jub!

  4. danny

    i do full ROM!!! 🙂
    like my dips…thumbs all the way to the armpits baby.
    Full ROM = Full Own.

  5. Jeremy Kinnick

    ha ha ha Julianne thanks for the love. Great post Jonathan! We all need a reminder here and there to keep us pushing the limits of our capacity. Full Range Of Motion is a choice you make. Creating good habits from the very beginning is a crucial factor. Think about the warm up as a time to refine all your movements and if you arent sure if you are doing something right, just ask! If you think you are but you arent we can get a quick video so you can see it, thats an easy and effective way to help with body awareness. When we started (Jonathan, Jake, and myself), it took us well over 6 months to complete most of the WODs Rx’d. Again great Post Jonathan.

  6. Rory

    Great article, and important points.

    See also: http://www.gymjones.com/knowledge.php?id=20

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