The RX

DSC_8093“Mechanics Before Intensity”

For those that may not know, RX in the CrossFit world means “as prescribed.” But what does this really mean? During my training that was required for judging the open, I received hours of video training on various movements and how to do each of them as RX’d.  I observed perfectly executed movements and a few others performed “as RX’d” but with less than optimal mechanics.  But this doesn’t mean that we should all strive to perform subpar movements just to get the RX next to our same.

CrossFit is defined as”constantly varied, functional movements performed at high intensity.” These highly functional movements come with the need for very technical skill acquisition.  When we do these workouts to exhaustion, good mechanics become hard to learn and difficult to maintain throughout the WOD.  Similarly, high skill movements done at high intensity could cause you to make critical errors in technique.  Fatigue will set in, muscles will burn, you will make mistakes and too many mistakes during WODs creates bad habits. The body actually thinks these poor movement patterns are correct and don’t know that it has happened or have any control over it.

We see all kinds of undesirable movement patterns that exist in Crossfit from our quest for the RX at all costs;

  • Early arm pull in the olympic weightlifting movements

  • Coming up on toes in the squat variations

  • Losing the lumbar and thoracic “arch” during overhead and squat variations

  • Excessive forward trunk lean during kettlebell swings

These incorrect patterns could emerge during every workout and increase your risk of injury. Most of CrossFit’s bad reputation for injuries stems from this very problem. Furthermore, your movements become less efficient making the exercise seem harder than necessary.

Imagine the possibilities if you took the time to learn proper mechanics and didn’t worry so much about the “RX.” You would finish workouts with more ease and decrease your risk of injury. With injury comes time off from training and I can assure you that this will not help you progress. Take a look at our elite level CrossFitters, they move with grace and put out some very incredible performances. and you probably haven’t seen someone with terrible form do too well.

Slow down, practice more, use lighter weights and worry less about an “RX” and more about proper mechanics. Listening to this advice will assure continued injury free progress.

If you have any questions on what you should be working on, please address this with your coaches so we can assist.


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One Comment

on “The RX
One Comment on “The RX
  1. I could not agree more with this write-up. I personally have no problem decreasing or, at least, not increasing, my weight if I do not feel I am performing the movement properly. I did not come to this realization all on my own, rather it came from the constant “nit-picking” of the coaches. I am extremely grateful for this “nit-picking” as I believe it has led me to be able to perform at a higher level.
    Please ask the coaches if you have questions regarding your form or want to have them film your movements so you can watch it back – this is a highly valuable tool that is at our disposable and has benefited me numerous times.
    Healthy competition is great, but not performing a movement properly, just to get another rep or round or pound, only hurts yourself.

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