It’s such an accomplishment in the CrossFit world to “Rx a workout”, or in other words, do the workout “as it is written” on the board. For instance, some people will struggle through the heavy weight of “Grace” just to say they did all 30 Clean and Jerks “Rx’d”. Then you look at their times and see that it took them 5 to 10 minutes to do it.
For a workout like “Grace”, the great majority of seasoned CrossFitters get it done in 3 to 4 minutes “as written”. Elite athletes do it in 1 to 2 minutes. What does this say about those who did it in 10 minutes? Well, they Rx’d it! But that’s about all. Did they get the most out of the workout? No. A workout like “Grace”, just like most CrossFit workouts, is supposed to be done in relatively fast repetition with little or no rest time in between reps. This is the core principal of CrossFit- a workout must be done with intensity in order to get the desired fitness results more effectively, or in other words- you got to do a lot of work over a very short amount of time. Done right, fitness results happen.
Sure, doing a workout “Rx’d” gets you recognition. And you get to see how you compare to other CrossFitters in your box and around the world. But if you’re using weight that is too heavy, causing you to compromise your form and technique, or doing complicated movements that your body is not ready to handle, you could be placing yourself in jeopardy, causing undue muscle strain and injury.
However, if you tailor the weight or movements in the workout to enable you to keep going, you preserve good form and maintain intensity throughout the workout. You also reduce the possibility of strain and injury.
Here are some good rules of thumb:
– if a weight causes you to lose form or technique a bit, rest a litte and try the lift again, if you still cannot maintain good form, scale down the weight to the point where you can do the lift correctly.
-if you cannot do 5 to 10 strict Pull-ups, you should not be doing kipping Pull-ups. Why? You are cheating yourself from developing your strength to do Pull-ups by bypassing it and going straight to kipping. Stick with Ring rows a little longer, they are a powerful exercise that will get you your Pull-ups faster.
– the above rule goes for Muscle-ups and Handstand Push-ups as well. Get 10 Strict Pull-ups and 10 Strict Ring dips first before trying your first Muscle-up. Get some good, strict Handstand Push-ups first before trying kipping Handstand Push-ups.
The path to fitness is a lifelong journey. There are no shortcuts. Get there slowly and safely and you will relish in your achievements. Try the shortcuts and fast and easy methods and you could be setting yourself up for injury and setbacks, causing the journey to be much longer.