The RX element of workouts has become more and more important to people as of late and as great of a goal as that might be, chasing the RX might also be the biggest reason that progress has halted. We all remember when we were beginners and didn’t even know what RX meant, but it was written on the whiteboard next to athletes that you might think were some of the top. However, it seems that having RX written next to their name on the board is more important than skill, form, ability, or having the proper foundation of movement and strength. Being honest, having RX next to your name should never be the top goal in any workout and let’s talk about why.
1. Safety is the number 1 reason that RX shouldn’t be your top goal.
Load is a huge factor when it comes to safety and if the athlete is not able to handle the load, but they are dying to RX the workout, form will break down and that is usually when injuries occur. As coaches, it is so important to gauge where athletes are actually at in relation to their goals. When people want that Rx so bad, it’s up to the coaches, to let them know it may not be in their best interest to Rx that day because you have been keeping track of their progress. As for the athletes, they must be accountable and honest with themselves about the same issues that concern the coach. Having an Rx by your name is not worth injury.
2. Ability level
Everyone is at a different ability level and has something they need to work on. On a specific movement, some may lack strength while others lack movement pattern or even the flexibility to perform the movement. For some, it may not be the time to Rx the movement, but because they give in to desperation and ego, they will attempt to do it anyway. Athletes, it is okay to go back and work the movement from the ground up. If that hasn’t been done, you only cheat yourself. You must perfect the basics. Coaches will help recognize where the athlete needs improvement and where they need to go back and work on the progression. Don’t rush this process….especially with gymnastics movements. There is a reason that gymnastics don’t pick up the sport at the age of 33.
3. Movement Quality
We are constantly striving for better movement and to achieve that, we must know that strength and ability are an integral part of the equation. When people are doing advanced movements without these two attributes, the athletes will have poor form. This reinforces bad habits. Let’s face it, in most cases people are going as fast as they can in time-sensitive WODs. If the athlete has poor form coupled with a time constraint it can be dangerous for everyone involved, especially the athlete.It’s more important to improve the quality of your WOD than it is to have the Rx by your name.
Focus on building your foundation first and then progress to the higher skill movements, don’t rush the process. Check out one of our previous blog’s where we talk about overcoming fear and enjoying the process of your fitness journey rather than focusing just on the end result.