I know that everyone at some point in time has made a poor choice and had to live with the outcome. We learn from this mistake and move on. The same thing is true about Crossfit and the WOD's. It happens a lot with beginners and with guys who think they are a true badass but really aren't. I love the look on their face when they hit that moment in a WOD when they immediately regret their decision to use the weight they are using, wearing a vest, or going too fast at the beginning.
What does this mean? A LOT!
There is a reason behind the design, designated weights and times of the WOD's. They are desiged to create a certain metabolic conditioning effect within the body. For example if the WOD is created to be completed in 8 mins at a weight of 95 lbs what do you think the finishing time should be? It should be roughly 8mins +/- 30 seconds. Does it make any sense to have an athlete take 16mins to complete this WOD just to say they used the RX weight. ABSOLUTELY NOT! This athlete got little to no metabolic conditioning. They missed the entire principle of the WOD. They did not become stronger or become a better athlete. They simply can say they completed the WOD slower than every other person in the box. They did do the WOD with the Rx weight...STUPID! That is what that line of thinking is.
This drives me crazy! It is a real hot button for me. I hate to train with those people that are more concerned about Rx weights than they are about properly training the skill sets in the WOD's. Back the weight down, modify the skill, use a band...whatever it takes. Just complete the WOD in a method that will make you a better Crossfitter. There is plenty of time for skill work and strength building. That is the point of the strength programming or skill programming. The WOD's are there to improve your metabolic conditioning. When you are doing back squats would you do an incomplete squat just to say you can squat a heavy weight. NO! You would train the full range of motion and use less weight because you know it will make you stronger. This is the same for the WOD's.
Last August when I was fairly new to Crossfit I almost never did any of the WOD's at the Rx weight. At that time I did not feel that using less weight would make me any less of a man or take away from my ego. Instead I knew that if I trained the lifts and WOD's properly I would be able to complete the WOD's as Rx'd in no time. By September of that same year I was all over the Rx'd weights and WOD's. If I had not done this I would not be where I am today. It is a slow building process and due to learning proper range of motion and properly building strength I am able to compete with the rest of the men at my box during the WOD's.
If I could say anything to new people or any Crossfitter it is to check you ego at the door. Your ego will be the biggest hurdle to your training and will become the greatest interference on your path to Crossfit greatness.
When do we decide that we should go Rx? This is a very fluid concept and a bit subjective. It varies from person to person. Some people will be more willing to take the leap. In my opinion once a person has developed the skill sets, been involved in the strength cycles, and has put their time in at the box then they should move onto to Rx. Some people will ask "What are you going to use? Do you think I should go Rx". My answer is usually what do you think? If I have been watching this athlete train and know they can do it I will encourage the Rx; otherwise I will encourage the athlete to use more weight than they normally would but not quite Rx. It is important not to rush our athletes and friends into Rx weights or skills. It is our responsibility to to ensure safety and proper skill levels and then encourage Rx.
You can't sprint before you walk. Pretty simple concept and it applies to every aspect of Crossfit. This is not just for the beginner but applies to all levels of Crossfit athletes. All levels of athletes continue to learn skill sets and build strength. They too need to check their ego's and stay with fundamental and appropriate training.
Train honest and true. Learn the basics and go back to them frequently. Never forget where you want to go and where you came from. Help others in your box learn the proper skills and techniques, support them and guide them.
"Big egos are big shields for lots of empty space.”
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