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RX, Not RX: What’s It All Mean?

Let’s talk about the “As RX’d” concept in CrossFit.

There is only one RX for a WOD. One. Officially (as written on the sacred scrolls at CFHQ) there is only one prescribed WOD. Everything else is scaling or substitutions. Not even men’s and women’s WODs. Just one. (Although we are making up that part about the sacred scrolls. They’re really just tablets . . . etched in lightning and blood. Don’t tell anyone.)

But, here at CFW, we always write a women’s version of the WOD too, because we’re realists. Most women are not going to be able to do the only RX’d weight. (Well, except Iron Mary. Or Melissa if you stole her baby.)

So we make the same adjustment that many CrossFit affiliates do. Take the RX’d weight and calculate 2/3 of it and make that the women’s weight. So, if you do the workout as prescribed for women (for example, a 65lb “Fran” vs the 95lb RX’d “Fran” and all real pull-ups), then you earn the right to scrawl “RX’d” in that crazy-shaky after-WOD ransom-note oh-god-the-nuns-are-going-to-kill-me handwriting of yours caused by a recovering central nervous system.

Any substitution or scaling (in bands, weights, movement etc.) means you don’t get an “Rx” next to your name. (There is no “RX minus . . . ” . . . although “RX Plus” does seem kind of righteous.)

Sounds harsh, I know. But it’s fair. Fair to the folks putting out the RX workouts, and fair to the folks who are working to get that strong and fast.

So, do the hours and hours of work and spend months (maybe years) and earn the “RX” mark next to your name. It is alternately serious and silly, but as Greg Glassman noted years ago: “Men will die for points.” And for that “RX” badge of honor.


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