Strength & Fitness

What is Rx?

A term you may have heard if you’ve spent any time in the CrossFit space is “Rx”. Like what a doctor may give you if you are feeling sick, Rx is the fitness prescription for your life. Aerial Athletics is the “pharmacy” where you get your fitness prescription filled. 

What is Rx you ask? Rx is performing the workout, as it’s written, while also hitting the correct movement standards. Variables that may be prescribed are the weight of the barbell, the height of a box, or the movements themselves. A good example would be wall balls. They are commonly prescribed 20/14# and thrown to a target at 10’/9’. Squatting to correct depth and throwing to the target each rep would be considered “Rx”.  

You may notice at Aerial that we do not use the term “Rx” very often, if at all. Maybe when we do an Open or Benchmark workout, but other than that, we would rather have you hit the correct stimulus than a specific weight. Our mission is to help you all be the fittest versions of yourselves. Each of you is different, you have a different starting place, different mobility, and different goals. 

While the variables written on the board might be the prescription for that workout, they might not be the prescription for your workout. We do not believe that one size fits all when it comes to your fitness and health. Whatever makes the workout right for you is the RX for that workout. 

What needs to be considered for every workout is the intent or stimulus of it. Is it meant to be fast and quick? Slow and steady? This is usually covered during the whiteboard brief at the beginning of class. We always try to guide you towards what weights to use, what movements to do, and how you should be feeling. If done correctly, everyone in the class should finish around the same time. The loads and movements should be adjusted to achieve the correct intensity (stimulus) and to fit the time domain.

From there, with the coach’s guidance, it's up to you to determine what you need to do to reach that stimulus. Below are some questions you can ask yourself when trying to figure out if you should or should not do a movement or weight.

  • Can I physically do this weight/movement?

It will be quite obvious if you know what you’re capable of. Try not to be that person that knows but tries anyways…

  • Will the reps look clean and will my form hold strong for the entire workout?

If your coach is constantly giving you corrections on your form mid-workout or you start to fail reps, you are probably doing too much.

  • Can I hit the movement standards for every single rep?

This is where you need to lose the ego and take the time to master your movement. Be great at the basics. Squat to YOUR full depth, touch your hands overhead during abmats, chin over the bar on pull-ups, head through the window on shoulder to overhead.

  • Will I finish before the time cap?

We don’t put time caps on our workouts often (as everybody does a great job of scaling appropriately) but if you are constantly being time capped, that’s not good. Doing Fran in 5 min is completely different from doing it in 15.

  • Will I need to do singles for reps?

There will be workouts where we tell you to do singles. But for a majority of the workouts we do, doing singles is frowned upon. If you are only able to do a few reps of the movement unbroken when you are fresh, hold off on doing that movement or weight during the WOD.

  • Will this workout make me sore?

Being super sore does not mean that you got a really good workout in. Experiencing soreness, especially for a couple of days, can be a bad thing (unless you are new or have been gone on vacation..). It probably means you pushed yourself too hard or haven’t properly recovered. Recovery is where your results are made. If you are constantly sore from workouts, it might be good to scale your workouts more often or to add in an extra rest day.

All of this must be considered when trying to achieve the stimulus of the workout. Everyone is different but you want to hit the workout at the intended stimulus relative to YOUR fitness level and ability. Check your ego and realize your limitations. Doing this will help you become a stronger and healthier athlete. Don’t always go along with what others around you are doing. Focus on you and you only!

If you aren’t sure what you should do for the workout when it comes to weight, reps, or movement, talk to your coach! We have been around some of you for many years and know what you can and can’t do. Some days we might tell you to push a little outside your comfort zone and go heavier. Other days, we might tell you to dial it back because we can tell that you had a long day. 

In the end, listen to your coach, listen to your body, and aim to always hit the stimulus of the workout. Create YOUR version of RX!!  You will have much better success in reaching your goals!

Kali Maurer