Thoughts on “Rx”ing the WOD

CrossFit Norfolk

The beautiful thing about CrossFit is that everything is scalable.  For a beginner the WOD(triplet) above could be:

  • 80 SU
  • 10 FS @ 35/45# from the rack
  • 10 ring rows

and it would still preserve the intended stimuli of the workout.  Rx is a great tool for programmers to use but it is often misunderstood.

It is a suggestion as to the weight/reps/movements that should be performed to elicit the intended time domain, movement patterns and complexity of the WOD.

These weight/reps/movements can and should be altered to maintain the integrity of the workout as planned.

A good example of this is Fran.  Fran is supposed to be short and sweet and suck a lot.  A 10+ minute Rx Fran doesn’t do as much for someone as a 4-6 min scaled Fran.  Different energy systems come into play when you extend a workout past its intended time domain.

I’m not saying there is zero benefit in grinding through 10+ minutes of torture, but scale your Fran, get into the intended time domain, and then add weight or scale the PU’s appropriately.


We all have something that we suck at.  Weaknesses will eventually be exposed during effective CrossFit general physical preparedness (GPP) programming.

All of us want to suck less and be more awesome so what do you do when these weaknesses come up?

I strongly believe that these weaknesses need to be consciously thought about and planned for during WOD’s.

You won’t get better at something if you avoid it.  Does your front rack position suck?  What have you done outside your 1hr at the box to increase your mobility  How many articles/videos have you watched on fixing this mobility issue?

Do you have a problem with DU like me?  Make them a part of your warm up and cool down a few times a week so you can force yourself to work on them.

Don’t let a weakness remain a weakness.

Fix it.

You should attack your weaknesses with ferocity and turn them into strengths.  In the CrossFit movie about the 2016 CrossFit games, Mat Fraser compares his performance in 2015 vs 2016.  In 2015 he finished terrible in the sprint event.

What did he do?

He attacked the weakness by getting sprint specific coaching with a local high school for an entire year and turned his weakness into a strength.

In 2016 he finished 2nd in the sprint event.  Mission Accomplished.

What are you doing to turn your weaknesses into strengths?