Intensity in CrossFit: Should You Do It RX’d?

Drew Kastelic – CrossFit Unrivaled

You RX’d that WOD?  BEASTMO… wait.  Should you have even done it as prescribed?  Back the fuck up.  CrossFit is intensity and intensity is relative to our individual physical abilities.  I saw you snail through “DT” and you had no business doing push jerks with 155 pounds on the goddamned bar.  That’s why you started the WOD clean shaven and yelled, “DONE!” with a full beard.  Congrats on writing RX’d on the whiteboard, but no one saw it because you’re the only one left in the gym, Rip Van Wodkilla.

Ye Olde Whiteboard sayeth- “Amanda”: Rip Van Wodkilla – 520 fortnights RX’d

Intensity is probably the most recognizable of CrossFit’s charter which includes mechanics and consistancy.  Since intensity is relative to what you are capable of, don’t get ahead of yourself and try to do something that is going to slow you down to the point of not bringing the fucking lumbuh.  According to Pat Sherwood in the CrossFit Journal:

Intensity, as we define it, is exactly equal to average power (force x distance / time). In other words, how much real work did you do and in what time period? The greater the average power, the greater the intensity. This makes it a measurable fact, not a debatable opinion. Intensity and average power are the variable most commonly associated with optimizing favorable results. Whatever you want from exercise comes faster with intensity. It’s not volume or duration or heart rate or even discomfort. Do more work in less time (without overdoing it), and you’ll get fitter faster.

So why are you resistant to scaling?  Pride and ego.  Those two things are the downfall of many.  Ask yourself this: “Who am I competing against everyday in the box?  The monsters that finish everything RX’d faster than those who scale?  If that isn’t you, don’t be retarded and try to use loads that will slow you down and impede your progression. You are competing against you.  Intensity is a truth only you will know, based upon your output.

“Mr Khalipa, when you finish this WOD, would you mind, um… getting my wife pregnant?

First of all, there is nothing wrong with scaling.  Everyone needs to check their egos.  I sit up on my high horse and talk about BEASTMODE, and truly want to inspire you to flip your fucking switch.  If that means you bite off more than you can destrominate and take too long to finish the metcon (or worse- do stupid shit), you are missing the point.  You’re not elite because your T-shirt says so.  You are elite because you bust your fucking ass.

Really, coach? Do I have to scale it?

Intensity demands you identify the ranged time domain based upon your coach’s intentions in the programmed WOD.  Knowing your capabilities (with guidance from your coach), select loads that will allow you to complete the WOD at full intensity relative to the intent.  That’s why coaches like WODs with time caps.  If it takes you 3 hours to complete “Eva”: stop, punch yourself in the genitals and go train for marathons instead.

“Yeah, son! Marathons have way less poods!”

This shit goes both ways.  There are athletes who, when a coach suggests they should go heavier on a WOD, choose to do it RX’d instead.  I have been guilty of this.  I want to do it as RX’d so I compete on a level playing field with everyone else in the box.  Unless it’s an actual competition, that is dumb.  Listen to your coach.  You can do a metcon anywhere, but you can only get CrossFit coaching at a CrossFit affiliate.  I pay for the coaching, not for the workout. 

Either way, when a coach suggests you scale and you don’t like it (because you want to do it RX’d): do what they say anyway.  They know what they are talking about and they know your capabilities.  If you want to prove them wrong, mouthfuck that WOD at the weight they told you to use and do it with a level of intensity that will make the coach say, “Damn.  I should’ve let them do it RX’d.”