Rx Movements Are Earned, Not Negotiated: Was I Rx'd?

(Abbreviated as Rx)

1. An instruction written by a medical practitioner that authorizes a patient to be provided a medicine or treatment.

2. A recommendation that is authoritatively put forward.

Based on the borrowed medical definition of prescription, it should be contextually clear to see what the Rx next to your name means in terms of compliance with the set forth expectations. There is not negotiation involved. You do not ask your doctor about taking half the dose, missing a dose, or even question the directions. To follow one’s prescription: you either follow the guidelines or you don’t.

To our beloved Humble Beast CrossFit family: There is NO negotiation with the coaches in regards to, “Was I Rx’d or not?”

It's the Coach's full discretion as to whether or not you met all the guidelines. Not yours. This isn’t simply, “Did you do the Rx weight?” It’s all the range of motion (ROM) standards for each movement. Do you have muscle or joint impingements? That means your ROM may be compromised, and Rx may never be optimal for you. Don’t worry, we have an analogy to follow this.

Based on simple physics: Power = [(force*distance)/time]. Your limited ROM should not and will not count for the same standard as someone capable of doing more or proper ROM.

Here are a few common examples of “misunderstood” ROM standards for movements that make or negate them from being Rx:

  • Movement: Non-negotiable Rx standard
  • Any squat: Hips must go below parallel 
  • Deadlift: Hips must open at the top 
  • Any over head press: Elbow lock out with barbell over head
  • Wall ball: Hips must go below parallel, and ball must hit the beam
  • Full cleans: Must receive/catch the bar in a full squat position
  • Sit-ups: Must sit-up and touch the tops of your toes or the wall in front of you (if anchored)
  • Hollow-rocks: Legs are straight and arms overhead
  • Push-ups: Must touch your full chest to the ground and lock out your elbows at the top
  • Burpees: Must stand upright, opening your hips at the top (jump clap not necessary)
  • Toes-to-bar: Your toes must visually and physically touch the bar

What does this mean? Rx is earned, NOT negotiated!

Now, for our promised analogy: Think of Rx like par on a golf course. In golf, par is defined by the number of strokes a first-class player should normally require for a particular hole or course. It does not mean, if the player takes more, or even less strokes, they are punished. It simply means the suggested calculation. If you are a good golfer, you may actually get par on many holes. Notice we said, "if you are good," not, "if you think you are good." This is the same as Rx.

Rx isn’t about thinking you can do a certain something, then negotiate the outcome. In the same respect, you can’t hit a golf ball and say, “I meant for it to go here/there, so let’s take it over or just move it there.” Similarly, you cannot pick a movement and say, “I tried to go full ROM," or, "I tried to lift the weight but wasn’t able - but since I tried, it counts.” Again, this is only to clarify that Rx is earned, not negotiated. As in golf, not every recreational golf player around the world plays par golf (without a handicap). Ask any of your friends, “Who plays scratch golf and shoots par?” Seldom will attest.

If you are struggling to gauge whether or not you are a good exerciser (similar to a good golfer), simply ask a coach, and we will answer you honestly. Or, simply ask a coach to check your ROM for each movement before starting the workout. 

This blog post is not negating the fact that all Humble Beast CrossFit movements are scalable across all domains, but again, emphasizing the fact that the Rx next to your name is earned, not negotiated. As with golf, par isn’t a means to an end, it’s just the beginning (see: birdie and eagle golf). Similarly, if Rx isn’t challenging enough, given all the ROM standards, see Alpha. Do not let this be a discouraging blog post. Let it clarify and encourage you! 3...2...1....GO!