I was asked to write something for the Infernal blog and was told it could be anything that I wanted. So the first thing that came to mind was that fact that people in my class are always asking me, “Hey Coach, how come I didn’t get an Rx next to my name?”

The short answer is easy: because in my class, I do not give people Rx’s next to their name.

Why? I thought I would take this opportunity to explain my reasoning. I hope some of you will understand and agree with my point of view but I know that some of you may understand but still disagree. Either way, I thought it important that everyone understand my thinking.

Let’s first be clear that the reason why I do not write Rx next to someone’s name is not out of spite. So why? In my opinion, Rx is not something you get just for doing the workout or just for doing the prescribed “Rx” weight when the range of motion required is not met when lifting the weight or when doing movements such as pull-ups or air squats. This does NOT mean that I do not appreciate the effort that has gone into doing the workout; I appreciate everyone that steps into the box on any given day with everything else they may have going on in their life.

However, as a coach, I feel that my responsibility to you is to make sure that you not only do the prescribed Rx weight, but that you do the movements correctly. And I want my athletes doing the movements correctly not for the purpose of getting an Rx, but because I want you to be safe and not injure yourself. I want to make sure you get a good workout but that does not mean we sacrifice form for time.

This brings me to my next point, those athletes that say “yeah but I try to judge myself off of somebody else’s time” and that’s the reason they want the Rx. I get that, we all have that “rabbit,” that individual we are trying to chase down, whether that person is in your class or was in the class before you – the person that makes you push yourself harder. I get it. I am not just a coach but an athlete as well and I look to see what times people have done for the very same reason, and I want to be pushed.

But, let’s say that person you are chasing has an Rx next to their name with a smokin’ time. What’s funny is that I have people ask me “did that person really do that Rx?” because they know I coached that class. Well I am good, but even I can’t watch 12 to 15 people all doing a wod all at once and say they did the whole thing Rx. Even the best athletes in the games get a “no rep” here and there, and even the best athletes in our gym may get a “no rep.” Even, believe it or not, coaches!

But when I am coaching a class at Infernal, I am just that, a coach. Not a judge. I may seem like a smart ass (or a hard ass!) when an athlete asks me to write Rx next to their name and I say “if you want me to give you an Rx, then let me get another coach to coach the class and I will judge you only.” But that is really not my intent. As a coach I am there not to judge you but to coach you, to help you get better and make progress. So that when the time comes in competition, you can hit your goals and Rx the wods and put up smokin’ times.

In my class, if you want an Rx, I will be more than happy to give you the marker and you can go write it next to your name. I have no problem with that, and I know people have done it my classes. However, if you really care about how you are doing in CrossFit, let me ask what else you are doing to meet your goals:

  • Are you keeping track of every WOD and writing your time down for yourself?
  • Are you setting times for name wods and tracking your progress over time?
  • Are you taking note of your weaknesses and devoting 15 minutes or more extra to work on those skills?

Remember those Rx’s only stay on the board for the week and then they disappear.

What I care about a whole lot more than an Rx written beside your name is if you were able to do two kipping pull-ups today when yesterday you couldn’t do one. Or you just did a 75lb squat snatch and when you first started you couldn’t even do a 45lb squat snatch. It’s those moments in the box that inspire me to keep coaching and helping you all achieve more.

I hope this helps some of you understand my thought process in regards to Rx – whether or not you agree with it – and know that its nothing personal.