The Difference Between A RX and Scaled Workout in Crossfit

If you’re new to the crossfit community or are considering joining a crossfit gym, you may have noticed that there are a lot of new terms and things to learn — even outside all of the movements! You may ask yourself what the heck a WOD is? Or, what is paleo? IIFYMs? There are so many things to wrap your head around, but today, we’ll focus on the difference between a prescribed (RX) versus a scaled crossfit workout.

What is a RX workout?

The prescribed — RX — workout in crossfit is the defined or established parameters of the movements and weight used. These are the standards for the workout, the exercises that even the professionals will be following. A RX workout may look like this:

Five rounds:

  • 20 toes to bars
  • 10 box jumps (BW)

Because Crossfit has many acronyms (EMOM, WOD, AMRAP, BW, etc) sometimes it’s hard to know what they are and where to begin, but you’ll catch on fairly quickly. The ones that are least explained are RX and scaled. You’ll hear a coach shout out, “RX weight for this workout is 135lbs for guys and 95lbs for women or your scaled options are…”

If you completed the example workout from above, you would be completing the RX version because you did the movements exactly as they’re prescribed

What is a scaled workout?

A scaled workout is when you adjust the weight or amount of reps in the workout. For example, if you haven’t progressed to toes to bar and you can only do hanging knee raises, you’re completing a scaled version of the workout. The scaled version of a workout does not mean you didn’t get a great workout in, it just means you completed the exercises at your current ability level.

So, how do I know which version to choose?

In the most basic of levels, if you can’t complete the workout prescribed, complete the scaled version. You can always attempt the RX workout, and move to a scaled version if it’s not working out.

A couple of things to consider:

  • Are you injured?
  • Are you able to safely perform all of the movements?
  • On a typical day, how many reps of that one exercise can you perform?
  • What is your end goal for the workout?

Crooked River Crossfit

Whether you feel a little more confident in your Crossfit lingo or have more questions, please call or stop by our facility, Crooked River Crossfit.

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