60 kettlebell snatch, 30 each side
20 jump squats
10 sit ups
5 pull ups
I did it in 6:20.
But I didn’t do it Rx. Rx is CrossFit speak for the recommended weight and range of motion for each movement. The women’s Rx weight for the kettle bell snatch is 16 kg and I did it at just 8 kg because I was nervous about the “unbroken” part. That means no breaks. We were instructed to pick a kettle bell weight that we could manage without stopping.
I also can’t do full push ups. Push ups from the knees are getting easy but I still can’t do more than one or two from my feet. Wish there was a useful body part between my knees and my feet! And I can’t do unassisted pull ups either. In this case, I used the ring rows.
So my workout was significantly modified from the CrossFit Rx version. But it felt a bit too easy, not challenging enough. I also felt that I shouldn’t be first. So it’s time to level up. I still can’t do this workout Rx but I certainly can increase the weight on the kettle bells. Since I can swing the Rx weight, with confidence I ought to be able to snatch it. I also might try jumping pull ups next time round. (Another cool thing about CrossFit is that these workouts return and if you’re good about writing down times in your log book or in any of the many smart phone apps for this purpose, you can see your own improvement. That’s the number I really care about.)
That’s one of the most misunderstood things about Crossfit, that you need to be super fit to start. Not so. You need to be ready to challenge yourself. The workouts are intense but they aren’t impossible.
Here’s Clea Weiss on the importance of “scaling” in CrossFit workouts: “The idea is to challenge yourself with all the exercises, neither holding back on a strength nor pushing too hard on a weakness.” Read Scaling with a Purpose.
Yeterday for example we were doing sets of 7 thrusters and 7, pull ups as many sets as you could do in five minutes. The Rx weight for women was 35 kgs but if you couldn’t do seven thrusters in a row at that weight, you scaled it down.
What’s a thruster? “One of CrossFit’s most deceptively tiring movements, the thruster is— “simply”— a front squat straight into a push press. Try them once and prepare to cringe next time they show up on the schedule.” (from the Ultimate Guide to CrossFit Lingo)
My partner and I scaled our bar back to 25. Other women did 20 and some did the Rx weight. No one just did the bar (10 kg) but often newcomers to CrossFit who haven’t done much weightlifting before do. There’s nothing wrong with that.
The point is that you find the right amount of challenge for you.
“T]he “Rx” weight is kind of misnamed. It is merely a suggestion. The prescription for a workout is whatever is suitable for you on that given day at that given time. It’s not imperative that you thrustered 135 pounds a week ago. Maybe last night you didn’t get much sleep. Or maybe you’ve been in your car all day and your hips are tight. Or any other reason you may not be operating at 100% today. If a 95-pound bar is your Rx TODAY, so be it. Is it worth sitting on the sidelines for two months while your shoulder heals from bursitis because you wanted a star next to your name on the whiteboard? Do you think you’ll get any less of a workout if you scale down to ensure proper form and protect a nagging joint?” from Defining “Rx’d”
I struggle a bit with the normative pull of “Rx” but I also know I’m no spring chicken. (Sorry, an in joke around our house.) I was laughing at the youngsters at my CrossFit complaining about being old. A group of 30 somethings were all laughing at someone’s comment, “being really fit in your 30s is just like doing nothing in your 20s.” I didn’t dare ask what they thought their 40s and 50s would be like!
Truth be told though I’m looking forward to the day when I can some of the workouts Rx, some of the time, and put that little “Rx” next to my name on the whiteboard.
Other posts about CrossFit:
Update from CrossFit London, in case you’re a local wanting to give it a try:
“We just added 2 spots to our One Day Intro tomorrow from 1-5pm. This is a great way to try out CrossFit and get some fundamental training. This session is one of the three ways to prepare you for regular classes at CrossFit London. Beginners and advanced athletes will all benefit. Register here. http://www.crossfitlondon.ca/wp/getting-started/1dayintro/”