The Stimulus of your Workout
In CrossFit Group Classes at CFPV, all workouts have a very distinct intention. This intention is referred to as the stimulus of the workout. The stimulus is the desired outcome of the workout. Sometimes workouts are intended to be light, fast, and intense. Additionally, some workouts are intended to be long and heavy. It is important to know the stimulus because that will allow you to be able to maximize the workout of the day.
Is it better to RX or is better to scale
There is a mindset of some people that think if they do not R/X (complete the workout as prescribed) that they “cheated” the workout in some way. This is not always the case. In some instances, scaling the workout to preserve the stimulus is better for the athlete than to R/X the movements and weights. Some factors that might encourage a scale of a movement could include mechanics, range of motion, current capacity, or even injury.
My Fran Story
Let’s consider the classic CrossFit workout “Fran”. The first time I attempted this workout, it took me 15 minutes to complete. The workout entails doing 21 barbell thrusters, 21 pull ups, 15 barbell thrusters, 15 pull ups, and 9 barbell thruster, 9 pull ups. The weight of the barbell is 95 pounds. This workout is completed by elite athletes in 2:00-2:45. A good Fran time as R/X is around 3:00-5:00 with 10:00 being a good cap. When I first completed Fran, I should have scaled the weight of the workout down to my current capacity. The pullups in Fran were fine; however, the 95 pound barbell, my current capacity to move that barbell, and the short amount of time that the reps required, far exceeded my current abilities. Had I scaled down and finished in under 10:00, I would have been able to produce more force to the workout, and subsequently increased my fitness level. I did a lot or resting at the higher weight and therefore had no intensity while standing around. If I had scaled the movement and kept intensity up, the workout would have been shorter, and I would have felt the intended stimulus!