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…But I did it RX!
Written by: Christopher Musco

It’s a fascination, a fixation and an obsession.
Some athletes experience an intense yearning to put the coveted RX next to their name on the gym’s white board. They’re infatuated with the idea of posting on social media that they completed the daily WOD RX. These athletes are so focused on RXing the workout that they lose sight of what really matters. Is it really worth it?!
Relative intensity is matching your own ability level to achieve a desired intensity. This is done through scaling, so the most kick ass, fire breather in the box hits the same intensity threshold as the newbie. Each workout is programmed with a relative intensity in mind. There is a goal or certain stimulus trying to be achieved for each workout.
When the coach advises that you scale a workout, not only is it to keep you safe and moving well, but it’s to help you achieve the intended intensity level. This may mean to go unbroken, move faster, take less breaks and stay moving longer.
But… for the RX obsessed athletes, they’ve already decided before they step foot in the gym that they’re RXing the workout because they can lift the RX weight or do a few of the high level gymnastic movements. This hyper fixation on RXing the workout may be holding athletes back from accomplishing the intended goal of the workout.
If everyone completes the workout in 8 minutes but it takes you 15 minutes… Do you ever wonder why? Did you miss the overall objective of the workout? Did you let your ego get the best of you?
CrossFit defines intensity as—
Intensity = Power = (Force x Distance/Time)
When we break down this equation intensity is the same as power, intensity equals power. Power is a force multiplied by the distance that the force travels divided by the time it took.
Now, let’s simplify this equation—
The force you need to move a 135lb barbell is constant. An athlete can apply more force and still move the barbell but if you apply less force than is required then it will not move.
The distance also stays fairly constant. The distance a barbell travels from the ground to an athlete standing at the extension of a deadlift is the same every rep.
If the force and the distance remain the constant then what changes?! Time!
Time is what we can control. If we can reduce the time it takes to perform a task, then we can greatly increase our power! If an athletes’ power is high then so is their intensity.
Back to the obsession of RX—
Is your goal to come to class and RX a workout OR do you walk into the gym trying to become fitter?
It is proven that athletes will see results faster by scaling back the “volume”, either by scaling the weight on a barbell or reducing the number of handstand pushups in a workout. Results are achieved by turning up the intensity. This is exactly why we write down every score and any notes on how we accomplished the workout, so that we have the data to examine and measure results.
Ask yourself… Have you ever truly experienced intensity? Have you pushed yourself to the point when the suffering begins? Have you been to the dark place?
Next time your coach recommends that you scale a workout, keep this in mind! And dial up the intensity.
Like the Seven Wonders of the World, real intensity can only be experienced.

Another year, another opportunity
Written by: Christopher Musco

It’s that time of year again! The days are longer, the skies are clear and the sun is out. As New England CrossFitters, it’s important for us to cherish this time as we only have a couple of months before the gloom of the snow returns. As the bay doors of the gym begin to open, the dread of running sets in. If the word ‘running’ gives you chills, here are five tips that may help you conquer running.

1. Approach with confidence
It’s normal to feel nervous when taking on a new challenge. Changing your state of mind is imperative as your nervous energy can easily be converted into nervous excitement. It’s important to identify what is limiting you. Do you believe that you cannot run well? Is that belief limiting you from accomplishing your running goals? What if you were to believe that you could finish that 400 meter run? Positivity breeds positivity!

Remember to breathe! It’s just like any other workout. If you don’t breathe, you will get that out of control feeling! Do your feet or knees always hurt after running? Consider taking extra time to mobilize both before and after running. Use a lacrosse ball on the bottom of your feet. This can work miracles. No pain, no gain. Give ROMWOD a shot. Set yourself up for success and think positively. Get your mind right, then keep it that way!

2. Set goals
It’s important to identify where you are starting in your journey. If you don’t know where you are now, how do you get to where you want to be? Be honest with yourself but don’t be too hard on yourself as everyone has to start from somewhere. This is crucial to setting realistic and obtainable goals. Always set goals that are measureable, specific and attainable. Write down all of your goals and then prioritize them. Which are the most important? Which are most feasible? Which would you love to accomplish the most? Put this list where you will see it every day!

3. Consider scaling
If running just isn’t your jam consider scaling the run or the rest of the components of the WOD. Ask your coach to help you scale the WOD based on the intensity or volume of the run. Identify where in the WOD that you want to challenge yourself. If you are looking to challenge your running skills, scale the distance to something you can concur. If it’s a volume run day consider scaling the other WOD components. Scaling helps you accomplish small goals which will help you gain the strength and confidence to achieve your big running goals.

4. Don’t cherry pick
If you avoid every running workout, you are doing your fitness and yourself a disservice. What are you training for? Is it to lead a fitter and healthier life? If zombies took over the earth, would it be more practical to have a 300lb snatch or be a good runner? The best way to get better at something is to DO it. You didn’t get that impressive snatch by watching YouTube! Unfortunately, humans haven’t evolved to that point yet! To get that snatch, you practiced and you put in the time. Don’t limit your time to practice by cherry picking!

5. Hold yourself accountable
Remember that list of goals, time to use it! After setting goals for yourself, it’s important to hold yourself accountable. Running is like any other barbell movement or skill in the gym. If you are looking to master it, you need to push yourself. Pick a pace and stick to it! Using a watch during a running WOD can help keep you accountable to a specific lap time. Share those goals with your coach, family, and friends. Focus on the people in your life that aren’t afraid to help hold you accountable to your goals. The great thing about running is you don’t need a gym to do it. Meet your friends at the local track and put some miles on those new running shoes. Hard work pays off. Do the work and see what happens I dare you.

Are you ready?