A couple months back, I wrote a blog about the importance of scaling our workouts in the gym in order to receive the ideal stimulus of the workout for that day. Recently I heard this podcast while sipping my morning coffee from Ben Bergeron, owner of CrossFit New England and coach to the fittest man and woman on Earth. He touches on this topic but his points were much clearer than mine and I HIGHLY recommend everyone listen to this podcast. The main topic of the podcast is strength biased programming vs conditioning biased programming. An example of strength biased programming is doing a strength movement followed by a metcon. This is not the topic of my blog post however, Ben does make a lot of great points about the importance of scaling. One thing I really took away from this as a coach is when Ben says “it’s not our goal as affiliates for our members to do the workout prescribed, but instead our goal is for our members to live longer, healthier lives”. The example he gives is of an athlete who can do 3 unbroken pullups and a 115 lb thruster. This athlete has the capability of performing “Fran” as prescribed but it would take 57 minutes. But that’s not the stimulus wanted from a workout like Fran. He goes on to say that just because you can do a workout Rx doesn’t mean you should. Just because you do a workout as prescribed doesn’t mean that it’s going to bring better results on your next check up with the doc.
Ben also discusses the differences between programming for CrossFit as a sport and programming for CrossFit as a fitness methodology. They are two different things and should be approached differently. Lucky for us, our programmer Dennis understands this very well and does a great job of separating the two. But it is also good to hear it from others out there in the industry that share the same philosophy. I like when Ben says “living life doesn’t have prerequisites, for example you don’t need to be able to perform a muscle up to rescue someone from a burning building. However, if you can’t do 14 unbroken muscle ups as a male athlete you probably won’t be competing at regionals or the games”. I think this podcast was just a good reminder to evaluate what your goals are in life, your priorities in life and what “your why” is at the box. Are you training for regionals? Or are you training to be a better father, mother, husband, wife, grandparent, employee or boss? This also touches on Coach Lee’s question he asked you in his blog… What is your purpose in life? That answer can do a lot for you and the way you approach your fitness.
In conclusion, I don’t want anyone to get confused and think that I’m telling you that you shouldn’t perform a workout as prescribed. I am rather challenging you to think about the stimulus of the workout, and think to yourself “can I get the proper stimulus by doing it Rx?” if you’re unsure, just ask the coach of the class. We don’t mind at all explaining it for you to better understand. Don’t get so caught up in performing a workout Rx if you’re in the gym for longevity because performing a workout as prescribed doesn’t guarantee you are going to be healthier. In some cases, it could even be worse for you. Lastly I urge you to give this podcast a listen, Coach Bergeron makes great sense and it is worth the listen for sure.