Rx vs. Scaled

Rx… Scaled… What does that even mean? And how should you as a member use this information to help you get your very best workout?

The term “Rx” is a common abbreviation for medical prescriptions derived from the Latin word for recipe, recipere. So when you say you are doing a workout “Rx”, it means you are doing it “as prescribed”. 

But WHO is the workout prescribed for? And who is doing the prescribing?

In our case, at TM, Mayhem is doing the prescribing. And they are prescribing it for a general population of individuals. We (the coaches at TM) then use Mayhem’s programming to make a prescription for our Longevity track. The thing with group fitness is that it’s impossible to prescribe the workout for every single individual who will be a gym member. That’s why we have “scaling” options & coaches to help.

However, the word “scaling” has gotten a bit of a bad rap. I for one have heard many people say things like “yeah but I did it scaled” or “I only did it scaled”… implying that it’s not as good as doing it Rx. 

But think of it this way – 

When you go to the doctor, they often make prescriptions for medications based off of your age, your weight, your lifestyle, & other factors. Not every single person that walks into the doctor’s office should be getting the same prescription because everyone has different needs. 

So the next time you are “scaling” a workout, instead of thinking of it as doing “less” than someone doing it “Rx”, remind yourself that you are just doing a version that is better prescribed for YOU.

Now, how do you know if you are scaling appropriately? Well, meeting the stimulus of the workout is more important than if you did the workout “Rx” or “scaled”. Listen to the coach’s suggestions for target times (or check SugarWOD prep notes). If you are constantly beating that target time by a significant amount, try challenging yourself a bit. If the workouts are starting to feel too easy, pick a more challenging movement to try or choose a heavier weight to use. A good time to try a more challenging movement or heavier weight is when it’s paired with a movement that you are very comfortable with or you are strong at… that will give you some confidence with trying something new!

Also, focus on how you feel. Some days, you may feel like you can push hard, and other days are more about just moving your body. 

At the end of the day, if you got a good workout in, you feel good, you enjoyed some social time with friends, and you moved your body, that’s all that matters.

If you have questions about this in class, ask your coach!

– Coach Erika