What is “As Prescribed,” and why do we use it?


Doing a workout as prescribed, or Rx, is completing the WOD as written, with no scaling or modifications, with full range of motion on each movement.

Rx is not flying through a workout with bad form just to post a good time and see your name on the leaderboard.

For example, if you fail to get your chin over the bar on a pull-up, you have not completed the movement as prescribed. If you don’t pick your shoulders off the ground and get your hands to your toes on a v-up, the prescribed standard has not been met.

I know it’s tempting to fudge this sometimes, and give yourself credit for a rep when the movement standard was not met, but this is not the way to go. I know it isn’t fun to do another push-up because your legs collapsed to the ground, but for me, giving myself credit for a bad rep like this would feel worse.

It is more beneficial for you to take the steps necessary to meet the standard correctly. Whether this means working on mobility or building strength, you will gain from going about it the right way. Plus, marking the workout Rx is extra sweet when it involves a movement you have struggled with, and you have worked hard to achieve.

Trust me, I get it. We all want to click that as prescribed button in Beyond The Whiteboard. When I first began CrossFit, my desire to be atop the leaderboard and Rx all the movements, won. My competitiveness and ego got the best of me, which led to a few frustrating years of injury and hindered my athletic development.

This experience taught me a valuable lesson: Being on the sideline with injury because of the need to feed my ego is lame.

Who cares about Rx. The point is to move correctly and safely. Don’t cheat yourself, or those around you, by claiming Rx when you didn’t do the workout as prescribed. It cheapens everyone’s experience and stunts your development as an athlete.

What movement have you had to work hardest on to complete as prescribed? Which one is next on your list?