RX-ING AND INJURY PREVENTIONposted October 06
Today’s message is brought to you by Elliott Schackne. Who is Elliott Schackne? Why he’s our new intern extroardinaire. You may have seen him around the gym, doing EVERYTHING over the past few weeks. Say hi to him. He’s awesome. He also wrote the awesome blog piece you’re about to read. So sit back and get ready to have your minds blown.
Rx. What does that mean to us crossfitters? Webster’s Imaginary Dictionary defines Rx as “The recommended weight, reps, or time for a given workout.” But just like a medical prescription (barring that one you got in Tijauna that was written on the back of a beer label), it is intended specifically for that individual at that time. In other words, what’s good for the goose isn’t necessarily what’s good for the gander.
Let’s back up a step.
Raise your hand if you have knee pain. Keep your hands up. Raise your hand if you have shoulder pain. Back pain. Neck pain. Wrist or arm pain. Ankle or leg pain.
I’m sure by now most of the CrossFit community has their hands raised.
As athletes we have gotten used to (and sometimes train specifically to) fight through the pain. Want to stop halfway through Fran? Yes, please. Are you going to? No freakin’ way! But we must make a distinction between discomfort and dysfunction. By the way, you can put your hands down now.
The discomfort we experience during or after a workout is simply a result of the high intensity at which we are executing those movements. The process is what maximizes our favorable adaptation to exercise, so that with proper recovery we can lift something heavier or move something faster next time.
Dysfunction can also manifest itself as pain. However, this is where you have to play doctor to yourself. If you plan on continuing your journey as a crossfitter or elite athlete, you must get to know your body. Sit down, because it’s time to have the “Your body is going through a lot of changes right now” speech one more time. If you don’t consistently check in with yourself, and take note of how you feel and perform, the potential for injury only gets worse.
Sure, you might blow out your knee because, as you walk into the parking lot after setting a new split jerk PR, the rotund fellow ironically nicknamed “Tiny” barrels into you while chasing down a rogue chocolate chip that rolled off his Yogurtland bucket. However, most injuries are caused by your own overtension and technique faults rep after rep after rep. It likely wasn’t the 1RM bench press attempt that tweaked your shoulder, it was the months prior of lifting with poor form. And looking back, you probably know it. Like that rough bumpy part of the road that wakes you up before you drive off the highway, most injuries will give you warning signs before the final straw. Learn to pay attention to those signs and heed them.
I’m sure by now some of you are wondering, “Are the Sophie Dance kids out to get us, too?” And some of you are wondering how injuries relate to a wod’s Rx. Think back to one of the first things you were taught as a CrossFit newbie…Everything is scalable. In fact, the “Rx” weight is kind of misnamed. It is merely a suggestion. The prescription for a workout is whatever is suitable for you on that given day at that given time. It’s not imperative that you thrustered 135 pounds a week ago. Maybe last night you didn’t get much sleep. Or maybe you’ve been in your car all day and your hips are tight. Or any other reason you may not be operating at 100% today. If a 95-pound bar is your Rx TODAY, so be it.
Is it worth sitting on the sidelines for two months while your shoulder heals from bursitis because you wanted a star next to your name on the whiteboard? Do you think you’ll get any less of a workout if you scale down to ensure proper form and protect a nagging joint?
We’re shooting for longevity here, folks. We want you active, functional, and healthy. Start taking advice from the person who knows you best. Your Facebook stalker. Um…I mean…Yourself.
And in case you missed it, here’s another one of Andy’s videos, in which Elliott is seen multiple times.
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