Becoming an RX athlete in the world of CrossFit is a commendable goal, but it comes with significant challenges. RX athletes are those who complete workouts "as prescribed," meaning they perform them without modifications or regressions, even when faced with complicated or heavy exercises.
Achieving RX status is not just about physical fitness; it requires proficiency in a wide range of movements and exercises. That's the challenge we seek to accomplish as CrossFitters.
In this article, we'll explore what it takes to become an RX athlete and provide a comprehensive guide to help you on your journey.
Are you ready to take on what it means to become an RX athlete?
What is an RX Athlete?
An RX athlete is someone who successfully completes a CrossFit workout exactly as it is written, without any modifications or scaling.
This achievement is highly respected in the CrossFit as it represents a high level of fitness, competency and a ton of hard work. This is no mean feat and when achieved, should be celebrated.
So, what does being an RX athlete actually look like?
Requirements to Go RX
- Foundation of Strength:
A strong foundation of strength is essential for an RX athlete. This includes the ability to perform exercises like squats, deadlifts, and presses with heavy loads.
Additionally, proficiency in bodyweight exercises such as pull-ups, push-ups, and dips is crucial.
- Agility and Coordination:
CrossFit movements often require a combination of strength and coordination, especially in exercises like handstand push-ups and muscle-ups.
An RX athlete should perform these movements with excellent form and technique, even when fatigued.
- Mental Toughness:
CrossFit workouts can be mentally challenging. It's normal to experience fear and nervousness, but an RX athlete must have a strong mental game, the ability to handle pressure, and stay focused even in uncomfortable situations.
How to Become an RX Athlete
To become an RX athlete, there are 3 key components; consistent training, a balanced training plan, and a CrossFit coach to guide you.
- Consistent Training:
To become an RX athlete, you need consistent training. Focus on improving your strength, endurance, and agility.
By consistently training, you'll find it much easier to work on the details needed to achieved more advanced CrossFit movements, including weightlifting, and gymnastics.
By learning from your mistakes, consistent training will allow you to keep practicing and helping you to progress.
- Balanced Training Plan:
CrossFit encompasses a wide variety of exercises. Rather than focusing too much on certain areas, follow a well-rounded training plan that ensures you're not neglecting any particular domain.
For example, it's so tempting to always work on your weightlifting and be able to hit crazy numbers, but if you aren't able to run a mile, then it'll take much longer to become an RX athlete.
- Find a Coach or Team:
Training with a coach or in a team setting massively helps your mental game and help you handle pressure.
Group training provides support and motivation to push your limits.
That's why CrossFit classes are the best!
Consider taking part in CrossFit competitions, both local and online. Competing helps you gain valuable experience, work on your weaknesses, and set measurable goals for athlete development.
If you don't feel up for a local competition just yet, make sure you sign up to your CrossFit gyms in-house head to head.
Skills Necessary for RX Athletes
RX athletes possess specific skills that can be classified into two groups:
1. Strength-based exercises:
These exercises require athletes to produce enough force to complete the movement, such as deadlifts, squats and cleans.
2. Agility and Coordination-based exercises:
These movements involve strength, timing, and the ability to move efficiently through space. Examples include bar muscle ups, handstand walks, and double unders.
RX Athletes Minimum Requirements
To become an RX athlete, you must train with integrity. Honest counting of reps, reporting your score accurately, and acknowledging "no-reps" when necessary are fundamental.
Here are some goals to work towards for a well-rounded RX athlete:
Master unassisted, full-range-of-motion push-ups, pull-ups, dips, and squats.
Develop skills like handstand push-ups, wall walks, pistol squats, pull-ups, rope climbs, and ring muscle-ups, among others.
15/10 Unassisted push-ups
5/3 Handstand push ups
5/3 Wall walk
6+ Unassisted pistol squats
8/5 Unassisted pull-ups
2/1 Legless rope climb
2/1 Ring muscle ups
10+ Handstand push ups
12+ Toes to Bar
10+ Pull ups
5+ Chest to bar pull ups
5/3 Bar muscle ups
3/2 Ring muscle ups
Build endurance by running, rowing, or biking for extended distances. Don't overlook the importance of mastering double unders and burpees.
RX athletes should be relatively comfortable using the following loads with a mid rep-range (5-10 reps unbroken):
Shoulder to Overhead
Front Squat*Overhead Squat
70 kg 45 kg*
50 kg 35 kg*
Sumo deadlift high pull
Standard weights for dumbbells, kettlebells, and medicine balls tend to be more consistent:
The Fastest Way to Become an RX Athlete
Consistency is the key to becoming an RX athlete. Work out 4-6 times a week, week after week. Slowly progress towards RX weights, movements, and reps while maintaining the intended stimulus of the workout.
Scaling appropriately, listening to your body, and being mindful of recovery will accelerate your progress. The goal is not just to complete workouts as written but to feel the intended stimulus.
If you're tired of frustrating weaknesses and you want to progress at CrossFit, you can join WODprep Academy! WODprep Academy is step by step program to help you achieve all the movements in CrossFit. By the end of the program, you'll be proud to call yourself a RX athlete!
What Else Can Do I To Improve at CrossFit?
Don't forget the importance of factors outside the gym. Proper nutrition, recovery, and sleep play a crucial role in maintaining energy levels, recovering from workouts, and building muscle.
Managing these aspects of your life will enhance the quality of your training. If you regularly head out for drinks on a Friday night and turn up to Saturday morning training hungover, your results will reflect your choices.
Becoming an RX athlete in CrossFit requires a combination of physical fitness, proficiency in various movements, and mental resilience. By consistently training, focusing on strength, agility, and coordination, and upholding workout standards, nearly anyone can eventually achieve RX status.
Remember that the journey is as important as the destination, and consistent progress is the key to success in CrossFit.