Will I be holding other people back if I can not perform all the moves proplerly and the instructor has to scale my workout to meet my needs?.
No. Once the clock starts and the workout begins, each individual is focusing on their own workout. Each individual is applying their own comfort level of intensity to that workout. If some athletes finish the workout before other athletes, they generally feel compelled to encourage the other athletes through to the finish. This is part of the tremendous sense of community that is built through CrossFit.
This applies not only to a specific weight that a movement was intended to be used with, but just as importantly, to a complete range of motion of which the movement was intended.
We at CrossFit are all about scaling. We encourage only adding load and intensity when an athlete has demonstrated the ability to do so. During this growing process, we are generally not sticklers to full and exact range of motion and accuracy during a WOD. This will develop over time. We are however, sticklers to form and safety. During this growing/learning process, we do not take reps from athletes if perfection is not met.
Athletes are often in a rush to earn an Rx. We admire that and want to help. The best way to help is by ensuring that the athlete has a thorough understanding of exactly what Rx is.
We also understand that when we as athletes hold ourselves to these standards, the movement takes a little longer to execute than if we shorted the rep. This is ok, as long as every athlete is being held to the same standard. This is why there are judges at competitions. When standards are being met, apples are being compared to apples.
There are numerous examples of movements that will require full range of motion. Here are just a few:
If a WOD calls for wall-balls (20/14), it is not enough to just use the prescribed weight to earn an Rx. The ball must also hit the prescribed target (9 or 10’) every time, and the athlete must squat below parallel every time. If the athlete misses the target or does not break parallel, the rep should not count and should be redone. If an athlete is not able to hit the target, the ball is most likely too heavy. If an athlete is unable to achieve this range, the Rx should not be given.
If a WOD includes pull-ups, the chin needs to clear the bar every time, and the arms need to come to extension at the bottom. If either of these do not happen, the rep should not be counted. If push-ups are involved, the chest has to touch the deck and (just as importantly) the arms have to fully extend at the top. Otherwise…no rep.
If a WOD includes thrusters, it is not enough to just use the prescribed weight to earn an Rx. The squat must break parallel and the knees and arms must fully extend at the top position and the ears should be visible in front of the arms. (head should come through the window) If at any time this does not happen, the rep should not count.
The same principles that apply to the thruster above would also apply to a Push-Press, except with no squat (obviously). Knees and arms must fully extend and head through the window.
If a WOD includes a Power Snatch, the movement is complete when the arms and legs are fully extended at the top position. The knees may not stay bent in the ‘receive position’. If the knees do not extend, the rep should not be counted.
If a WOD includes Knees-To Elbows, the rep is complete when the elbow or back of the arm makes clear contact with the knee. If clear contact is not made, the rep does not count and should be repeated.
There are many more examples to give, but this should be enough to clear things up.
If there is ever a question regarding the standard of a movement, ask your coach prior to the WOD.
In summary, if you are an athlete that desires to have an Rx next to your name on the white board, make sure that you are holding yourselves to the highest standard…every time,…no exceptions. The fact is that nobody will think less of you if you finish 30 seconds slower. Others will think less of you, however, if you are known as the guy/girl that consistently shorts reps or ROM. Holding yourselves to higher standards of movement will absolutely make you a better athlete.