It’s a good question and one I have been asked many times.
In my mind. It’s maintaining the stimulus of the workout. That means meeting a goal time or rounds, finding the balance of technique and intensity, and training that has longevity.
Lets take a look at today’s workout:
2 rounds for time of:
25 Power Cleans, 60/40 kg
25 Lateral Burpee Over Bars
25 Front Squats, 60/40 kg
25 Chest-to-bar Pull-ups
25 Front Rack Lunges, 60/40 kg
25 AbMat Sit-ups
The weight is often the first thing people look at but that is not the only thing that makes a workout. There is a listed weight of 60kg for males and 40kg for females.
You have to ask whether you can meet the required stimulus of this workout. This is not designed to be a heavy day. Yes it is high volume but we are looking for each movement to take no more than 2 mins. That gives us 12 mins per round and an overall time of 24 mins with a little drop off it may be closer to 26/27 mins but it shouldn’t be over 30 mins.
Other things to pay attention to are as I listed above stimulus, time domains and rounds or reps if required. Another possibly more important element is movement standards and positions. You have to move well at all times. Do you maintain the full range of motion and the full movement standards for each movement for the entire workout? That means a 2 foot take off and landing on the burpees, chest touching the bar on ever rep, elbows fully through on the cleans, elbows in front of knees on the sit up with hands touching ground behind head.
So as you can see there is more to RX than just saying 'I did the weight'
However just because you may need scale or scaled a workout doesn't mean you are being short changed or getting less from a workout, you are still getting better and making improvements whilst hitting workouts to their intended stimulus and in my view probably achieving more fitness gains.
Get over the weights, reps, off the high horse and reject ego. Find the intended stimulus, meet it, and continually work to improve.
What are your thoughts?