According to ancient Egyptian history, Horus, the sky God also known as the Lord of Medicine, possessed all healing powers. Horus gifted the Egyptians the knowledge to create medicine. This medicine was created out of plant based essential oils and animal byproducts; but that’s beside the point. Horus’s gift of knowledge to apothecary was so celebrated that Egyptians marked all medicine storage with the Eye of Horus.
Historians formerly believed the origin of our abbreviation Rx, for any medical prescription, was derived from the Latin word “recipe” which means, “take”. Recent discovery of the oldest known Old English written form, reveals that Rx was an “English” interpretation of the hieroglyphics for Horus, the Lord of Medicine. In modern English, Rx has become the abbreviation for any prescription.

So what does ancient Egyptian history have to do with fitness you ask? In the CrossFit community, when you perform a workout exactly as it was written, you are said to have done that workout Rx. Generally speaking, there is one singular Rx option for men, and another singular option for women. This is counter intuitive in that CrossFit’s premise is that our program can, and should, be tailored for anybody. Furthermore, we believe all individuals’ needs vary by degree, but not by kind. An NFL wide receiver needs to be able to run a 40 in sub 5 seconds, and your great grandmother needs to be able to walk 40 yards to her mailbox. A World’s Strongest Man competitor needs to be able to deadlift and then farmers carry 800+ lbs, and your grandfather needs to be able to deadlift and farmers walk his luggage or groceries. We all need to be able to squat, pull, press, and cover ground. We also all have different goals, backgrounds, body types, fitness levels, ailments, and physical applications. This is where the coach comes in. His or her job is to help you tailor the workout to fit your needs. Your job is to listen. If the coach won’t help you with this, you are wasting your money. If you will not listen to the coach, you are wasting your time. Most issues that can arise from cross sectional fitness programs come from a coach unwilling to coach, or an athlete unwilling to listen.

What’s the point? Unless you have a fetish for hieroglyphics, or you worship The Lord of Medicine, don’t obsess over doing the workout Rx. Instead, have a conversation with your coach about what’s best for your fitness needs.

-Bradley Berlin

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