By Jocelyn

Fran (95/65)…Grace (135/95)…Diane (225/155)…Nancy (95/65)…Elizabeth (135/95)…



Just to name a few. On average the difference between men’s and women’s rx’d weight is about 30%. Does that mean to say that women are on average 30% weaker than men? How did we come up with this number anyway?


Then there was the Nor Cal Qualifier. Some of those women’s weights were upwards of 40% lighter. Workout A was 500m row, 30 burpee, 10 jerks (165/95). Workout B was as many reps as possible in 10min of Cleans (185/105) and muscle ups where the men needed to complete a minimum of 10 of each movement while women needed to complete a minimum of 4. And then, of coarse, there was “Catch 22” where the men’s 22 deadlifts were 315lbs, while the women’s weight was 185lbs. That’s quite a big difference.


I once had a softball coach (granted this coach was 80 years old and way past his prime) who told us we should always carry two bats. One regular, and one lighter; because “when it’s that time of the month your weaker.” Hell, if he were a CrossFit HQ man we might have 3 Rx’d weight classes: 1 men’s, 1 women’s, and 1 women’s for “that time of the month.”


Some people think that we should do away with set poundage all together. There’s talk that it would be a more even playing field if we went to a body weight percentage system, in which the rx’d weight in a workout is based on how much you weigh. Yet another idea would be to implement weight classes. For competition’s sake that might even things out a bit, but then how would you apply this stuff to life out there? If I’ve got to pull an unconscious body from a burning building I certainly don’t have a choice about what class I compete in or what percentage of body weight I’ll be dragging. I can either save the person or I can’t.


With that school of thought, maybe there should be no difference at all in the prescribed weights on WODs. I heard Tony Budding say at my level I cert that technically there is not/should not be a men’s rx AND a women’s rx. The men’s rx is the rx’d weight, period. Why do you think they don’t list a women’s rx on the main site? I like wrapping my head around that one.


Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not ranting or carrying on here because I have some marvelous idea, or strong opinion about this stuff either way (although I am always in favor of prescribing more cowbell). Nor do I think I have the answer. But one thing’s for sure; all too often I glance up during a workout and think to myself, “dam, that 135 looks SO much heavier for him than this 95 feels for me.”





And girls, if you can do it with the men’s RX, go for it!


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