I’ll give a couple of examples. The first is a longtime client who wants to finish everything as Rx’d. We will call her Mary IT worker. Every WOD is a slog. Mary hates to be uncomfortable and loves to lift heavy. So Mary is quite happy to do everything as rx’d as it involves plenty of standing around, a high heart rate scares her. On the other side we have the metcon queen we will call Sally Soccer Mom. Sally doesn’t want to lift heavy as it will make her “big”, and lifting heavy scares her. Consequently, she drives herself through every workout like a demon with the lightest weight possible and scaled reps as well. Mary has been training for 5 years and still can’t go under 5:00 for Fran. Sally has been training just as long has a 3:00 Fran with scaled pull ups and a 15# bar.
Both are better off than if they were going to the local globo gym, neither are where they could or should be.
My advice to folks who are serious about their fitness is to make sure that each week you explore that which frightens. If you have already done a couple wods this week where you were on fire, then yes it might have been appropriate to slow down and finish as Rx’d. On the other hand if you have slogged through a couple wods this week then its time to suck it up and make it a sprint.