After a few emails back and forth with one of our members and lots of conversations with others about scaling workouts, I thought I’d share my thoughts with all of you.
First things first, scaling a workout DOES NOT diminish the WOD!
In our very first intro class we talk about how CrossFit is “infinitely scalable” and that we’re always looking to deliver the same “relative intensity” to all our members in each workout.
What this means is that the workout should generally take everyone in the class around the same amount of time to complete AND everyone should be feeling the same way at the end of the WOD.
This is the reason we post Intermediate and Scaled weights/moves for everything we do in a WOD, so we can achieve the same relative intensity for all our members.
I know exactly what it’s like to want to hit the WOD RX, but not really be on that level yet. It can be frustrating, especially for the seasoned athlete, but it’s important to remember that slowing yourself down just to lift a little more weight may be a bigger negative than it is positive.
If the WOD is meant to be a sprint, but you’re standing around staring at the bar for 30 seconds before each rep wondering how you’re going to pick it up again, you’ve gone too heavy and the cardiovascular response we were looking for in the WOD has most likely been lost.
Moral of the story: TRUST THE COACHES GUIDANCE.
If you’ve got your eye on doing the WOD RX’d, but the coach is nudging you toward something a little lighter, listen and adjust accordingly.
They are not making the suggestion to embarrass you or make you feel weak, but to make sure you get the desired response out of the WOD and that you stay safe.
If the weight they had you use ends up being too light and you finish the fastest in class, there’s nothing wrong with that. Just make the adjustment next time and let them know that you’ve done this movement before at a specific weight and it was easy, so you’re going to try heavier.
Scaling is all about team work between the vision the coach has for the workout and the goal of the athlete. Work together!
Finally, I read the following on the JournalMENU Facebook page a couple days ago and thought it’s message spot on. I hope you all like it!
“The six letter word.
Some of us act like “scaled” is right up there with all the other four, five or six letter derogatory words.
Like its a word to be ashamed of.
A word that automatically invalidates your WOD or your efforts.
Like the statement “I scaled” is synonymous with “I cheated”.
But it isn’t.
Every elite athlete has scaled.
Hell, they still scale.
Do you think they just woke up one morning, walked into a box and qualified for the Games that night?
Do you think they were born with a muscle up or whipped out double unders on the school yard?
They worked for their skills, for days or weeks or months or years, they worked for them.
When they reached their goal they quickly set another, one just a little bit harder, one just a bit heavier, one just a bit more skilled.
And they scaled, they broke it down into bite sized chunks, they drilled it, they dreamed it, they worked it, and then they got it.
Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure they don’t think they cheated their way there, I’m pretty sure they think they scaled their way there.
If scaling is OK for them, why not for you? Seriously?”