:: Rob’s Rant – Scaling – 10/08 ::
For this week’s rant, I have decided that I need to further discuss scaling. Scaling, as I mentioned in the last post, is very important and there is absolutely no shame in scaling a workout to your abilities as an athlete. If you’re new to CrossFit (we’ll call it less than 9 months in), you don’t need to read any further. Just stop. Tune in next time for another fun rant. I think this post might sound hypocritical when compared to the last rant, but whatever.
There is no way to sugar coat this: if you’re beating the top Rx-ed scores, your scaled WOD is too easy. Again, scaling is incredibly important for EVERY athlete. When workouts are designed, there is a goal. Some workouts are intended to be a “sprint.” Others are intended to be more of a marathon. Certain workouts call for heavier loads with fewer reps and yet still, some workouts have less weight with more reps.
Some of the longer WODs are easier to scale because generally the weights are not as intense. However, some of the sprintier WODs are often scaled by athletes because they’re scared of the weights involved. If a WOD calls for 185# squat cleans and your max is 165#, clearly scaling is appropriate. However, if you can handle 225# but want to do 165# cause it’s easier, then you’re doing it wrong.
It seems to me that people are scared at times to really step out of their comfort zone when attacking these workouts. Another example would be kettlebells. I think all the guys in our gym can handle 55# KBs and many of the guys in our gym can handle 70# swings, but many don’t, for whatever reason. I guess the point is if you can swing that 70# KB, do it and work for it.
As I said last post, I would love to see every athlete in the gym RXing every WOD. I know that’s never going to happen as our community continues to grow. However, if you are ABLE to handle the weight in the WOD do it (don’t be afraid to challenge yourself, which will only benefit you and your development). There is NO shame in getting time capped or having a “bad” score because the workout calls for a heavy movement. Regional/Games athletes get time capped ALL THE TIME. I watched 80% of the CF games. Certain Team WODs only had 3 teams finishing the whole workout. Same goes for the individual athletes. Again, there is absolutely NO SHAME in getting time capped.
So, in summary, scale if you have to scale. But, in scaling, make sure that you’re challenging yourself in the way the workout is intended to challenge you. I think back to the Comp Class WOD the other night. It had 185# power cleans, 30 of them. NO WAY did I ever think I would be able to do that but Dustin’s programing did just that. CrossFit is intended to make you uncomfortable, what we do defies logic. Constantly pushing the limits of the human body and our potential. I promise to continue to push my limits if you’ll do the same.