I think its important to understand what scaling a workout means and why a good affiliate will encourage scaling more times then not for specific movements/exercises. Taken directly from a CrossFit Journal article , “Effective scaling at an affiliate demands an understanding of CrossFit programming theory, awareness of your athletes’ capabilities and limitations, and quick application of many possible scaling methods”.
A well thought out workout program will always have a desire stimulus. Stimulus meaning, is the workout designed to a short sprint or a longer , grind it out type workout. Is the load/weight for the workout designed to be heavy or light. Now heavy and light, is all based on each individuals abilities and comfort levels. A properly scaled workout will continue to develop increased work capacity despite someones ability level. The goal of scaling an individual is to 1. maintain safety, 2. show efficiency 3. in the long term, having them perform the workouts as prescribed/RX.
A good coach will also scale individuals despite their ability level to reach the desired response of any given workout. If there is a workout that is, by design, intended to take 5-7 mins, however if we fail to modify the workout and it takes someone 15-20 mins, we have done them an injustice.
A proper scaling program will scale load/weight ,repetitions and/or the duration of the workout. We do this to make room for growth.
At Bionic, we encourage scaling for those people who may not always appear to need it. What I mean is if we have an athlete who moves safely and efficiently, however feels as they are stuck in a rut, or we see some room for improvement, we may modify the movements or variations of the movements to stimulate growth both physically and mentally. For example, we may use dumbbells, kettlebells or an odd object for overhead movements or pulling from the ground to create stability overhead or strengthen their posterior chain. We have found that this more effectively addresses imbalances in the body that we can’t address while moving a barbell. On numerous occasions, we have taken someone off of a barbell for a month and modified all movements down to dumbbells, kettlebells or an odd object and when they return to the barbell, they set a new personal record on a lift.
Lastly, scaling is a tool used for someone despite injury. If you tweak your shoulder doing yard work, or hurt your ankle running, at Bionic we still encourage you to show up everyday. We will modify the workout entirely, so you can safely continue to increase your fitness while sick and stay committed to being healthy. You will heal faster the more you keep moving.
Scaling is not failing. Scaling is not done because we want to pick on you. Scaling is done for safety of the athlete, longevity, growth and more efficient movement patterns. So the next time a coach recommends modifying a movement, it is only in your best interest and the only thing stopping you from accepting his/her recommendation is ego. If you check the ego, your progress is endless.
St Agnes House In-house charity comp.
Bionic Annual Christmas Party
“12 Days of Christmas WOD”