One of the best things about CrossFit is that it is infinitely scalable. That means that it doesn?t matter if you are an Olympic weightlifter or someone who decided they were sick of their couch, we can scale a workout so that it will not kill you but you will still get a great workout.
That being said, I would like to state that the point of every CrossFit workout is not to drive you in the ground until you want to vomit and go crawl in a hole somewhere. Workouts are meant to elicit a specific response from your body. We program certain workouts and certain movements because it will benefit you in a specific way. CrossFit workouts will not always involve bleeding and crying, if you want that you need to reassess your priorities. Sometimes we do actually want to make you go to that dark place and get mentally tougher, and other times we want to take it easy and stress your body just enough so you don?t slip back into couch potato mode but still recover well.
So how does scaling come into all of this? You guys might notice that we have ability levels that range from slaying regional wods like they were a warm up to still working on stringing kipping pull-ups together. With that in mind, it becomes obvious that the same weight for everyone may not get the same response. One scaling example I can think of with myself is with my thruster ability. ?I’m not trying to brag, but I am pretty good at that movement. I spent a lot of time doing thrusters during the Fran challenge. So 95 lb thrusters to me are not the same that they would be to Michelle. So if the point of the workout is to get heavy thruster work, it would be silly for me to do the workout with 95lbs. This would be an appropriate situation for upscaling. On the same note if I see Justin is going to pull 345 lbs on a deadlift workout that does not make it appropriate for me to put 345 on the bar. There is no shame in doing less weight than someone else. Like I?ve said before, our job is not to make you better than the guy next to you. It is to make you better than you were yesterday. I can not think of two people in all the athletes I see on a daily basis that are in the exact same place in their athletic journey. What does this mean to you guys as gym members? From now on in workouts just because the person next to you grabs a weight vest to use during their mile time trial, believe it or not, you don?t have to! If you want to upscale in a workout or feel like you can handle more weight than is Rx?d, talk to your coach. If we see that you are actually capable of more weight or the next level up we will address it . However, if as a coach I notice that you only want to add more weight because somebody did the workout with 2000 lbs on the board, you probably need to stay where you’re at and kill the workout with that weight or movement. Your peers should not dictate what weight you do or which level you do the workout. Have you guys ever upscaled too much and paid the price? Do you feel that the gym wods are scaled appropriately?
-Chris Kent aka TI