Wednesday, August 4, 2010


About a month ago a bunch of articles came out in the CrossFit blog-o-sphere about scaling and the correct way to do it. CrossFit Austin wrote a great post that Mel highlighted in her blog (and because she did I'm sure all of you already read it). I've always been in the mindset to always go heavier in a workout, regardless of what you think you can do. But Coach Crystal has called me out on this a number of times, trying to make me understand that range of motion is more important that what weight you're using. But I'm stubborn and think that as long as I'm not hurting myself, or anywhere near injuring myself, it's always better to reach for those heavy dumbbells or weighted bar.

If I were a trainer, Jon over at Barbells and Bacon would probably describe me as a horrible coach. He recently posted an example of how to coach people:
“Today we are doing Helen. 3 Rounds of run 400 21 KB swings 12 pull ups. Goal time is between 8 and 12 minutes. If this workout takes you more than 15 minutes, you did not scale correctly. The weight of the KB and the type of pullup should be based on you doing the first round almost unbroken. We do not want to see sets of 1 and 2 in the first round”.

I remember the days of yelling (okay, not yelling...) at Jess K for grabbing a rubber band when she could crank out one kipping pull up. Even though she didn't know yet how to string them together, I thought she should be off the band for good. But Jon says no. I understand the different energy cycles a great programmed wod should hit depending on how long effort is exerted but sometimes I wonder, to really get stronger, shouldn't I go heavy all the time? Regardless of how long it takes? It's definitely a conflict that is largely discussed on the crossfit message boards as well.

I have no qualms with scaling either. If I can't do the weight or if I'm feeling tired and not able to bust out 100% effort, then by all means, I'm going to scale. Scaling is good - it builds strength in the beginner athlete and especially builds confidence at the early stages of crossfit. I loved looking forward to the next step of doing "Angie" as prescribed, first going up to all 100 reps, then push ups on toes, then kipping pull ups.

Plus, once you get to a certain level of craziness, it's always fun to scale up!

1 comment:

  1. My sentiments exactly. I felt that Angie needed to stay a little longer so I could work on my prescribed time but nooooooooo. CC Flyers...WTF.