Mistake #7: Avoiding Scaling for Rx Distinction
Scaling is a key component of CrossFit training, the means by which you and, say, Rich Froning can do the exact same workout and get equal results. But it’s also one of the most underused components of CrossFit, mainly because scaling often involves picking a lighter weight and not achieving the coveted “as prescribed” distinction.
But scaling is not only underused; it’s also misunderstood. The way Gelbrich sees it, just because you’re able to do a given WOD as prescribed doesn’t mean you should. Scaling doesn’t exist only to help you complete a workout; it’s also there to help you achieve the workout as it was intended. Take “Fran,” for example. Many would say that if you’re able to complete all reps (21-15-9) at the prescribed weights (95 pounds for thrusters, bodyweight/no assistance on pull-ups), then you should, even if it takes you 20 minutes. Gelbrich disagrees. “That would be inappropriate scaling,” he says. “Yes, the athlete achieved the Rx distinction, but that’s not the response that workout is looking for. Fran should be a really short, high-intensity workout intended to be just a few minutes long. The question is, Can you do all those pull-ups and all those thrusters in six minutes or less? If so, you’re feeling the same experience as the world-class CrossFit athlete who’s doing Fran in two minutes flat.”
Fix it: When deciding whether to scale down on a particular workout, determine what an appropriate time or work output should be. If you’re that guy who does Fran as prescribed in 20 minutes, drop the weight on the thrusters by 20 to 30 pounds, do the pull-ups with elastic bands and try to complete the workout in six minutes or less. Don’t just finish the workout — finish it while achieving “the type of response you’re supposed to get out of it,” Gelbrich says. “That’s where the training gains are made. As you build strength and power output, you can work your way up. It takes maturity to take a step back, but you really need to check your ego at the door.”
I challenged her to an OHS form battle. Chelsea is pretty spot on!
Workout of the Day
Warm up with Push Jerk instruction/ Get your weight on the bar
-3 Push Jerk (HEAVY) *Must be able to take from the ground
-80 Meter Shuttle Run
Score is Time/Load