One of the most common questions we get as coaches is “What weight should I use?" Going into a new week, I want to help you understand why and how we can scale workouts to get the best results for YOU.
Whether you are fresh off our "On Ramp" program or have been doing CrossFit for years, there are still days you will need to scale a WOD. Most of us know when we have to scale a WOD, but the question is usually HOW? As coaches, it is our job to help you get the best results, maintain the stimulus, and honor the integrity of the movements (whether it is scaled or RX). Just because a coach encourages you to scale does not mean they think less of your fitness level or abilities.
"So, how do I scale?"
The first thing you need to look at it is the goal of the workout.
1) Movement. This includes scaling from handstand pushups, to pike pushups on the box, to strict dumbbell presses
2) Weight/Load. Using a lighter weight or load to be able to complete a WOD and move safely and efficiently. This would also include using bands for ring dips.
3) Number of reps. This scaling option will usually apply to our WODS with high reps of gymnastic movements such as T2B and double unders. If you are able to complete small sets of these, it is beneficial to do some in the WOD and building the capacity. Best way to learn these movements is to just do them! Just remember, during a workout is not the time to "practice" these movements because your focus should be on maintaining the stimulus!
4) Range of motion. Does the front rack or overhead position seem impossible? Then this one applies to you! ROM scaling options include power snatches instead of squat snatches and back squats instead of overhead or front squats.
5. Injury. If you are recovering from an injury, let your coach know so they can help structure the workout to keep you safe but also make you sweat :)
Just remember, don't scale to make the workout "easier", scale based on ability. Don't be afraid to get uncomfortable, that is where the magic happens.