“I Should Have Scaled . . .”

For at least the first 6 months after starting CrossFit, I rarely ever had a RX by my score on the whiteboard. It may have been some sort of inferiority complex but I would feel like my workout was invalidated if I had to do single unders or use a band. So, for a while, at the expense of my fitness, I just did whatever was written on the board, no matter what. It took a while before I realized what a horrible mistake it was to train beyond my abilities. My bar would be the first to hit the ground — not because I finished first but I was the first to reach failure. Gasping for breath, I’d hold my hands on to the top of my head, my hips, or my knees. There was a lot of kneeling in front of my barbell. And all while this is happening, the rest of the class is finished, cheering me on.

Now that I can consistently do a workout as prescribed, I regretfully understand how much further I would be if I had just scaled to my level.

If you’re determined to do a workout “As Prescribed”, sure, let that drive you to push harder. However, do not, and I repeat, DO NOT struggle to finish a workout in 25 minutes that took everyone else 7. Stop changing your weights in the middle of the workout. If you’re unsure if you should scale, just scale. If you don’t, not only will you lose intensity, which is vital for the neurological and physiological changes needed to improve, but you will mentally discourage yourself. And that’s not even mentioning the increased risk of injuring yourself. Forget what everyone else is doing and just do your workout at your level. You will improve much faster. So, I never want to hear you say, “I should have scaled . . .”

TODAY:

4 ROUNDS FOR TIME

400 METER MED BALL RUN 20#/14#

5 DEAD HANG PULL UPS

10 SINGLE ARM KETTLEBELL SWINGS (10 EACH ARM) 53#/35#

15 BURPEES

 

OLYMPIC LIFTING TRAINING

3 REP MAX HANG POWER SNATCH

2 SETS OF 3 HANG POWER SNATCH @ 90% of your 3RM

5 SETS OF 1 HEAVING SNATCH BALANCE + 2 OVERHEAD SQUATS (from the rack) AHAP (AS HEAVY AS POSSIBLE)

5 SETS OF 5 WEIGHTED PULL UPS

 

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5 Responses to “I Should Have Scaled . . .”

  1. Rosalyn says:

    I really appreciate this post and can completely relate to every word in it. I also appreciate the conversation you and I had a few weeks ago on this very subject. I have to start keeping it real with myself when approaching these WODs, then maybe I’ll do a better job about building my endurance. #realitycheck

  2. tassha says:

    Scale on a day with dead hang pullups? I think you are on to something here :-)

    I totally agree though, I was so ashamed for so long to have to scale, now I just do the best I can with the heaviest I can and feel good about it. Dont have to finish first, just have to not give up.

  3. Moni says:

    I feel like I’m still behind the curve on so many things. Scaling isn’t necessarily a bad thing but what I find the problem being is finding the right weight when modifying the weight.

    Being able to find a balance between the right weight to push myself to get better and the weight that is too heavy isn’t easy. With the time constraint always looming, I feel sometimes that the weight I scaled down to is too light so try to go heavier but then it may end up being too heavy so then I find yourself switching weights again in the middle of the WOD.

    I know – it takes time to find the balance and accurate note keeping but it’s still frustrating!

    :-) thanks for letting me vent!

  4. Manny says:

    Excellent posting—We need to check our EGO at the door, had I done so from day one and listen to our Coaches, I would have avoid injuries and would have been more advanced by now.—As for RXing a WOD, I’ve only RXed a few WOD’s that didn’t include weights—So clearly we are all in the same dilemma on Scaling—and as for choosing the correct weight—it’s just a process we have to deal with—I know we can’t go wrong by starting with light weights and making note of it in our journals.

    The WLC is going to be my fresh start to propel my self to another level of health and fitness. This is an opportunity to do a better job of tracking / journalizing my diet and WOD’s…

  5. Craig says:

    I agree with Mona, scaling isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The secret is knowing how much to scale. I believe scaling is a very important tool that should be used to help you achieve your personal fitness goals, but you have to be careful how you use it. I know I struggle with it constantly. Personally, I only use scaling when I know I’m going to sacrifice form or it’s something beyond my fitness level, muscle up’s etc.
    I hate it when I decide to scale and halfway through the WOD realize I shouldn’t. Our coaches work very diligently at creating the daily WOD’s. They’ve got a plan. We need to be careful when we choose to scale that we are not counterproductive to that plan. I personally trust their plan 110%.
    On a personal note, the most rewarding WOD was when I was the last one to finish. When I say last, I mean dead last; several minutes behind everyone. Many times during the WOD I wondered if I should have scaled, but I’m glad I didn’t.

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