18 Oct Scale or not to scale that is…
Scaling a workout… Why? When? And How?
Why? Because The Rock said so! Next Question.
But seriously, the reason why is because the workout is designed to be completed in a specific way. A “X Rounds for Time” workout is designed to be completed in a specific time frame. Just as a 10 Minute AMRAP style workout is designed to get you to complete a range of reps.
If you are finishing the 5 rounds for time workout in 23:45 but the rest of class is finishing between 12 and 15 minutes and you scored 60 reps on yesterdays 8 minute AMRAP and the rest of the class scored 120-150 it isn’t because you are out of shape, it’s because your coach is a moron… wait hold on… Its because we didn’t scale your workout properly.
We write out programming blocks with specific goals in mind and it is important to remember; what is prescribed on the whiteboard each day is just a guide to achieve these responses. A guide that can be manipulated at nauseum.
Our main focuses beyond the end result is to assure you move safely and have efficient economy of motion, not necessarily how much weight you are throwing around (I mean let us be honest there are small teenage girls throwing around more weight somewhere in the old Eastern Block). At the end of the day your self value should not come from whether or not you go RX or if you scale. And also, no one really cares anyways. We care first about your safety and economy of motion more than about your score/time on the whiteboard. If you want to get the most out of your workouts, listen to the directions and ask for help if needed.
When should I scale? Whenever it is appropriate!
Remember, we write these workouts with a specific purpose each day and long term. We can bore you with the details of each and every workout some other time, but scaling a workout should be a regular occurrence in your routines. If you can complete the workout exactly the way it’s designed great, if not, you should scale.
How do I scale a workout? Let me count the ways!
Option 1 – Load/Resistance
The simplest way to scale, lighten the load or decrease the resistance. Do whatever you need to do to the weight in order to safely complete the workout the way it was designed.
Ex. Push Ups. (1)Drop your knees to the floor to make yourself lighter. Keep the same reps if possible (double). (2) Get elevated! Do an incline push up by setting a bar up on the squat rack to an appropriate height thus changing your pushing angle and adding better leverage (3) grab a band strap it across pull up rig, place at hips and push away
Option 2 – Movement
Creativity begins to play a factor here. Change the movement but get the same outcome.
Ex. Back Squat→ Cant Squat, that is okay our goal is to challenge our Hip Primals (Lunge, Step Up, Squat) and spinal stability. Can’d do any of those oh that is okay, we have Reverse Hypers and Weight Hip Bridges. The mods end at your creative limitations
Option 3- Tempo
“It hurts if I Go to heavy, so I am just going to stay light”
We hear this all the time and we are okay with it but we do understand that the body adapts near and beyond its comfort level. For instance we ask you to find a 5rm and you just simply stop at 100kg but you can really do 120kg, you are missing out on potential gains. Let us assume though that you chose to do 100kg because you had a rough weekend or things are just feeling funky, here is a better solution. Move slower! Add a tempo to your eccentric load (the lengthening of a muscle).
Option 4 – Range of Motion
This is your final and last resort. Your goal is to keep the same general action… Push, Pull, Press etc. But if there is any reason why, you can change it up and shoot for something similar.
Ex. Push Ups. Plank Hold, Pillar Hold.
Let us not forget about Scaling Up! Let us keep the Push Up context going. Let’s say you can bust out push ups like Bennycakes eats Chili Mangoes, maybe it is time to address evolving into other variations such as; True Push Ups, Ring Push Ups, Plyo Push Ups, Defecit Push Ups to name a few
So there you go, a little look into our thought process as well as a little understanding for yourselves… If you want to get the most our of your workouts, and your training program, scaling is a very important aspect to understand from all angles
Bottom Line–> Don’t let your Ego get in the way.