We have seen a new addition to some of our workouts, the scaling options. What does scaling really mean? One of the great things about CrossFit is the ability to scale movements so that elite athletes and fresh beginners can all workout together and get the intended stimulus of a workout. Let's look at a classic benchmark Diane;
The intended stimulus of this workout is to move fast. High level athletes will be doing this as a sprint. Dan Bailey has done this workout in 1:35, WOW! Let's look at three different athletes getting ready to do this workout;
Athlete A: They are pretty good at deadlifts, they have a 1RM that is 400lbs and are proficient enough in handstand push-ups such that trying 20 in a row doesn't seem crazy. This person seems like a good candidate to try this workout as prescribed.
Athlete B: They have a 1RM deadlift at 300lbs and can do handstand push-ups, but only about 10 when totally fresh. This athlete should be scaling this workout to deadlifts at 185, maybe even 155, and piked push-ups. While they have a strong deadlift, trying to do this workout as prescribed will mean they are doing deadlifts at 75% of their 1RM for 45 reps! It is also likely they will burnout their handstand push-ups that first round and will be stuck staring at the wall.
Athlete C: Brand new athlete. Still working on proper mechanics of the deadlift and has never done a handstand. This athlete should stay light on the deadlift to ensure proper mechanics and do seated dumbbell press to work on shoulder strength.
Remember our movement pyramid, Mechanics -> Consistency -> Intensity. Can you perform a proper deadlift with a barbell, or a perfect air squat every time? Does rep 15 or 21 deadlifts look like the first rep? Only then can we increase intensity. We do that by first moving faster, then adding load.
Scaling is meant to prevent us from staring at the floor, keep the intensity high, get the intended stimulus, and of course prevent injury. "The goal is NOT to do workouts as RX'd. The goal is to get the appropriate stimulus every day, work on mechanics and consistency, then layer in intensity to the point they are training at their threshold. This is how the magic happens." - Ben Bergeron
If you wish to preform workouts heavier or as prescribed, start by focusing on having perfect mechanics, even with that PVC pipe. Find some extra time during the week to do the dalphabet programming.
Remember to have a relationship with your coach. Ask about the intended stimulus if it not clear. Always error on the side of caution, you will never get a bad workout if you go lighter, move a little faster, and have perfect mechanics.
15 Minute AMRAP
Power Clean Ladder (185/125)
3, 6, 9, 12, 15, etc.