How and Why to Scale a Workout?
What do you do if you can/or think you can NOT complete the workouts as prescribed for today’s workout?
A). Do you decide not to come to the gym that day and go another day ie Cherry Picking?
B). Do you come in anyway but have a bad attitude about the workout?
C). Or are you familiar with how to scale the workout and see it as a challenge and opportunity to better yourself that day?
This is one of the most common questions/concerns asked by new students and prospects looking at our gym. The answer is very simple. Our workouts are designed to be scalable depending on your current skill and fitness level. Our training program is based on functional movements. These are full body movements that are natural, scalable and involve multiple joints working at one time. Performing functional movements at high intensity will increase your level of fitness and athletic ability. Since the human body operates the same regardless of age, anyone willing to put forth the work can experience the benefits.
The beauty of CPM is its universal scalability. The same workout can be performed by Grandma as by an Olympic athlete, where the only difference is intensity, volume and load. These workouts vary by degree not kind. A good coach knows exactly how to scale a workout for athletes with varying levels of fitness and/or athletes with pre-existing injuries while keeping the intent of the workout roughly the same.
How To Scale?
Once you have gotten a good 20 -30 classes under your belt and with accurate and consistent JOURNALING you are on your way to being able to understand how much to scale a workout. If you are brand new, work with the coach who is leading your class.
Here are tips, tricks, ideas and strategies according to the different type of workout(s):
–Strength: For those of us new to weightlifting/strength training we can see many gains in the first few months. Then the gains don’t continue to come as much as we begin to learn and get repetitive with the movements. A great rule of thumb is to STOP when you PR on a lift. Some weeks you may not be able to lift as much as others. That’s fine, but make sure you make progress in the long run. Slow and steady wins in the weightlifting world. Work on your technique after class on the more complicated lifts. Perfect technique has to occur before you begin to build and continue to build on strength in the lifts.
–Skills: These are things like double unders, toes to bar and pull-ups. These can take a lot of practice. If you don’t have experience with these types of skills your body doesn’t really know how to perform these movements athletically or efficiently. Setting small goals 1, 2, 5… Then scale up and then shoot for another 10 in a row. Work with the coaches on finding what are the progressions for the individual skill and work that skill consistently. There is really no secret with skill development. Its the simple (but not easy) formula of time, consistency and effort.
–The Workouts – A good trick to scaling a workout is to pick one thing you feel confident in. Let’s say you just got 10 pull-ups with the blue band but are still using the green band for WODs. The workout is backsquats and pull-ups. If you feel good today, you can scale UP by using the blue band for the workout because your arms won’t be too taxed and the back squat doesn’t require your grip. You wouldn’t scale up the backsquats because you want to only focus on scaling one movement up each workout, otherwise the workout becomes exponentially harder. Also ask the coach, “What is the priority of the workout today”? Is it strength bias? Conditioning? Skill? Look at your strengths, weaknesses and the priority to help you gauge how to scale the workout.
Be Patient – This may be the hardest thing of all. If you jump up in weight too quickly, you will become more discouraged than motivated. Remember to be systematic about your increases. Look for small wins week after week. Over the course of three months, all of those small wins will start to add up.c
Never Forget – We easily forget where we started. I constantly remind myself how my first workout felt or I look at my JOURNAL with my old scores and remember how 95 used to feel like 155. Remind yourself how far you have come. Fitness needs to be a lifelong endeavor, not just about slimming up for summer.
Our role as coaches is to make sure you are improving in a systematic and safe way. If we tell you to go up in weight or down in a band it isn’t because we are just being jerks, it is because we believe you are fully capable of doing it.
The O-Board Says…
A. Every 90 Seconds for 6 sets (9min)
3 Overhead Squats
*Work up to a Heavy set of 3
B. AMRAP 15 Minutes:
Max Rep Overhead Squats
Post by Chris; @cmoknows