Are You Scaling Properly?

by Jenna Torres

CrossFit Hilton Head is unique in the fact that we give you scaling options. Not every box does this, and believe it or not we do this for a specific reason. For one, we do not want anyone to come in and jump into RX, no matter how much they have worked out in the past. One thing I want to make clear is that we do not use levels to categorize people and to make you feel as if level three is better than level two or that RX is the best over all. We solely do levels so people can be aware of where they are as an athlete, and so they can progress and continuously get better over time. However, I see all too often one of our members who have been regularly coming to classes for months or even years stuck at the same level. If you have no desire in moving up in levels, and you are just trying to get a workout in, then this article is not for you. However, if you are one of those members that are baffled as to why you still can’t do the RX clean weight, or a strict pull-up then keep reading.

First thing is first. Are you writing EVERYTHING down? If you do not have a notebook, or if you do not write every single thing down from the strength portion to the conditioning, then this is the first thing I would start to change. I write everything down from the weight I warm up with during the strength portion to how I felt during each movement of the workout. I promise you, if you do not know where you are at, there is no way to continuously progress over an extended period of time.

Second, RX is not the goal. You, continuously improving is the goal. I say this for two reasons. One, I do not want anyone to think it means you are any less of an athlete, member, or person if you are at any level other than RX. The second reason I say this is because even if you are someone that can do most workouts at RX, this does not mean EVERY workout has to be at RX. Put your ego aside and realize there are times you may need to scale. If your range of motion suffers half way through the workout because your ego would not let you scale, then you are seriously only cheating yourself, and you will never get to your full potential. Every single coach at CrossFit Hilton Head will tell you until their face turns blue that we care more about good technique AND range of motion, before weight or levels. However, this is something you have to believe. You not only have to put your ego aside, but you have to truly believe that it is the technique and the range of motion that will allow you to move up in levels.

The last point I want to make, but definitely not any less important is that you do not have to pick a level and stick exactly to that level every single time. For example, if the workout calls for a 155#/135# Power Clean and you always pick level two, which always calls for 115#/95# Power clean, then you are never going to move up in weight on power cleans when it comes to metcons. Just because you have to do the other movements in the workout at a higher level, does not mean you can’t add an extra 5 or 10 pounds to your barbell. When I started CrossFit Craig always told me I could scale up. I did not always stick to a level exactly how it was written, and I strongly believe this is how I was to progress and continue to progress today.

To recap, if you want to improve on a daily basis start with these few basic things: Come to class regularly and write EVERYTHING down in your notebook, scale down when range of motion or technique is compromised, and scale up when you have done the same movement at the same level over and over again and you start getting comfortable. If you are doing these simple things and you still do not know how you should scale or how to push yourself then ask your coach. If you know where you are at, and you are willing to not let your ego be involved then we can and will help you safely push yourself. The one thing you have to remember is that this is a process, a process in which you much trust.

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