The Importance of scaling
We have all heard the word “scale” as related to modifying the workout you are doing that day.
Scaling has many different meanings, whether it is scaling the movement as a whole or scaling the weight we are using to perform a certain movement. We can substitute movements that work the same muscle groups as the movements originally stated within the workout, for example doing ring rows instead of pull-ups. Another example that includes weights, if the workout says to do 80lbs for a front squat but you know that is really close to your max so you would not get the most out of the workout you could scale the weight down to 50lbs.
Essentially, scaling means any deviation from performing the workout, including the understood standards of each movement, “as prescribed” or “Rx.” Scaling is incredibly important to help ensure your safety and increase your fitness.
Some primary considerations when thinking about how to scale or what to scale include:
what will help you maximize your work capacity.
you are meeting the intended effect of the workout.
Scaling is not just for new athletes who may not be proficient in specific movements, or for those who are injured or have mobility limitations. Scaling is for everyone! Scaling should not make the workout “easier,” allowing for you to finish way ahead of others, but should allow you to move through at a level of effectiveness to maintain the intention of the WOD. At the end of the day scaling correctly will increase work capacity more efficiently than attempting to complete workouts as prescribed.