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Scaling is Not a Crime: Why it's Okay to Scale a WOD



In the functional fitness space we often hear the words “scale” or “modify” when referring to the workout of the day. Movement and/or weight options are often RX (prescribed) or Scaled (modified).


People should scale workouts for a number of reasons but oftentimes our egos get in the way. We choose to “Go RX” when in reality we may not be ready to complete a workout at that level. You risk a lot things when doing something “as prescribed” when you shouldn’t be. You may even be left with LESS of a workout when choosing to complete it as prescribed.


Here are a few of our best reasons for having athletes scale during workouts.


Preserve Intended Stimulus and Get a More Effective Workout

WODs often have an intended stimulus as the focus for the training cycle you are on. Consider a workout that is intended to be a sprint. Generally, this means you should complete all rounds or reps within a short time frame, usually 6 minutes or less. When scaled appropriately no one should have a problem completing all movements to standard in the given time period. When we do not scale appropriately a couple of different scenarios can play out.


1) We may sacrifice movement technique or standards for speed. This is a problem because these sacrifices can lead to poor movement patterns over time, which then costs us results in the long run. Worst case scenario these sacrifices lead to injury, holding us back from that glorifie