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Scaling - Does Everyone Need It?

Hey Vic City,

Scaling is an important concept to understand when it comes to WODs. "What scaling option should I do?" is a common question that I get asked as a coach. Like the answer to many things, it depends.

The first thing we need to establish is what is the goal of the workout. Usually the coach will overview the intent of the WOD in terms of the 'intended stimulus.' Are the reps meant to be done unbroken and fast, or is the challenge to go a heavier and take some breaks along the way. What should we feel like once we are done?

The next part we need to factor in, is our abilities. Where are our skill and strength limitations? If you can't do an unassisted pull-up, doing Fran prescribed isn't possible. However if you can do at least one thruster at 65/95 and at least one unassisted pull-up you can technically get through Fran Rx (it might take an hour, though). That's why we've already discussed the intended stimulus. When I look at a workout, I think how will the top athletes feel or how long will they take, and try to adjust to fit a similar mold.

A third component of deciding how and what to scale will come down to your goals. The intent of Fran is to move fast, and sprint through the reps, leaving you exhausted at the end (potentially with Fran cough). However, Fran is a workout that is a big milestone to complete Rx, therefore your goal of getting an Rx score might dictate what your stimulus will be.

All these factors could change workout to workout. The 'Rx' could be anything on any given day. One workout might be a 100m Run as the Rx, another might be 3 rounds, 1 deadlift (455/320), 2 Ring Muscle Up, 3 Squat Clean (250/175), 4 Handstand Push-ups. These workouts are very different, but could both be Rx. Try to focus more on your goals and the intended stimulus than just getting Rx beside your score on each WOD. There will always be a workout out there that we can't do Rx, so we need to know how to scale to help us make us fitter each workout.

Bottom line, it's your fitness you are looking to improve, focus on what you can control. There is NO SHAME in scaling, it's not cheating, it's not easier, it's relative to your current fitness and intended to make you better down the road.



WARM UP: Rotating EMOM - 6 burpee broad jumps, 12 double crunch, 10-30 sec handstand hold. 3 x through each station (9 min)


This is a team conditioning workout, in which you will work in a team of 4 people on a 30s work, 1:30 rest rotation for max team calories. Pace yourself for the full 16 rounds each!

Rx: 30s work, 1:30 rest on the assault bike x 16 intervals each person (32 min)

FG: 1 hard interval, 1 easier interval

TG: 8-12 intervals of work

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