Coach: “You KILLED that workout! Nice job!” *Highest of fives*
Athlete: “Yeah, but I scaled it.”
I’ve heard this before. I’ve said it to myself for so long. Right off the bat, let’s clear the air about scaling: there is no shame in it. Don’t beat yourself up over scaling a workout, as if scaling is for the weak and untalented. The truth is, we are all in a state of scaling. A 12 inch box jump is a scaled 24 inch box jump, a double under is a scaled triple under, a muscle up is a scaled weighted muscle up, and a handstand pushup is a scaled weighted handstand pushup or deficit handstand pushup. Scaling is how you get from where you are now, to your future goals and your future kick-butt self.
Our entire programming is based around scaling. We use percentages of our maximum
lifts in pursuit of increasing those lifts. We don’t max out our back squat every time we back squat in hopes that we can add 5-10 pounds each time. No, we scale down to 60%, 70%, 80%, 90% and hit those grinding sets and reps in order to increase our 1-rep. That’s scaling at its finest.
The same applies to movements or weights in our WOD’s. If chest-to-bar is Rx’d and you don’t have chest-to-bar yet, then let’s do YOUR version of them: pull-ups, jumping pull-ups, ring rows. We scale movements to keep us safe, healthy, improve technique, and to best work toward our future ideal self. Changing reps, time, movement, range of motion, tempo, weight or equipment are all means to make a workout individualized to best suit your abilities and progress you through training on that day.
So next time the final beep beeps and the workout is over and you’re lying on the ground, out of breath and full of sweat, don’t ever think to yourself: “Yeah, but I scaled.”
Be proud that YOU killed that WOD.