TO SCALE OR NOT TO SCALE… or DITCHING YOUR EGO
We all want to get better. We all want to have a good workout to start or end our day. The challenge comes in when we look at whether or not to scale to accomplish these goals. I find this struggle even more apparent during the time of the Open. We all get a little egotistical at times. The first open workout came out and called for CTB this year. This is a fairly advanced movement that takes time to develop. The scaled version… jumping pull ups. A seemingly huge scale.
I think what most people fail to recognize when a workout is released for the open, or even just a class workout is explained is that scaling does not equal failing. Scaling options are there for a reason. When progressed through in a proper manner, with your coach’s guidance, scaling options allow for technical growth, overall improvement in the skill, and SAFETY. Keep in mind that even the Rx version of a workout is a scale for something.
When faced with a decision to scale or to not scale, there are a few questions that come to mind: “Am I proficient at some of the movements in this workout?,” “Are there movements in this workout I am working on but have not fully developed?” “Is the prescribed weight a weight that I can move safely for the duration of the workout and maintain the intention of the workout?”
With these few questions in mind you should be able to discuss easily with your coach, or decide for yourself what will best achieve your goals. If you find a workout that has several movements in it that you feel confident with and one that you struggle with, this might be a day to try a higher scale.
When it comes to choosing a weight, I find the best means of determining my scaling is to look at the intention of the programming. If the workout is meant to be a sprint with minimal rest, lighter weight might be called for. If the workout is low reps high weight, scaling down but to something personally challenging might be in order. This is where your coach can really be helpful. Determining a correct weight for a workout is not an exact science and there will always be times when you felt you could have done more or had to ditch weight in the middle of the workout. However, if scaled appropriately you can get through a WOD with virtuosity (maintaining intensity and form).