“There’s no way I can do (insert rep scheme and movement here). I’m going to have to scale”.

How many times have you said this to yourself before starting a WOD?

More important: how many times have you proven yourself to be wrong?


Today’s workout drew a lot of responses like this from athletes across all experience levels, from seasoned Veterans to Recent On-Ramp graduates alike. We – your coaches – would like to take this opportunity to share with you some of our observations and suggestions on how you can approach workouts like today’s in order to ensure that you get the most out of them. The next time your presented with a workout that’s chock-full of movements that don’t agree with you, consider the following:

 IT”S YOUR WORKOUT. At the beginning of each workout, our coaches are charged with communicating to you – our community members – the goals of the workout. Additionally, your program track provides you with our suggested prescription of how you should go about achieving these goals. Confident as we are that they represent a good cross-section of our community members, they ‘re not specific to each and every one of you, and may need to be further modified according to your goals, strengths, and weaknesses…AND THAT’S OK. At the end of the day, we design the programming to elicit a specific response. We want you to do what you need to do in order to get that response. If that means that you need to scale certain parts of the workout, then do so! After all, it’s YOUR WORKOUT! Appropriate scaling isn’t a weakness – it’s a strength. In any given workout, it’s quite possible that you may have to modify or scale a part of the workout in order to get the desired response. Not only is this ok – it’s expected. Never feel guilty about it.

USE YOUR COACHES. If you’re unsure about HOW you should scale, by all means ask your coach. Don’t be shy about holding up the start of the WOD for a few seconds if you’re really unsure as to how you should proceed. Everyone else in the class has been there before; we’re the type of community that welcomes these moments. That said, don’t be afraid to use common sense to try to come up with your own modifications, and then to use the coach as a sounding board. If, for example, the goal of the workout is to perform a ton of volume with a specific movement, and is designed to keep your heart rate high for 20 minutes, then you know that you should probably use scales that will enable you to get a lot of reps in, but that aren’t so easy as to allow you to fly through the workout in 8-9 minutes. We LOVE it when athletes take this approach. Not only does it help ensure that you’re more engaged, but also it helps improve the response you’ll get from the WOD – studies have shown that individuals who critically think about their approach to a workout get a better physiological response from it then when they go in blind, even if the scales and weights are held constant.

BELIEVE IN YOURSELF. Scaling a movement in order to achieve the desired response of the workout is different from scaling a workout because you’re afraid of failing. If you can do three kipping pull-ups consecutively, then don’t be afraid to try a workout that calls for three set of 20 kipping pull-ups. After all, this is why you developed this skill – so you could use it in a workout! Multiple athletes today challenged themselves to do today’s workout at a scale that they’d initially thought would prove to be too difficult, or without a scale at all. Much to their surprise, they did it! Don’t lose sight of the fact that you come to challenge yourselves.