Scale Up

Big Matt Schwartz; Turkish Get Up with 113#.

Big Matt Schwartz; Turkish Get Up with 113#.

We always talk about how CrossFit is universally scalable.  We usually take that to mean that someone of limited capability or weaker fitness can lower the weight, lessen the repetitions, or slightly change the movement and still do the same workout.  And, of course, this is true.  But, there is a flip side to scalability.  Scaling up.  Most people are so concerned with going faster that they never scale up.

The benchmark workouts–the girls or storms– and other main site WODs are hardly inviolate.  Scale them down as needed, but just as importantly, scale them up.  Let’s look at a couple of examples:

Grace is probably the fastest benchmark WOD out there.  It is for me.  If you are hitting Grace in under 3 minutes, you need to scale up.  Absolutely.  Thirty clean and jerks with 155 pounds, 185, or even 225 pounds is an entirely new animal.  Perhaps break an 185# Grace into three sets of 10 reps with 2 minutes rest between sets.

Sub 8 minutes is considered kind of a gold standard for Helen.  Sub 7 is even more incredible.  But doing Helen over and over again in an attempt to get 10 seconds faster is not understanding what CrossFit is about.  CrossFit is about work capacity, not a faster Helen time.  Doing Helen over and over is specialization.  Getting a faster time won’t genuinely affect your overall work capacity.  Try doing Helen with a 2 pood bell and chest-to-bar pullups.  Make sub 9 your goal.  That will seriously increase your work capacity.

Even a bodyweight WOD such as Cindy can be scaled up with the use of a weight vest.  A weight vest will transform a 10 minute Cindy into a brutal animal.  How about three seven minute weighted Cindys with 3 minutes rest between them.  Not for the faint of heart.  Plyometric Cindy anyone?

Scaling up can also be used with interval training for a higher work output (see WOD below or Grace above).  Remember, the goal of scaling up is not to make the workout longer, but rather to make the workout harder.

How to you scale up WODs?  Please post to Comments.

CrossFit West Santa Cruz is looking for 3 good men or women to help us rearrange the floor mats this Saturday.  Start time is 2:30 and it better not take longer than 3 hours.  Payment is a free CF West hoodie. If interested be the first 3 to reply to Comments.

Workout:

Overhead Squat

Find a new 1RM.  Set a new PR.

Then:

3 Rounds

200m Run

11 Kettlebell Swings 70/53#

6 Pullups C2B

Rest 2 Minutes

2 Rounds

200m Run

11 Kettlebell Swings 70/53#

6 Pullups C2B

Rest 1 Minute

1 Round

200m Run

11 Kettlebell Swings 70/53#

6 Pullups C2B

Your score is your total time including rest.

Post weight and time to Comments.