How to Scale Class Workouts

When examining the workout of the day for our classes at True Core
By True Core
True Core
How to Scale Class Workouts

When examining the workout of the day for our classes at True Core, most athletes will not be able to complete the workout as written also called the Rx, and will need modifications. How to modify workouts can be difficult with the constant variation of movements and time domains. 

Here are some things to consider when modifying or scaling workouts. 

First, there should be an understanding that the workouts programmed at True Core are intended to be Rx’d by the top 5% of our athletes. This standard allows the most advanced athletes in our gym to be pushed by the programming while also giving the less advanced athletes a possible goal of being able to complete Rx workouts. All athletes that fall below the top 5% are expected to use modifications or scaling options to meet the intended stimulus of the workout. The stimulus of the workout refers to the intended result an athlete gets upon completion. This usually comes in the form of a range of time for our timed workouts or a desired rep count for the AMRAPs. Based on the intended stimulus of the workout that will be explained by the coach, an athlete can begin to decide what modifications or scales are appropriate for that specific workout.

When scaling movements, an athlete should always look to first reduce load, distance, or reps before changing the movement.  An example of this is reducing the weight from the Rx of 135lbs Clean and Jerks to 95lbs Clean and Jerks rather than switching to 135lbs Deadlifts as the 95lbs Clean and Jerks better mimic the Rx movement. Modifications are typically used when an athlete is injured or cannot perform a movement with the proper equipment. 

When choosing modifications, it is often necessary to change to movement, but the stimulus should still be the main factor when selecting modifications. For example, an athlete with an upper-body injury may switch a Push Press to a Box Jump because while the Box Jump eliminates the overhead press to avoid the injured area it is like the Push Press in that the Box Jump is an explosive hip driven movement.

Scaling and modifying workouts can be challenging at first but with more experience, the art of adjusting workouts will become second nature. Remember, if you are ever unsure how to scale or modify just ask a coach and they will steer you in the right direction. 

Now go crush that WOD!

Ryan Walker

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