Next Level Scaling

Anyone who has been around CrossFit for some time knows that individualized scaling of the workout is an inherent part of the athlete’s progress, athletic development, and long term success. Often we think of scaling in regard to specific movements, such as a muscle-up or pull-up. An athlete who does not yet have a muscle-up will need a scaled yet challenging version of the movement to help them develop the capacity to achieve a muscle-up down the road.

But scaling comes in additional forms that go beyond the specific movement. Recent past training volume, comparative attendance of the athlete over different months and years, previous one rep max efforts, and athlete stress should all come into play for the coach as they scale an athlete.

Properly scaling an athlete is a practiced and developed skill for any coach. Going beyond simply scaling the movement can help the athlete both physically and mentally as well as emotionally.

There is not one formula for effective scaling and each data point from the athlete will play a different role depending on the workout of the day.

In the next four blog posts, we’ll examine a few different tools coaches can use to bring depth to how they scale an athlete on any given day.

We’ll look at:

  • Using previous movement rep totals to scale volume in a workout
  • Using a comparison of past and recent attendance to inform proper scaling for the day
  • Using a previous one rep max effort effectively
  • Considering place and time for the athlete in their life relative to the workout at hand.

There is not one formula for effective scaling and each data point from the athlete will play a different role depending on the workout of the day.

The seasoned coach recalls and accounts for the hard data as well as for the softer points. We hope the four topics we'll cover will bring additional depth to your scaling process!

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