Monday, November 1, 2010

Scaling IS an option

     Gooooooood morning Vietnam!!! Oops, wrong movie. Hello all out there in Internet-land. The rambles are continuing, whether you like it or not! Today I want to talk about something we have to do from time to time for our WOD... scale. Scaling isn't a bad thing at all, and by the end of this blog, I hope you'll understand why.

Crazy cult or CrossFit?

     Now maybe there are those out there that MUST go as Rx. Nothing wrong with that, at all. In fact, doing a WOD Rx may be quite the feat that you may want to achieve. All I'm saying is, scaling will make you stronger too.

     Let's take for instance an ol' "favorite" WOD: Fran. The fastest people can do Fran as Rx in 2-3 minutes. Now, many of us will do Fran in the 5-10 minute range (myself included). How about this instead, let's scale the WOD so we can achieve that 3 minute Fran. As Rx Fran is: 21-15-9 or 95/65lb thrusters and pullups. If pullups aren't the issue, what if we dropped the thrusters to 64/45lb of even an empty bar. Yes, we may do less weight but we are getting the work done faster! The faster we do the WOD the higher the Power Output. And if you think that 65 or 45lb may be too light, just imagine how high are intensity will be. Trust me... whether it's Fran as Rx or scaled, it still sucks!

Damn you Fran!!!

      Ok, I'm going to bring some math into here (my bad). Power (Work Capacity) = Force x Distance/Time. Ok, did I loose anyone there? So, our power can be calculated by the weight moved divided by the time it took to do the work... is that any better? We don't break out the calculator for every WOD we perform. But let's take a look again at Fran

I apologize for the math

     Catalyst Athletics actually has their own power output calculator for anyone to use. So like I said, lets bring back Fran. Ok, so at my level-1 cert I did Fran as Rx in roughly 9:40. So, if I plug that into the calculator I get a Power Output of: 89 watts. Not to shabby. Now, let's say that I scaled the WOD to 65lbs, and for sayings sake I did it in 5 minutes, my Power Output for that Fran would be: 150 watts!!! Even if I did it in 6 minutes (only 3 minutes faster) I still end up with: 125 watts!

     So, you see, even though I scaled back the WOD I was able to exert more Power, which makes the WOD more intense, and suck even more! So don't be too worried when I ask you to scale back... I'm just trying to make you stronger.

3,2,1 GO!


  1. A guy I work with brought in the shake weight, it's hilarious!

  2. Haha, I bet! Tabata Shake Weight anyone?

  3. Just for completeness sake, Power=Force X Distance/Time. In case anyone was curious, distance is a constant in your equation, so it will provide the same scale regardless of weight change (which is why it didnt factor in your math). The one interesting thing is - height. taller people, will exert more power because they will have to move weight over a larger distance. Sucks for me.