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Old 02-19-2011, 06:35 PM   #1
Shawn M Smith
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Question on Scaling for a Newbie

I have a question about appropriate scaling. Many of the recommended workouts involve going as fast as possible with recommended weights. My fitness level is sort of moderate and I can often handle the recommended weight and reps; however, it takes me awhile to do them (especially when compared to some of the amazing times posted in the daily comments).

For example, yesterday's WOD was run 400m, 30x24" box jumps and 30x20lb. wall shots. I can do the box jumps at that height and the wall shots at that weight, but I have to do them in sets of 10reps with ~20-30 seconds in between to catch my breath.

If I lowered to say 18" box jumps and 12lb. wall shots, I'd be able to fairly rapidly go through the sets of 30 reps in a row without having to catch my breath.

I guess I'm unclear as to whether I should work on sticking with recommended weights and increase my speed as I get in better shape or whether I should use lower loads at fast speeds and then increase loading as I get stronger/more aerobically fit.

Any advice would be much appreciated. I've really been enjoying these workouts and I can totally see and feel results in a relatively short time.

Cheers!
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Old 02-19-2011, 09:00 PM   #2
Eric Cicogna
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Re: Question on Scaling for a Newbie

ive been using www.crossfitbrandx.com for scaling. seems alot of people use it for progression
hope that helps
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Old 02-19-2011, 10:14 PM   #3
Robert Fabsik
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Re: Question on Scaling for a Newbie

Some people feel every workout has a certain purpose and you should scale a workout to match that purpose. For example some look at Fran as a short super intense workout and should really work you metabolically. They would say that you should scale it so your Fran time doesn't go beyond 5 or 6 minutes.

Another group, and I think Tony Budding has talked about this on the main page, feel you should vary the scaling which would give the same workout different purposes. Maybe one time you should scale Fran so you could do it in 5 minutes, which would make it a metabolic workout. Then the next time you do Fran, you might keep the weights as prescribed but then it takes you 12 minutes. Now the focus here might be more on strength and developing strenght endurance. Both attempts at Fran are valuable for your fitness but result in different traininge effects.

I lean more to the varied scaling approach.

I would add that don't always scale the workouts to your strengths, often chose your weakness so it is no longer a weakness. Once again looking at Fran, say you've been scaling FRan to band assisted pullups so you can get through them fast for metabolic conditioning. You should also be doing unassisted ones so that you build strength in that movement.
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Old 02-20-2011, 07:27 AM   #4
Mark E. Wallace
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Re: Question on Scaling for a Newbie

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Originally Posted by Shawn M Smith View Post
For example, yesterday's WOD was run 400m, 30x24" box jumps and 30x20lb. wall shots. I can do the box jumps at that height and the wall shots at that weight, but I have to do them in sets of 10reps with ~20-30 seconds in between to catch my breath.
Personally, I'd say that that's too much rest. Unless rest is programmed into the WOD, my general thought is that 7-10 seconds of rest is usually about right. If you're up at ~20-30 seconds, reduce the weight.

- Mark
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Old 02-20-2011, 11:19 AM   #5
Shawn M Smith
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Re: Question on Scaling for a Newbie

All,
I really appreciate the feedback! Thanks for the tips and information. Have a great weekend.

s.
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Old 02-21-2011, 10:35 AM   #6
Bob Cieszkowski
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Re: Question on Scaling for a Newbie

I second Eric's brandx recommendation. I've been using their scaling for the past 9 months and have made great progress.

The coaches there recommend picking a scaling that will get you close to the published times. As you begin to develop the requisite skills you'll find some of the movements become easier and suffering decreases. At this point you'll want to move up the scale.

However as Robert mentions sometimes you may just want to slog through a workout and work on weaknesses within the context of a metcon to give you a barometer.

I've found that if I have trouble moving a particular weight (weakness) I can address that through strength work prior to the WOD. If I have skill based issues (HSPUs, double-unders) I'll hit them post-WOD.
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Old 02-21-2011, 11:45 PM   #7
CJ Kim
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Re: Question on Scaling for a Newbie

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Originally Posted by Robert Fabsik View Post
Another group, and I think Tony Budding has talked about this on the main page, feel you should vary the scaling which would give the same workout different purposes. Maybe one time you should scale Fran so you could do it in 5 minutes, which would make it a metabolic workout. Then the next time you do Fran, you might keep the weights as prescribed but then it takes you 12 minutes. Now the focus here might be more on strength and developing strenght endurance. Both attempts at Fran are valuable for your fitness but result in different traininge effects.

I lean more to the varied scaling approach.
I agree with Rob on this. The BrandX stuff is good, but '"constantly varied, if not random" is the more Crossfit approach. There is actually a good video between Tony and Coach where they talk about this idea of threshold training: the mechanism where you push and then correct and hold back.

http://media.crossfit.com/cf-video/G...JournalPreview

You'll need a subscription to see the whole thing, but even the short clip is pretty worthwhile.

As Coach explains it "it’s a threshold phenomena, it’s much like a kind of a overload concept from those old Weider days ... I’m taking a physiological parameter and I’m stressing it and its control. And both neurologically and muscularly there’s an adaptation and response to that and its increased control at a reduced or same intensity. Its at the heart too of every human endeavor where velocity is a critical component, or speed of the movement is vital. And whether you are talking about thoracic surgery or typing or any any motor sport where going fast without crashing is inherently valuable. What you find is a tension between error and movement and the much prized velocity."

Kind of Zen, really, if you think about it. Might take a few times watching it to really get it.

Last edited by CJ Kim : 02-21-2011 at 11:49 PM.
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Old 02-22-2011, 07:31 AM   #8
Eric Montgomery
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Re: Question on Scaling for a Newbie

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Originally Posted by CJ Kim View Post

As Coach explains it "itís a threshold phenomena, itís much like a kind of a overload concept from those old Weider days ... Iím taking a physiological parameter and Iím stressing it and its control. And both neurologically and muscularly thereís an adaptation and response to that and its increased control at a reduced or same intensity. Its at the heart too of every human endeavor where velocity is a critical component, or speed of the movement is vital. And whether you are talking about thoracic surgery or typing or any any motor sport where going fast without crashing is inherently valuable. What you find is a tension between error and movement and the much prized velocity."

Kind of Zen, really, if you think about it. Might take a few times watching it to really get it.
You're kidding again right?
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Old 02-22-2011, 08:06 AM   #9
CJ Kim
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Re: Question on Scaling for a Newbie

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Originally Posted by Eric Montgomery View Post
You're kidding again right?
I don't kid when it comes to giving newbies advice. The OP had a common question about scaling and there was an on point video with Tony and Coach talking about how they regulate training at the threshold to maximize gains/minimize risk.
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Old 02-22-2011, 10:54 AM   #10
Vickie Ellickson
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Re: Question on Scaling for a Newbie

I'm in a somewhat similar boat as the original poster. I have to take 7-10sec breaks to finish my workouts (sometimes after every other rep of something like burpees) and am hoping that isn't hindering me reaching the goal of the WOD. I try to keep the breaks no longer than 10sec, but am honestly not sure

My understanding is that form is priority #1, so it seems like I'm better off by taking that short break and doing the rep correctly instead of doing it half-baked.
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