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Old 02-03-2008, 09:39 AM   #1
Susie Rosenberg
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Scaled and Subbed Workouts and Exercises

Ok, so I'm starting to think about and construct scaled and subbed exercises and WODs in the hopes it will be useful somewhere.

At my local affiliate, we're working on developing a program to help those struggling with obesity, so I've been doing some thinking along these lines. How do we get folks, some middle-aged or older, and significantly overweight, to benefit?

Unraveling a knot, you just start somewhere. So I'm starting with thinking through a Cindy. If you have any comment, ideas, workouts of your own, theories, etc. just chime in! Maybe we can make this a real community effort.

So here's my first foray into thinking this through. Each line is a progression.

CINDY

As many rounds in 10, 15, 20 minutes, or complete 3, 5, 10, 15 rounds for time:

2-5 reps of:
-overhead reach (unweighted)
-shoulder press with 1, 2, 5, 10, 15 lb. DBs
-assisted pullup with heavy band or gravitron
-assisted pullups with lighter bands or less weight on gravitron
-pullups

4-10 reps of:
-pushups against wall
-pushups against bench
-pushups on knees
-pushups

6-15 reps of:
-sitting up and down into chair
-sitting up and down onto lower bench
-squats holding on to a bar
-squats alternating holding on to bar and unassisted
-air squats

Susie
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Old 02-03-2008, 09:41 AM   #2
Matt Thomas
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Re: Scaled and Subbed Workouts and Exercises

I would also offer simplefit.org as a good place to start for scaled bodyweight workouts.

Last edited by Lynne Pitts : 02-04-2008 at 01:37 AM. Reason: unqualified link
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:24 PM   #3
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Scaled and Subbed Workouts and Exercises

Actually, I think the most sytematic way to do this is to work off the main site WOD!

For example, tomorrow's WOD is 5 sets of 3 reps of back squat.

So let's talk about learning/teaching back squat and squat progressions. This makes sense to me, whaddya think? Chime in, please!

1. If you cannot do a full-depth air squat yet because of flexibility or weakness, work on developing those in this fashion:

-work on flexibility and squat strength by holding on to a bar set at the proper height and use it to lower yourself as deep as you can go. Do 5 sets of 3 reps.

-if that is too hard, do 5 sets of 3 reps of sitting down on a low bench and getting up without using your hands for support.

When you can air squat full depth, practice the back squat--5, 3-rep sets-- with a pvc "bar." Then you can progress to increasingly heavy bars and then weights.


1. Position the bar on the rack so that it's level to your mid-sternum.

2. Take an even grip on the bar with your thumb on top so that your wrists can be held in a straight line--not bent.

3.Duck underneath it so that the bar rests just below the scapular spines, on top of the deltoids in the back. (see this picture: http://stronglifts.com/images/squat/...-placement.jpg) wfs
You should think about bringing your shoulder blades together in the midline. Squeezing here makes a nice muscular shelf for the bar, and keeps the bar from resting on your spine.

4. Stand up with the bar in place, and lift your chest and elbows to "trap" the bar in place.

5. Take one step back out of the rack.

6. Take the proper stance: feet shoulder width apart, feet turned out no more than 30 degrees.

7. Take a deep breath, hold it, and squat down. Keep your chest up, the weight on your heels, and your neck in neutral position. Don't linger at the bottom, just go down and come right back up. You want to squat so that the crease made at your hips is lower than your knees.

8. When you are done with your set, walk the bar forward so that it hits the rack, then lower it onto the rungs. Duck underneath and congratulate yourself on completing one set of squats!

Now somebody else has to chime in here 'cause I don't know what kind of workout this is supposed to be......is each set a working set of increasing weight? Is the last set supposed to be the heaviest 3 reps you can do? What percentage of one's 1RM should this be? Help!

Also, if you think I've gotten any of this wrong, or you have other suggestions as to how to develop a squat, please do contribute.

Susie
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Old 02-03-2008, 06:32 PM   #4
Sarena Kopciel
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Re: Scaled and Subbed Workouts and Exercises

Quote:
Originally Posted by Susie Rosenberg View Post
Actually, I think the most sytematic way to do this is to work off the main site WOD!

For example, tomorrow's WOD is 5 sets of 3 reps of back squat.

So let's talk about learning/teaching back squat and squat progressions. This makes sense to me, whaddya think? Chime in, please!

1. If you cannot do a full-depth air squat yet because of flexibility or weakness, work on developing those in this fashion:

-work on flexibility and squat strength by holding on to a bar set at the proper height and use it to lower yourself as deep as you can go. Do 5 sets of 3 reps.

-if that is too hard, do 5 sets of 3 reps of sitting down on a low bench and getting up without using your hands for support.

When you can air squat full depth, practice the back squat--5, 3-rep sets-- with a pvc "bar." Then you can progress to increasingly heavy bars and then weights.


1. Position the bar on the rack so that it's level to your mid-sternum.

2. Take an even grip on the bar with your thumb on top so that your wrists can be held in a straight line--not bent.

3.Duck underneath it so that the bar rests just below the scapular spines, on top of the deltoids in the back. (see this picture: http://stronglifts.com/images/squat/...-placement.jpg) wfs
You should think about bringing your shoulder blades together in the midline. Squeezing here makes a nice muscular shelf for the bar, and keeps the bar from resting on your spine.

4. Stand up with the bar in place, and lift your chest and elbows to "trap" the bar in place.

5. Take one step back out of the rack.

6. Take the proper stance: feet shoulder width apart, feet turned out no more than 30 degrees.

7. Take a deep breath, hold it, and squat down. Keep your chest up, the weight on your heels, and your neck in neutral position. Don't linger at the bottom, just go down and come right back up. You want to squat so that the crease made at your hips is lower than your knees.

8. When you are done with your set, walk the bar forward so that it hits the rack, then lower it onto the rungs. Duck underneath and congratulate yourself on completing one set of squats!

Now somebody else has to chime in here 'cause I don't know what kind of workout this is supposed to be......is each set a working set of increasing weight? Is the last set supposed to be the heaviest 3 reps you can do? What percentage of one's 1RM should this be? Help!

Also, if you think I've gotten any of this wrong, or you have other suggestions as to how to develop a squat, please do contribute.

Susie
Susie a 1RM for woman is quite similar to our 3RM--this does differ somewhat with guys! There was a journal article on this sometime in 07 (will search)
these sets are meant to be done with in either two ways--with increasingly heavier weights or with the same weight throughout which is your 3rm max. from what i hear different ppl have differences in opinion how this works!
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:10 AM   #5
Tim Donahey
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Re: Scaled and Subbed Workouts and Exercises

Great, Susie! This looks like a ton of work though. I just discovered there exists a crossfit wiki and this stuff would be perfect for it... give you a chance to get a little help too.

www.crossfitwiki.com (wfs)

(If the link doesn't work, try typing it in directly)

I'm not sure how "wiki code" works or whatever, but I know you can start a new page listing the various workouts by name or date or whatever, and cross reference them to another page with the exercise and/or crossreference both to another page(s) with the appropriate sub per exercise or subbed routine, and crossreference that to how to perform the sub...etc..etc..etc. This is an open source project I plan to get involved with myself. There goes my weekend!

Last edited by Tim Donahey : 02-07-2008 at 09:12 AM.
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Old 02-07-2008, 09:28 AM   #6
Leonid Soubbotine
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Re: Scaled and Subbed Workouts and Exercises

When we work with people who need to lose a lot of weight and/or have serious issues with flexibility - we make them do a lot of rowing, and come up with special workouts, or heavily modify exhisting ones.

I seriosly do not think learning a back squat is that great of a benefit for a severly overweight person just due to the pure stress on the knees coming already from the extra weight they are carrying. They learn the squat just fine and perform it well, but quite often the demands of CF and time required for ligaments and joints to heal up take a bit too long.
That's why I'd rather have them row, than squat that day.

All the extra movement that these people start doing improves their health tremendously, yet in my observation in general it's better to condition them with more private attention (as part of the group however) with lower impact exercises.

After a few months it'll be a whole different story.
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Old 02-07-2008, 12:19 PM   #7
Jeff Martin
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Re: Scaled and Subbed Workouts and Exercises

Susie,
What is your background? What is your level of certification? Is there a difference subbing for an middle aged male who is slightly overweight and a 20 year old female starting out in CrossFit? How do you start an asthmatic youngster out? What about an elderly woman with osteoporosis? Are you going to write different scaling options for each of these different groups everyday? How are you going to react when the 50 year old heart patient tells you that you don't make it easy enough for him to start because you haven't provided specific info on how his group should start? Are you going to be responsible for the advice you give these people?

I know, I know I'm in the minority and will get trashed for saying this, but I like the message board. It is open source. You can get on here and do a search and answer any of these questions. You can post a question and get a response from very knowledgeable people. You can look to the top left and find when the person joined the Crossfit board. Did they join last month? Do they have experience with Crossfit? What have their personal results been? Have they trained others? Have they trained special populations? What are the results of their training? You can find all that out on the message board if you want to.

On a Wiki your shooting blind, and subject to the instant expert whose credentials and experience can't be verified or questioned.
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:22 PM   #8
Lenora Galitz-Pfeffer
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Re: Scaled and Subbed Workouts and Exercises

I just have to butt in with examples: Susie helped me scale and sub during my first month of cf. Susie is in tune with injury prevention and recovery. I've been looking out for my back and shoulders, so we've often taken one workout at a time and tweaked it. Susie has a general sense of where to start. For example: "Barbara" for me was a half quantity but full 5 rounds. 6 weeks or so later, Jason gave me "Barbara" as full quantity for 3 rounds. Both are scaled, but there is a variation on strength and stamina during my progress. Susie also advised me to omit the final exercize, lunges on one workout, because I was fatigued from squats.
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:39 PM   #9
Susie Rosenberg
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Re: Scaled and Subbed Workouts and Exercises

Jeff, you certainly raise good points. No online resource is going to be all things to all people, but my wish was to see more readily available ideas
about subbing and scaling workouts for those folks sort of one or two
steps behind the buttercups, so to speak.

Why I'm so interested in this is, of course, very personal. I'm a woman who has lost nearly 100 pounds and kept it off. I keep thinking about how to translate the principles of Crossfit for someone like me. Like I used to be. Because they are starting to appear at our door asking for help.

On the main page, under "What is Crossfit?" it says:

"CrossFit program is designed for universal scalability making it the perfect application for any committed individual regardless of experience. We’ve used our same routines for elderly individuals with heart disease and cage fighters one month out from televised bouts. We scale load and intensity; we don’t change programs."

I'd sure like to learn more about how they----we---do that.

As to my experience and credentials? I'm an RN with a bachelor's degree in nursing; a physician; and a fifty-two year old formerly fat lady (FFFL) with a passion for fitness in general and Crossfit in particular. I'll be attending my first cert some time this year. I read and study the science of exercise and fitness like a fiend, and I'm currently "apprenticing" in teaching some Crossfit workouts at my local affiliate, pending my certification. Not an expert, which is why I'm hoping to generate discussion about this issue! So we can all learn more about this aspect of teaching Crossfit. There's a relative paucity of detail about this subject.

As far as wiki goes, it's a little technologically daunting for me to even contemplate. Participating here is just about all I can handle.

Susie
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Old 02-07-2008, 02:49 PM   #10
Jeff Martin
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Re: Scaled and Subbed Workouts and Exercises

Thank you for so clearly illustrating my point. I don't know Susie, here I can post a question regarding her qualifications to scale the workouts and I get an answer quickly. Perfect! On a wiki that wouldn't happen.

I look at Susie's first example for scaling Cindy and I see shoulder press as the second option. To me that seems incorrect, but I can ask why and get an answer here. On a wiki as a newbie I would say "CrossFit recommends shoulder presses as a sub for pull ups". Not sure if that is an appropriate way to go.

As a person who scales constantly, for many different populations and answers emails and posts all day long regarding, I would love to have a place to point people to that has effective subs for all of our exercises. I think Susie's idea regarding that is great and I hope she pursues it, here.
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