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By: Coach Zac

Workouts are designed with prescribed (RX) movements, weight, reps, rounds, and time creating the desired stimulus. Doing the workout as prescribed means that you are able to move the weight with efficiency and good form, movements are able to be done with full range of motion, reps, and rounds are able to be done at a high intensity within the time frame. A person may need to modify a workout to preserve the intended stimulus, maximize intensity and reduce the risk of injury as well as increase work capacity. This is where scaling becomes necessary and important. 

There are several ways to scale a workout, one is to reduce the load. Using a weight that an individual is able to move efficiently with a full range of motion will improve mechanics, consistency and work capacity allowing them to increase load with time. This can also be done if you have no desire to use a heavier weight or a barbell. Reps and rounds can also be reduced, this can help keep a person moving through the workout without resting too much thus reducing the intensity. These options work well for individuals who are building on their strength and aerobic capacity. 

Movements can also be altered if a person does not yet have the skill or strength for a movement prescribed, but don’t get stuck using the same modifications over and over again the idea is to challenge yourself and build strength and proficiency. Skill progressions are a great way to preserve movement patterns, talk to your coach about changing things up if needed. Scaling a workout does not mean that it becomes easy, it should still be challenging so that you receive the intended benefits, improving mechanics, range of motion and work capacity. Scaling may also be necessary if maybe you didn’t get a good nights sleep or had a long stressful day but you still want to get a workout in. Sometimes you just have to give what you’ve got for that day.

    Be introspective, do what you can with what you’ve got for where you are right now thus promoting long term health and fitness. Proper scaling works, track your progress and evaluate the results.