GW Performance – 4 Tips for Scaling Workouts

Monday, March 9, 2020 - 14:22
“I scaled the workout so my score doesn’t really count.”

As a coach I hear this time and time again and it couldn’t be further from the truth. The ability to scale workouts could be one of the best parts about CrossFit. It brings people together as it allows everyone to complete the same program no matter what level they’re at!

Firstly lets define what SCALING is.

A scaled WOD isn’t about making a workout easier – It’s about changing the workout so it can suit your individual needs whilst still getting the same benefit and intensity as the programmed workout.
Knowing when to scale during a workout is important for any athlete to continue to progress while staying healthy and injury free. Remember everyone is on their own path and each path is different so finding the perfect balance point is the key. Too much scaling may make the workout easier but then if the scaling option is too hard
then you end up standing around the whole time and lose all intensity, sound familiar?

Here are my four hot tips for knowing when to scale in a wod!


I still remember it took me almost 6 months to RX my first workout! Was It frustrating? YES! Because from the moment I started Crossfit all I wanted to do was Rx a workout. But I had to be patient. Think back to when you first learnt to drive. You didn’t just jump in the car and go for it without any instruction! You took your time, learnt all the different steps and then slowly became more comfortable driving. Now you don’t even have to think about it. It’s the same with Crossfit. Enjoy the process. Learn and progress at your own pace. Soon that 40Kg clean will become automatic and you won’t even have to think about it. Trust the process and enjoy the small victories along the workout rather than skipping steps when your body isn’t ready.. If you respect the process then you will be ready to Rx that workout before you know it!


veryone has good and bad days. Some days your body is feeling sore and every lift feels heavy! Remember that’s OKAY. Everybody recovers at different rates. Then there are other days where you are well rested. You had a good sleep, you’ve fuelled your body and the bar just seems to fly up! These are the days when you can push. If those 60kg deadlifts feel really good in the warm up then try that weight for the 10 reps in the WOD! If you are feeling tired and tight then be smart and take some weight off the bar. Finding out when your body is feeling good or bad will come with experience and sometimes you have to be honest with yourself. Doing that WOD Rx after a few big days of training isn’t always the best idea and can potentially lead to injury. So remember listen to your body and when it needs to let it recover!


Remember that person that yells at you during a workout when all you want is to be left alone? That is your coach. And they are the best person to ask when you need any advice. A coach is the person who watches your movements, knows your strengths and weaknesses and knows when they can push you that little bit more.
It’s so simple. Ask your coach! A coach sometimes knows your body better than you do. If you have no idea of what scaling option to use then I guarantee your coach will already have a plan! If a coach tells you to take weight off the bar then it definitely isn’t to stop you doing the workout Rx. It may be to help you move safely and efficiently or to allow you to maintain the intensity in the workout. When you are ready to Rx that workout then your coach will know!


Remember that time you hit that new movement for the first time? Whether it’s an overhead squat, muscle up or handstand - Nailing a skill for the first time takes a lot of practice, effort and patience. Now think to when you did that new movement in a workout? One of the biggest mistakes I see is people trying to practice new movements in a workout. Doing your first handstand pushup and doing 50 in a workout are two totally different goals. Use your free time to PRACTICE PRACTICE PRACTICE! Try a workout with lower reps
where you can focus on the skill under less fatigue. With a bit of patience and consistency, when that skill comes up in a WOD in the future you know you will be ready!

There we have it guys! Keep these tips in mind when you’re in a class to help you get the most out of your class. REMEMBER take your time, move well and enjoy the results!