Scale More, More Often
Here at Innervate, we strongly believe that CrossFit is for everyone. Whether you are a competitive athlete, someone trying to get back on a fitness routine or even a Silver, there is something for you here! CrossFit is defined as constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity. While this might seem intimidating to some, CrossFit's program is designed for universal scalability. This means that regardless of experience, fitness capacity and level of health, the program is catered to an athlete's needs.
Walk into Innervate any day and it wouldn't be surprising to see a diverse mix of members at the box. From our Silvers, Adaptive athletes, to a new member who has just joined us, everyone goes through the same program and Workout of the Day (WOD). That's right, you didn't read the previous line wrongly - everyone goes through the same program! This is because scaling options are catered to the needs and skills of each athlete, allowing anyone to do CrossFit.
Effective scaling involves altering intensity, load, volume or movement whilst preserving the stimulus of the workout, which allows for any athlete of any ability to complete the same workout. A single exercise/movement can have multiple scaling options e.g. handstand push up can be scaled down to a handstand hold, pike push up or even an inclined push up. Number of repetitions done in the WOD, duration of WOD, and load used can all be altered to suit the needs and fitness levels of an athlete!
Consider a workout consisting of 3 Rounds of 12 squats cleans (80KG) and 50 Double Unders. A Silver who has had knee replacement surgery in the past can complete a scaled version of the workout involving empty barbell power cleans and plate step ups. Medicine ball cleans and single unders would be another scaling option for a member who is new to the box and CrossFit, while a member who has been with us for a year can attempt the prescribed load and reps. This allows each member to achieve the intended stimulus of the workout!
Scaling allows for the most optimal balance of safety, efficacy and efficiency. However, as coaches, we are especially cautious when it comes to progressive scaling - which is the practice of repeatedly scaling a workout to allow for an athlete to continue performing. For instance, a coach might encourage an athlete to add one resistance band after another during the course of a workout in order to get them to continue performing pull ups. While this might allow the athlete to continue performing more repetitions and complete the workout, the coach would be putting them at risk of severe muscle breakdown. Therefore, we are extremely cautious when it comes to progressive scaling with all our athletes, as even elite and experienced athletes are at risk if not properly managed.
On a daily basis at the box, we work with all groups of athletes - Silvers, Adaptives, newer athletes and even athletes who have been with us for years. As a coach at Innervate, it is truly inspiring to see members from different groups walk into the box with the intention of bettering themselves through fitness. Scaling is a big part of what we do and I am proud to be a part of the Innervate Team that continuously strives to keep our athletes performing, safe and injury free, as well as ensuring that "Fitness for All" is truly applied!