Are you selecting the right weights for your workouts? Do some workouts take you a lot longer than other people? Do you fee like halfway through you can barely lift the weight? Even earlier?
This is not uncommon and can usually be fixed by asking yourself a few simple questions before your training session.
- Are you using your 1RM (1 rep max) as a reference?
- Do you know the training stimulus for the workout?
- Are you thinking about where you are in your fitness journey?
When we program workouts the weights are typically chosen to challenge the experienced athletes of the group. For everyone else, we must scale in order to complete the workout safely and still get the same training stimulus. Those RX weights gives some people something to strive for but not everyone will get there and that’s OK. If you were to just use the prescribed weights no matter what and a workout that should take 6 minutes takes you 20 minutes, you are not getting the desired response we are looking for and will have a hard time increasing your power input.
What is power?
POWER = FORCE x VELOCITY
In simple terms, that means more work completed in less time. This is a BIG part of the CrossFit program. Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, calls power “the undisputed king of performance” and that is “linked to nearly every positive aspect of fitness.”
How do we find that perfect scale for you if you’re not able to use the prescribed weights in the prescribed time? Science!
Many articles have covered the writings of Vladimir Zatsiorsky, exercise scientist and author, showing that “maximal power output occurs at approximately 30% of maximal velocity and 50% of maximal load.” If we’re not able to keep that speed up, 50% may still be too heavy but it’s a starting point to work from.
So if we’re trying to increase your power output we may need to scale your workouts. The RX weight for the classic CrossFit workout, “Fran” is 95 lbs. for men. If you’re 1RM thruster is less than 190 lbs we definitely shouldn’t be doing “Fran” as prescribed. If you’re 1RM thruster is 130, let’s try doing “Fran” with 65 lbs. first. That still may be too heavy if we are not able to move that weight consistently for the 45 reps.
Can we still work on our strength even though we’re scaling the workouts? Of course! Doing our strength program every time you’re in the gym will get those 1 rep maxes heavier which will in turn allow you move heavier weights during workouts and increase your power output.
Still not sure where to start with scaling CrossFit workouts? Ask any of our coaches or send us a message. We are here to help.
Coach Mike N