Here’s a quick post to think about. Rome wasn’t built in a day. You didn’t get out of shape in a day; and you certainly won’t get into shape in a day. The same goes for movements. Very few of us have the ability to look at something and learn it. It often takes repetition after repetition to ingrain the correct pattern and become proficient at something. There is often a learning curve associated with correct movement as well. This is where scaling comes into play.
As a coach there is nothing more frustrating than seeing an athletes ego get in the way of progress. Often times we see athletes try to scale up a workout instead of doing it Rx. We also see athletes try to get a workout Rx when they should be doing more manageable weights or movements. Keep in mind, there is a difference between challenging and inappropriate when it comes to weight and movement selection. For example: If my max deadlift is 300 pounds it would be challenging for me to do a 21-15-9 of deadlifts and HSPU at 225, it would inappropriate for me to do it at 275.
Each workout has a desired intent. Some are meant to be heavy, some are meant to be long and grueling, others are short burners that elevate the heart rate quickly. It may not be inherently clear to us as athletes what the intent is but by breaking down the workout and its structure we can come close. Workouts like Grace, Isabel or Fran are meant to test our work capacity at given loads. Murph is used to test endurance and muscle fatigue over time. In terms of results; the times or scores when plotted should resemble a bell curve, with the majority of people having around the same times. There will be people that went faster or had more reps than the average and there will be some below the average. Over time it is expected that your scores gradually become better than average. If we get too far ahead of the average then the workout can be deemed too easy and scaling up should be considered. If you are constantly below the average think about scaling the weights or the movements to have a more normal score. By following this approach we would constantly be improving, becoming more proficient, finding a weakness and then improving up on that weakness.
As athletes we think more is better, more weight, more reps, more complexion. We forget about intensity. We forget that if we lighten the load we can move faster with less breaks. We add in things like strict movements and other unneeded variations to make it feel like we are accomplishing more work. In reality we are missing the intent of the workout. We have to remember that its ok if we can’t do a HSPU or kipping pull-ups our third day into CrossFit. Want to get better at CrossFit? Leave your ego at the door, get out of your own head and do things you are capable of.