What is scaling? You may hear this term when you need to modify a workout and it may still seem a bit hazy as to what it means. So you go to any gym and they post a workout or tell you at the start of class . . .you hear something like pull-ups, pushups, 100 squats, rx weight 225. Your eyes then glaze over and you start to breathe fast and figure out how you can slip away unnoticed.
STOP! We see you.
Scaling is not only ok it is actually very smart.
You can scale a few different ways.
–Modify the movement. If you are unsure how think about what the workout is trying to do – is it shoulder intensive or leg intensive? Is it strength focused or cardio focused? So if I cannot pull myself into a pull-up – well then I can grab rings and emulate the same exact stimulus or I can take a barbell and put it lower to the ground on some j-hooks then pull myself up. *always make sure you are setting up safely.
Is it pushups – go to your knees and by the way those are not “girl” push-ups . . those are scaling options for a pushup for anyone. You go on with your badass self.
Scale the movement so it is challenging but doable and for the love of cats . . .FORM. FORM always – doing a movement with shitty form is well . . .shitty. You will hurt yourself and probably use the wrong muscles and just don’t do it.
–Scale the reps! You are not cheating. Start off trying for a higher number that you think you can do. Set a time frame. Your coach can help you with that – possibly they want to see you do a round of movements in 2 minutes. So watch the clock then if you did so many reps that first round .. that is your goal for the rest of them. Also it’s just one rep you guys. It is all just 1 rep you need to do, then 1 more, then 1 more. YOU GOT THIS!
–Scale the weight!! For some this is where the ole’ fashioned “EGO CHECK” comes into play. Talk to your coach and figure out if it is meant to be heavy, is it meant to be unbroken or are they singles. All of this info can help you decide what is an appropriate weight. If you don’t know…ASK. Always remember, if it feels like sh*t, it definitely looks like sh*t.
It never hurts to walk into a workout and say – I know this or that will be challenging for me but I think I can achieve this movement and this rep scheme and go to your coach and see what they say.