To Scale or Not to Scale

Saturday July 6th 2013


Downward dog ankle stretch
Band/pole assisted squat



20 minutes to establish a 1RM Hang-Snatch

Notes:  Focus on good hip contact and speed under the bar.  Perform a large volume of reps with the bar and very light weight before adding weight.


Smolov Squat Cycle:

10X3 @ 85% rest 2 minutes

Notes:  This will be VERY time intensive, perhaps more than an hour.  We have provided an advanced Conditioning option below that is more conducive to this programming.


Classic Conditioning

“Panic Breathing”

The team will perform a 5-1 row. Alternating one after the other, partners will perform time trial rows: 500/500, 400/400, 300/300, 200/200, 100/100. Every row is to be performed at MAX intensity. While one partner is rowing, the other will be “resting.”  The rest is completed with two kettlebells in the rack position (53/35). The resting partner will rack the bells at the beginning of their partner’s row and will unrack them at the end of the row. Unracking of bells before the end of the row results in a 5 burpee penalty for every offense, these will be performed at the end of the workout.   The score is the total time after the row and burpee penalties.


-20 min cut off-


Advanced Conditioning:

3X500- meter row time trial

Notes:  Rest exactly 60 seconds between efforts, each effort should be an all out effort.

Cool Down:

2 rounds of:
Side Planks with Hip Abduction x20
L-sit on rings Max effort
Good mornings x20


Every day when you walk into the gym, gazing at the whiteboard, you see classic and advanced strength/conditioning. Which one do you choose? And why? 

By now you hopefully understand that the classic version is designed to give you more of a lower resistance higher metabolic conditioning than the advanced, which tends to be higher skilled movements with heavier weights. So if your goal is to improve your overall health and fitness, the classic is an excellent choice every time. But, if your goal is to start competing and really take your Crossfit performance to the next level, choosing the advanced strength/conditioning will certainly put you on that path. With that being said, I still see people scale their weight on advanced because they are afraid that they may not finish or it will take too long. If you are physically incapable to lift the weight that is prescribed then yes, you can scale to an equally comparable challenging weight, but if there is a chance its possible, I challenge you to try.

I bring this point up because as many of you know, we have been training for the Crossfit Games for the last few weeks and we have been receiving personalized training programs from “The Rudy” from The Outlaw Way. These workouts have not only been extremely challenging physically but mentally as well. The other day we had to do 3 rounds of 7 power snatches at 185 lbs for guys, 120 for girls followed by 7 deficit handstand pushups. For McCoy and Jessica, this weight was no problem. But it was an entirely different story for the rest of the team. My max power snatch is just barely above 185 so I asked Diso what I should scale the weight to to simulate the workload. His response: “do it Rx, get used to what the weight feels like under fatigue and pressure”.

So I listened and loaded the bar up. I then proceeded to fail my first 3 attempts. Couldn’t even get the bar over my head. “How in the hell am I going to do this workout without looking like a complete moron in front of the 5 o’clock class” which was just arriving. I went back to the basics, dropped my ass down, lifted my chest up, and popped that bar off my hips as hard as I could until I finally caught it over my head. Then it hit me, “this is possible”. It was a very ugly 15 minutes but I somehow managed to complete all 21 snatches. There were many fails along the way but I just kept trying. The feeling of completing something deemed “impossible”, is a very rare and special feeling. I felt amazing, ready go home recover and prepare for the next days workouts.

The take home message: don’t let fear guide your workout, even if you don’t finish the workout in time or continue to miss reps, just keep trying. You only fail when you quit. You will never really know your body is fully capable of until you put it the most extreme tests. And when you do, there is a pretty good chance that you will be pleasantly surprised what a beast you actually are!


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