Modifying workouts—scaling—is the foundation of CrossFit.
For athletes who clearly have or do not have the appropriate levels of strength, skill and conditioning, the path is clear. But what about athletes who are close to those levels or athletes on the verge of a major breakthrough? And what about athletes whose egos tend to influence their decisions?
Here’s exactly what coaches and athletes need to know to make the right decision about whether to scale the Open workout each week.
How Does Scaling Work?
The Open started in 2011, and as the sport progressed, the skills and loads needed to test the best athletes in the world became more difficult for the average person to handle. For example, a 265-lb. snatch was needed to find out Ben Smith was 12 seconds fitter than Jeff Evans on Workout 17.3. The introduction of the scaled versions of Open workout in 2015 allowed more people to compete, which is what the Open is all about, Director of the CrossFit Games Dave Castro explained in this video.
A few things to note about Open scaling:
- An athlete may finish the Open with a final ranking determined by a combination of scaled and prescribed workouts.
- An athlete who chooses to perform a scaled workout will be ranked on the Leaderboard relative to all other athletes who performed the scaled version of that workout but below all athletes who performed the workout as prescribed.
- If an athlete performs any workouts as prescribed, he or she will remain on the competitive Leaderboard.
- The Open also features a scaled-only Leaderboard. In order to remain on the scaled-only Leaderboard, an athlete must perform all the Open workouts scaled.
- An athlete’s score from a scaled workout cannot contribute toward a team’s score. However, an athlete who performs scaled workouts is still eligible to participate on his or her affiliate’s team as long as the athlete meets all the eligibility requirements.