What a WOD Looks Like With Scaling & Modifying

Okay, so we talk a lot about scaling and modifying the workouts to meet your individual needs and abilities, but what does that actually look like?!

I’ll use our WOD today as an example:

5 RFT:
2 Wall Climbs
6 Toes-to-Bar
12 DB One-Arm Snatch


JOHNNY: He’s been doing CrossFit for about 5 years now. No current injuries or issues. He trains for everyday life, and while he’s a good athlete, he has no desire to compete, but he does do many of the WODs as prescribed. Today, there was an option to scale up with 3 Bar Muscles Ups in place of the 6 T2B. So, Johnny did:

5 RFT: 2 Wall Climbs, 3 BMU, and 12 DB Snatch @ 50#


SUZY Q: She just started two months ago, and was never really athletic growing up. She also has about 50 pounds of excess weight that she would like to finally get rid of once and for all. Suzy Q’s variation of today’s WOD looked like this:

5 RFT: 2 Inchworms, 6 Abmat Sit Ups with feet anchored under heavy DBs, and 12 DB Snatch @ 15#


HARRISON: He is still rehabilitating from a shoulder surgery, but can do almost everything, except overhead movements right now. So, he modified:

5 RFT: 2 Back Squats @ 75%, 6 V-ups, and 12 Push ups


BETTY: She trains 4-5 days a week, has 4 kids, a full-time job, and just wants to sweat and have an hour of me-time early in the morning. She doesn’t really care about “Rx” or any of that stuff, and chooses her weights and movements according to how she feels that day. Today, she decided to do:

5 RFT: 2 Wall Climbs, 3 T2B + 3 V-ups, and 12 DB Snatch @ 25#


JOHNSON: He has a knee injury, and is working around it. He also trains to compete and is very involved in competitive CrossFit. He modified accordingly to work around his knee, while still training for competition:

5 RFT: 6 Strict HSPU, 6 Bar MU, and 12 Calories Row with injured knee/leg rolling on a skateboard


WINN-DIXIE: She’s having a really, really bad day, and doesn’t want to even do the workout. She almost didn’t even show up, but she knew this is what she really needs after the sh**storm she went through today. She says she just wants to move and sweat, and not worry about going “Rx” or doing it for time. Coach says to just take it one round at a time, and move as she feels each round. She ends up doing:

1st Rd: 2 Wall Climbs, 6 Sit Ups, 12 DB Snatch @ 20
2nd Rd: 2 Wall Climbs, 6 V-ups, 12 DB Snatch @ 20
3rd Rd: 2 Wall Climbs, 6 V-ups, 12 DB Snatch @ 25
4th Rd: 2 Wall Climbs, 6 T2B, 12 DB Snatch @ 30
5th Rd: 2 Wall Climbs, 6 T2B, 12 DB Snatch @ 35, and she walked out re-charged to conquer the rest of the day!


PETEY: He hurt his back a couple of weeks ago at work, and is really gun-shy to try anything too strenuous or under too much intensity or load. So, he plays it safe and focuses on slow and controlled movements today:

5 RFT: 20-sec Plank Hold, 6 Strict T2B, and 12 DB One-Arm Strict Press (6 R-arm & 6 L-arm) in a seated position @ 20#


REGINA: She’s 89 years young, and just wants to remain as independent as possible for as long as possible. Her variation of today’s WOD was:

5 RFT: 2 Push ups on a Box, 6 Sit ups with feet anchored, and 12 DB Snatch @ 5#


LOGAN: He’s the extreme athlete - Elite competitor, qualified for Regionals a few times, and most often needs to scale up in the workouts. His variation today was:

5 RFT: 2 Handstand Pike Press, 3 Strict Bar MU, and 12 DB Snatch @ 75


JULIANNA: Today is her first class after Fundamentals. She’s nervous. She doesn’t know what to do. And, she has no idea yet what she is capable of. So, today the coach scaled it for her:

5 RFT: 2 Inchworms w/ Push up, 6 Sit Ups, and 6 DB Snatch @ 15#


BOTTOM LINE: There are a million and one ways to do a WOD. What is written on the whiteboard is not law or the only way. It is simply the template for the day’s intention. It is YOUR job, and the Coach’s job, to collaborate together and make the WOD appropriate for YOU, your needs, your abilities, your stage of life, your goals, etc.

Don’t read the workout with tunnel vision or blinders. Pay attention to what the intention of the workout that day is, and then figure out how you can achieve the desired outcome with what you have right now.

Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

Kara PurvesComment