Fitmark Ambassador Sunny Norwood Buck encourages you to know when you need to scale back on doing too much
In the world of Crossfit, there’s a term called ‘scaling’. It’s not specific to the Crossfit world. You could scale back weights, reps, sets, time, intensity, etc. When I first started working out however, I started at the bottom, and worked my way up. When I started Crossfit, I came in at a pretty decent level. I was able to complete the workouts and they were written and did not need to scale back. In my mind, that’s where I needed to be.
During certain times, that was definitely where I needed to be – doing a workout as prescribed. What I failed to do was use scaling as an appropriate tool to what was going on in my life. Something physical, such as an muscle injury, is easy to respond to. The signs that trauma has occurred are obvious. Twinges of pain remind you that whatever workout you are planning on doing may not happen like you think – better scale it. Those things are easy to identify and their impact on your ability to workout are easy to spot. Injuries are not the times I failed to use scaling.
I’m talking about the more subtle and questionable times. Those would be the times when you are pulled in fifty million directions by family, friends, work, fitness, your neighbor needing help, or taking your dog to the vet. When the stress levels slowly creep up and sleep and recovery lessen. You may not be able to see that type of stress like you can see swelling in an ankle, but it those stressors are just as real and require as much attention. Do not be fooled by life’s tricky little maneuvers. Catch it before it robs you of your ability to do both quality workouts and recover.
Scaling back when stressed may just be what the body needs. You can scale a workout by cutting the time down, changing the intensity, or opting for a different range of motion. Whatever you do should create the breathing room you need in your life to address those external stressors though. Scaling is a way to balance out the need to be physically active and fit with having the time to deal with life. How do you adjust your workouts when life hands you lemons?
Sunny Norwood Buck
Fitmark Ambassador 2013