WHY DID I DO 16.4 SCALED??

Well guys, I'm learning it is more important to keep SAFE, proper, and efficient mechanics at HIGH INTENSITIES when performing the functional movements (Dead Lifts, Air Squats, front squats, overhead squats, med-ball cleans, etc) we practice through coach lead classes at Duke City Crossfit.

I have come to recognize my bodies strengths and weaknesses per functional movement or set of movements we see in the constantly varied programming at Duke City Crossfit. I can assess each WOD and estimate where I should end up depending on the day. I can assess my ability to perform each WOD Rx, Scaled or modified to my needs. I can set goals before each WOD and often surprise myself at the end of WOD. My experiences below have helped me place myself and my abilities where they belong in Crossfit. 

I have struggled immensely with Crossfit over the years. My struggle has been with MYSELF. I would be disappointed after almost every WOD. It became very stressful and not so much fun. My problem was ME and the perspective I was taking after every single WOD, even when I was number one on the leaderboard. Being on top was actually fairly stressful and the high didn't last but a few minutes for me. I had to always do the Rx programming or Rx+ if available...NEVER SCALED, how embarrassing I thought to myself. 

Okay, so I was not at all focused on MYSELF but instead directed outward on everyone else. I was always comparing myself to other Crossfit individuals. I became disappointed with myself at every turn and like I said above, Crossfit just wasn't fun anymore. I slowly lost interest in Crossfit and failed many movements, gave up quite a bit, mostly if another athlete was doing better then me in a WOD. I would joke about how much I didn't care to lose. Trust me, I cared, but on the wrong ideals. Everything I was doing was the complete opposite of focusing on myself. 

Eventually I came around to finally realize that it was completely irrational to compare myself to other athletes. Here is a list of what I compared myself to:

-athletically gifted individuals built for Crossfit;
-individuals that spend 3-6 hours per day longer then me working on their skills;
-individuals with zero integrity;  
-individuals with 2-3 years more experience;
-individuals that pushed me beyond the point I was comfortable with. 

I took an entirely new approach. I assessed the approaches taken by the athletes with the above characteristics and learned more about myself and my unique abilities. I became proud of myself and just like that, a switch in my head flopped to a different mode. 

Instead of going above and beyond my capabilities as a Crossfit athlete I began to SCALE my WODs such that my finishing "time", "reps", "rounds", etc were inline with a few of the top athletes at Duke City Crossfit. O sure, this is a form of comparing myself to others except I was focused on my own wellness. It became a fun game to match a top athletes score while keeping proper mechanics, increasing my INTENSITY and work capacity. It is truly a blessing to have the opportunity to learn from the advanced athletes to improve my own skills. It intrigues me to further learn how the top athletes continue to improve without the same comparison locally that I can make. 

Now for a less abstract explanation of "WHY DID I DO 16.4 SCALED?". 

Like I said above, I understand my bodies strengths and weaknesses. My first intuitive thought was, WOW I don't feel comfortable doing 55 dead lifts at 225 pounds. My second thought was, Yikes, It would probably take me about 6 minutes to do 55 hand stand pushups. This would mean I had 7 minutes do complete 55 deads, 55 wall-balls, and 55 cal row. I thought about various rep schemes to break up my dead-lifts while keeping up my intensity in the WOD. I was happy to see wall-balls so that movement really didn't phase me, even after heavy deads. Figured the row would be awful and knew it requires lots of posterior chain work, which would have been taxed from heavy deads. 

All 5s rep scheme? I know I can handle 5s and I also know towards the end, probably in the high 40s it would become very taxing on my body. Thinking more about 5s spawned the next thought. I would have to do 11 sets of 5 reps. I would have to pick up the bar quickly (1-2 breaths) after I dropped each set of 5. 

I then thought about breaking up the deads into 21-15-9 (45 reps) and further breaking up the 21 into 7-7-7, 15 into 5-5-5, 9 into 5-4 and split the final 10 into 5-5.

No matter what rep scheme I planned for weakness 1 of 2 I still didn't feel right and I knew exactly what it was. My planning did not line up with my goals. My goal was to get back to wall-balls in the second round, just like some of the top athletes in the world. How cool would it be to experience the same INTENSITY as these athletes. This goal would allow me to experience the wrath of 16.4 and then some more. 

Of course I could do the WOD Rx, so what, I don't want to go back to disliking Crossfit because I was disappointed in my standings. I want to excel!! I want to surprise myself.

I strongly recommend everyone try this WOD SCALED, even the top athletes. It will crush you and you might learn something new about yourself.

Well guys, I'm learning it is more important to keep SAFE, proper, and efficient mechanics at HIGH INTENSITIES when performing the functional movements (Dead Lifts, Air Squats, front squats, overhead squats, med-ball cleans, etc) we practice through coach lead classes at Duke City Crossfit.

-Coach Michael Smith

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