Holy glutes, we’re already done with two workouts of the Open! Missed 17.1? Catch my recap here, but today it’s time to talk about 17.2! Here’s what the workout looked like as prescribed:
The weighted lunges and power cleans required dumbbells–50-lb for men and 35-lb for women. Because muscle ups are a pretty advanced skill, the scaled version modified to pull-ups and subbed hanging knee raises for toes-to-bar.
As usual, after the announcement there were a lot of complaints about this workout—dumbbells, again?! Why are there pull-ups in the scaled workout? It’s not fair…wah, wah, wah. I appreciate the competitive chit chat surrounding the Open, but guess what? The workouts aren’t meant to be doable for everyone, whether they’re Rx or not. There is always a way to scale the movements…that’s the beauty of CrossFit.
For 17.2, I found myself somewhere between Rx and Scaled and opted for scaled. I do have toes-to-bar so I could have completed 2 rounds + 50-ft of lunging Rx and used the rest of the time to “attempt a muscle up”. But would that have been smart (for me)? Nope…and let’s talk about why.
It’s true that any Rx score (no matter how low) ranks higher on the leaderboard than a scaled score. So I could have done just 1 rep of that Rx workout and ranked higher than the 12 minutes of scaled work I put in. But here’s the thing—if you’re getting swept up in how scaling a workout will impact your spot on the leaderboard, you’ve got CrossFit all wrong. The majority of us are not going to the Games and as such, we should be focusing more on the long haul by being smart about our movement.
Admittedly, it’s easy to get caught up in the madness of the Open with everyone talking about that leaderboard and where they rank. I too like seeing how I fall among other athletes of my age and capabilities in both my region and around the world. It’s fun to compare and it’s exciting to move up in rank through the years. But it’s more fun to be able to move my body in a healthy way and make progress over time. Scaling has a purpose and it’s not just to hold people back.
Let’s go straight to the source and check out what CrossFit.com has to say about scaling:
It’s also important to understand why we scale CrossFit work- outs: CrossFit workouts are scaled to preserve the intended stimuli despite athlete limitations such as experience, injury, illness or range of motion.
A properly scaled workout safely maximizes relative intensity (load, speed, range of motion) to continue developing increased work capacity despite limitations. A long-term goal of scaling is creating the ability to perform workouts “as prescribed.”
Long story short, opting to do this workout as prescribed by doing 7 or 8 minutes of work and then wasting the remaining 5-ish minutes not doing a muscle-up is not the intention of the workout. Choosing to scale mimics the intensity of the workout while helping improve the skills needed to eventually attempt it as prescribed.
Boyfriend and I headed back to do this workout during Friday Night Lights at the gym and he went first. I like going in separate heats so that I can cheer him on and he can yell at me during my workout. 😉 Despite not working out a ton in the last few months, he did great in this workout and ended up with 5 muscle ups. So proud of him!
When the clock started for my workout, I got moving fairly quickly with the lunges. I broke up the knee raises early on to save my grip/hands from hanging on that pull up bar. It was definitely surprising how quickly my forearms started tightening up! The scaled weight for lunges and power cleans was 20-lb so those were awkward, but not terribly heavy. I finished the first four rounds just under 11 minutes and used the last minute to get through 50-ft of the lunges and 10 of the 16 reps of hanging knee raises.
The WOD was definitely taxing on my grip and I had to break up the pull-ups into almost all singles, dropping down between each rep. Considering I haven’t been working on pull-ups lately, I’m pretty stoked I was able to get through 32 of them in the workout! My hands are pretty beat up though, so you know I turned to my fave w.o.d.welder for healing.
The lunges left my buns sore for days, but this workout was middle-of-the-road for me. Not terrible, but not really “fun” either! It was a good reminder that I want to focus more on improving my pull-ups and other gymnastics movements. I’ve definitely been prioritizing strength in the past few months, so maybe it’s time to set some new goals!
What are your thoughts on scaling vs. going Rx in workouts? Did you do 17.2? What did you think?