Scaling Shouldn't Be Stupid, Part 1

I know, I know... absolutely shameful how long it's taken me to post something. I could argue I've been very busy, but it's more than likely I've just been very lazy. Fret not; I'll feed you, baby birds...

First off, the views and opinions expressed here are solely those of the author. They may or may not reflect the same ideals espoused by other trainers or coaches you have worked with. This is totally fine, but they might suck, so take that into consideration as well. Either way, this issue has been chapping my ass for a while now, so out with it, I suppose.

Let's get one thing straight: scaling is important and necessary for most everyone. If a workout is designed to take someone less than 10 minutes, then it should be scaled to achieve this end. This isn't to say that if it takes you 10:35 or 12:01 to finish the workout, that all is lost and you should quit exercising forever. There may just be some minor adjustments needed in the future. But if a 10 minute workout takes you 27 minutes, you fucked up and - more importantly - missed the point. This is why it's important to confer with your coach before your workout, log all of your numbers/times/loads, and be aware of your own abilities and limitations.

The fact of the matter is that a good amount of people out there can't do everything prescribed. If you choose to do "Diane" prescribed and your best deadlift is 250lbs, then I hate you. Put your ego away, tighten up, and take some weight off the bar. Workouts like "Diane" and "Fran" are supposed to take less than 5 minutes. If you slog through it for 12 minutes, then it's not the same workout. Any intensity or power is lost and subsequently converted to movement for the sake of motion. You're better served scaling the workout and finishing it faster.

This guy has every right to do "Diane" prescribed

Alright, enough lecturing, let's get down the nitty-gritty and talk about which scaling options piss me right the shit off...

As far as a "functional movement" goes, double-unders aren't terribly high on the list. Their main purpose as I see it is to maintain coordination and rhythm when you're tired. While I doubt this would carry over to coitus, it's nice to think it might since rhythm and coordination are crucial in that arena.

CrossFit.com suggests doing tuck jumps if double-unders are not developed yet. Their reasoning is that "multiple single-unders in no way compensate for the exertion required for double-unders." My main issue with this is that substituting a double-under with a tuck jump takes the rope entirely out of the equation. If people need to improve or develop their double-unders, what use does eliminating the jump rope do?

With this problem in mind, a compromise I find most effective is to split the reps between single-unders and tuck jumps. This offers several benefits:

1) The exertion of tuck jumps
2) The development of jumping rope technique (while fatigued as well)
3) Decreased chance of injury with reduced repetitions i.e. people shouldn't be doing 400 fucking tuck jumps in a workout

Obviously, this approach needs to be adjusted on a case by case basis. Some quick examples...


For someone with no double-unders at all, this workout would be excellent for tuck jumps and single-unders. It would look like this...

25 single-unders
25 tuck jumps
50 sit-ups
20 single-unders
20 tuck jumps
40 sit-ups

This would allow the person to still complete the workout quickly, become highly "exerted" from tuck jumps, and work on jumping rope while tired. Also, this workout is best whenever this girl does it.

If a workout calls for 100 double-unders at some point, rather than doing 50/50, it'd likely be better to do 25/25/25/25. This way you're not doing too many tuck jumps at a time.

The most important takeaway from this discussion, especially in relation to double-unders, is that you have to practice. Your skills don't improve during metcons. They improve when you devote time to skill development.

More movement scaling to come - Stay tuned!


  1. Your blog post has been quite informative. There are many types of exercises but these are the important ones that you have mentioned, if you intend to do body building.

  2. Here are 3 kick-butt bodyweight exercises you can do to burn fat,
    stay energized, and avoid overeating.

    Bodyweight exercises help you burn fat shockingly fast, without any
    fancy equipment.

    1) Any Single-Leg Exercise
    The pistol (single-leg squat to the floor) is the most advanced
    1-leg exercise. But you can also do assisted single-leg squats with
    a band, or onto a bench, or even with a Stability Ball between your
    back and the wall.

    If you aren't ready for single-leg squats, you can use Bulgarian
    Split Squats, Reverse Lunges, regular split squats, or lying 1-leg
    hip bridges if you are a beginner.

    2) Decline Push-ups
    These are harder than normal pushups, thanks to your elevated feet.
    And in this position, you can still use a close-grip to fatigue
    your triceps, a "piked-hip position" to build your shoulders, or
    even the Spiderman leg motion to work on your abs.

    3) Bodyweight Inverted Rows
    I choose these over chinups and pullups because bodyweight rows let
    your chest rest, while your back is strengthened. It's the perfect
    compliment to a pushup.

    Do 8-12 repetitions per exercise. Don't rest between exercises. Go
    through the circuit up to 3 times, resting 1 minute after each

    For a once-per-month challenge, do each exercise to failure in your
    final round through the circuit.

    Get your very own copy of Turbulence Training & the Nutrition Guide here: ===> 3 Best Bodyweight Exercises for At Home Workouts <=====

    Get in shape for summer fast with Turbulence Training,

    Craig Ballantyne, CTT
    Certified Turbulence Trainer
    Author, Turbulence Training

    PS - Cut your workout and enjoy more time OUT of the gym...

    "Turbulence Training is phenomenal, Craig's system has taught me
    more about bodyweight exercises than I knew was possible. Also
    with a busy life style he offers exercises that you can do
    anywhere, anytime with little to no equipment. It is affordable
    and worthwhile. Thanks Craig."
    Darren Motuz, Winnipeg Manitoba

    Get your very own copy of Turbulence Training & the Nutrition Guide here: ===> Fast fat loss workouts... <=====

    "The dumbbell and bodyweight workouts are perfect for the small
    amount of exercise equipment I have at home, and I no longer regret
    not having a membership to a gym. Getting the best results I've
    ever had. Thanks again!"
    Tylor McEchren