By Andrea Lewin, L3, Co-Owner, CrossFit East Bay


When you start CrossFit, you’ll scale because Coach told you to.


When you step into the gym, we don’t expect you to be able to do the workouts as written. The written workout lays out a general template for the day, indicates the type of workout to be done and how heavy/hard/long it should be. The workout as written is a challenge even for our experienced CrossFitters.


It’s OK to deviate from the template. It’s even better if the deviation works your weaknesses better than the original workout. It’s best if you have a complete plan in place for your workout before the timer tells you to 3-2-1…Go!.


Look to your coaches for scaling advice. We get to know you not only because we value you, but so that we can give you better instruction. We’ll make your workout work for you.


It may feel strange to do a different workout from everyone else. What you may not realize is that everyone else in the gym is doing their own version of “a different workout from everyone else”.


Three months in, you’ll scale because you know what the movements are…and that you can’t do all of them yet!


Each time you come in the workout will push you a little farther along in your abilities. Pushing a little here and there, over enough time, leads to big improvements.


The handstand push-up requires a combination of coordination, strength, flexibility, and mental readiness to perform. Bring these skills


Large jumps in weight and skipping steps in progressions will make workouts long, difficult, and frustrating. Follow each step in progressions and add little bits of weight to your lifts and you will achieve great things.


As your strength, coordination, and the other physical skills improve, you will be able to handle more weight, more complex movements, and longer workouts. Eventually you will achieve workouts as-written.


One to two years in, you’ll scale because you can go heavier/faster/harder.


Scaling up is an option too. We serve members with a huge variety of athletic abilities, and some athletes will need more challenge to keep expanding their skills and strengths.


Sometimes we give an “Rx+” version of the workout so that higher-level athletes have a challenge appropriate to their abilities.


Anytime, you’ll scale because you need a lighter day.


Don’t stop coming to the gym when life gets real. You may need to modify your workout though.


You may need to scale due to injury.


Reduce your chances of injury by doing recovery activities, following progressions, and scaling to your ability. Sometimes sh!t happens in OR out of the gym, and if it does, we can usually work around it.


Don’t work through injuries. See appropriate experts who can help you: doctors, physical therapists, bodyworkers, etc. When you are cleared for exercise, we’ll work around your injuries.