How teaching “scaling” in CrossFit helped me lead a movement
As the head coach at Reebok CrossFit ONE (RCF1), I am deeply ingrained in that community. While we have over 500 members, I began to think that maybe there was an opportunity that was bigger than CrossFit – to improve the health and wellness of each employee at our headquarters – RCF1 member or not.
At first it seemed like a lofty goal. Could I really add to the experience of everyone on campus? How could I help our community be the best version of themselves and inspire them to step out of their comfort zone to realize what they could be truly capable of?
Cue: The 8-week Reebok Health Awareness Challenge.
In CrossFit, we ‘scale’ workouts to fit the needs of each athlete. For example, if the workout calls for 100 strict pull-ups, this might be unrealistic for some athletes. So we could scale this back to fifty, or use bands to assist athletes, or substitute the pull-ups for another movement. Each person is in a different stage of their fitness journey.
With this in mind I looked at scaling the 8-week Reebok Health Awareness Challenge in a similar way for the 200+ interested employees.
I encouraged some challenge participants to do away with sugar entirely, others to skip a dessert here and there, and some to only cut out one daily soda. I realized that in order to lead a successful challenge, just as I would scale athletes at the Box, I needed to help scale the challenge to meet each participant’s current stage in their wellness journey.
We checked baseline wellness and markers at the start of week one and when we retested at the end of the two month challenge; over 90% were able to improve their fitness scores!
It was incredibly inspiring to hear the stories of those who took part in the challenge– people losing over 15 pounds, dropping waist sizes, leaning out, achieving better athletic performance, and gaining overall awareness about their nutrition.
The greatest part was that I was supposed to be the expert, but those 8 weeks made me step outside my own personal comfort zone of the CrossFit community, to engage with others who might hold different health and fitness beliefs and goals.
“Every step we take in the right direction toward health and wellness is meaningful- we should celebrate our small successes and realize that failing along the way is a part of the process.”
It’s more about how we react from those failures than anything else. This goes for other aspects of our lives as well.
Adding this page to my bookmark to read again in future.