TheSamsonOption exercise protocol is designed for the Elite Fitness Athlete.  It is not however designed to the exclusion of any athlete or individual interested in attaining some level of fitness.  We agree with Founder and CEO of CrossFit, Greg Glassman:

“The question regularly arises as to the applicability of a regimen like CrossFit’s to older and deconditioned or detrained populations. The needs of an Olympic athlete and our grandparents differ by degree not kind. One is looking for functional dominance the other for functional competence. Competence and dominance manifest through identical physiological mechanisms.”

SO’sfitness concepts are akin to those espoused by CrossFit; we differ in name and ultimate purpose however. We adhere to CrossFit’s fundamental theories but abide in the belief that bodily exercise, albeit profitable in some things, falls short of Godliness which is profitable in all things. (I Tim 4:8)  We believe that if a person desires to be truly fit, it requires more than physical prowess.  See About Us.

Scaling WOD’sfor individual needs requires an understanding of the intended purpose of a workout.  The trainee or trainer must understand the design of the protocol to be scaled.  Was it designed for strength, power, speed, metabolic conditioning, endurance, stamina, or a combination of several?  Altering a Metabolic Conditioning (MetCon) protocol by increasing rest intervals completely changes the outcome of the exercise.  Too much rest in a metabolic conditioning work-bout reduces the training effect and the intent of the MetCon.  Here’s an example:

The Stamina component of an SO prescription calls for 50 Kettlebell swings with a 2 Pood (70 lbs+) KB AFAP (As fast as possible).  You are just starting out and can’t do 50 swings without resting with a 2 Pood.  You want to do the RX’d (As Prescribed) workout so you do a couple of swings and rest a minute then a couple more and rest etc. until you have completed the component.  By not scaling the load (reducing the weight in this case) and increasing the R&R (Rest and Recovery) of the exercise, you have made the Stamina component, a strength component.

A possible scenario for scaling this module is reducing the weight of the KB to a reasonable load that you can do 15-20 times in rapid succession with perfect form.  By reducing the rest intervals to a minimum exacerbates the anaerobic stimulus and maintains the purpose of the component.

Power Outputand Work Capacityare critical to SO’s purpose.  In each of the 6 components of a WOD; Base, Skill, Strength, MetCon, Stamina, and Endurance, Power Output and Work Capacity are integrated. Scaling must not alter the principle, only the ability to complete the principle as Rx’d.  

Scaling correctlywill increase work capacity.  By using less weight and completing the workout faster, an individual can produce more power and subsequently receive more from the workout than doing the same prescription at Rx but prolonged.

Lets say I do 3 rounds of 21-15-9 Thrusters at 95 pounds and it takes me 7 minutes to complete. My power output will be 91.56 watts based on the criteria entered for calculating the power output of a thruster for a person my height and weight.  If I reduce the load to 75 pounds and complete the work in 5 minutes, my power output will be 128.18 watts.  

By reducing the load and decreasing the time it takes to complete the component I produced more power and get more from the exercise than if I had stayed with the Rx’d loads.  The converse is true however.  If I use too little weight and take the same amount of time or more, my outcomes will be reversed.

To get the most form your training, you must do the prescription in a way that meets its intended purpose with loads that challenge and inspire you.  Each modality and variation has a different purpose so be certain you understand the principles behind the WOD.  Intensity, Volume, Strength, Power, Stamina, Endurance, Skill, Speed, Balance, Agility, Accuracy, are all training protocols and each will have specific nuances that are purposeful to your training.  Be sure you are using them to their best advantage.

Compensating for individual weaknesses or strengths is essential to achieve elite fitness therefore scaling WOD’s is not limited to only reducing loads.  There will be times when scaling up may be necessary; times when the Rx’d load is not sufficient for your particular skill or strength level.  In this scenario, heavier loads will increase power output and catapult your WOD to new levels.

Catalyst Athletics provides a Power Output Calculator that will assist you in determining the best scaling options for a particular exercise protocol.  Use the calculator at:

Knowing your power output is a great way of determining how your exercise program is working, what changes, if any, are necessary, and which exercises are best suited for your training paradigm.

Power output, in my opinion, is the most productive way of measuring the work capacity and overall strength of an athlete at work.  To train at an elite level, or any level for that matter, one must be able to measure the advantages or disadvantages of a particular exercise paradigm.  Power out will give you a credible measuring stick for all work.


And whatsoever you do, in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by Him.

Col 3:17