Levels: Not Just for Video Games!


Levels: Not Just for Video Games!

Time to discuss the “Level” breakdowns we use in the metcons! As stated in last month’s post, everything can be scaled to make it more accessible or more difficult. This is why we use different levels beyond the typical Scaled and Rx. For a simplified breakdown:

  • Level 4 = Newer to Crossfit and the movements, this is also an option for someone who has done Crossfit for a while but is coming back from an injury. The purpose of this is to give you a baseline of your work capacity, without causing injury. Crossfit meets you where you are physically, to push you mentally. So this is a starting point. No barbell us used in Level 4.
  • Level 3 = No longer “new” to crossfit, coming fairly consistently for a few months to a few years. This level is considered  the conventional “scaled” division if you go to other gyms. The weights are heavier, boxes are higher, movements more advance. If you are able to perform the movements with proper form, do it.
  • Level 2 = Doing Crossfit for multiple years, or you are just freakishly awesome at crossfit and we are all secretly jealous of you. This is what is considered a normal Rx. When opting to try this level, consider the nature/purpose of the work out. Marathon vs sprint? Rounds For Time (RFT) vs As Many Rounds As Possible (AMRAP)?
  • Level 1 = Crossfit beast, or savant. Consider this Rx+. If the movements and weights are too easy for you in Level 2, considering stepping it up a notch. It may hurt, but it will be a good hurt. Because everybody hurts, sometimes.

When selecting what level to use, consider the purpose of the metcon. I mentioned this briefly in the blurb about Level 2, if you cannot determine the purpose, ask. Is the purpose to have a long 20 minute workout? Or a short 8 minute sprint?  

For an example, we will use the benchmark workout “Karen,” 150 wall balls.  The movement standard is: males 20 lbs ball to 10 ft mark; and females 14 lbs to 9 ft mark. The purpose of this workout is to get a benchmark to show improvement over time but, also to sprint. A sprint is ideally 10 minutes or less of work. 150 wall balls is a daunting number to pretty much anyone. If using a 6 lbs ball, hitting the 9 ft mark, you finish Karen in 4 minutes, go heavier. If using a 20 lbs, hitting the 10 ft mark, you finish in 20 minutes, aim for the 9 ft mark or go lighter. Fairly straightforward.

Now let’s go into if you are between levels. This is where it can get tricky. If Level 3 feels too easy for you but, Level 2 is too hard, there is the option for a half step. If there is a 20 lbs weight jump between the levels, split the difference. Go up by 10 lbs. You now have a metcon more difficult but, doable. Again, if you are uncertain, ask.

Next time you walk into the Box and the different levels on the board, you hopefully feel better prepared. There is no shame in starting at a lower level and working your way up. There is also no problem in consistently being at a higher level, but walking in and seeing a WOD that you need to drop a level down on. You have to be a beginner before you can be anything else. Crossfit is a journey, so just keep leveling up as you go!

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