Crossfit Open 2015: Adapting WOD 15.5 for wheelchair athlete

The workout for 2015’s Crossfit Open 15.5 presents some obstacles, but is not too difficult to adjust for someone who is wheelchair bound.


27-21-15-9 reps for time of:

  1. Row (calories)
  2. Thrusters

Men use 95 lb.
Women use 65 lb.

Adjustment for wheelchair user:

  1. Some rowing machines allow you to detach the seat, leaving only the front end with the fan, display, foot plates, and the handle. If you prop this against several boxes, it can be anchored to prevent it from moving. Brace the front of the chair against a box so that you can reach the handle.The other outstanding issue is that, without the use of leg power, the calorie number may be too high to match the workout with others. Consider cutting it into 3rds to match the rowing times. I.e. change the reps to 18-14-10-6, or 9-7-5-3.
  2. For thrusters, a shoulder press is an easy substitute. It may be necessary to scale the weight, since without the power coming from legs/hips, accumulating this amount of volume for the RX weight will be difficult.

For my own workout, I applied a 9-7-5-3 row with 27-21-15-9 shoulder press at 65 lbs. My final time for this workout was 8:49.

While I was happy with the speed, to me, by scaling the row so drastically, I felt like it was more of a speed workout than an endurance workout, so if I were to do it again, I would likely adjust the row up to 18-14-10-6 calories per round, and keep the shoulder press the same.

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