benchmark wods to try this may
A little healthy competition can go a long way – particularly when the competition is with yourself. There’s nothing quite like not only working towards something, but becoming better at it, even if that betterment is by just 1%.
When we think about competition in regards to physical feats, benchmark workouts often come to mind. Why? Because they act as a baseline. They give us the opportunity to have a starting point–a ground zero. A place from which to move #foreverforward. Better yet, they give us the opportunity to truly test our mental and physical capacities, often times beyond limits we thought capable.
From workouts that can be done on the road, at the gym, or anywhere you can think of using just your bodyweight, test your strength, agility, and performance with any of these five benchmark workouts of the day.
As fast as possible:
100 push-ups 100 sit-ups
100 bodyweight squats
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
As fast as possible:
1000 meter row
45-lb. thruster, 50 reps
5 Rounds For Load
Complete 7 Unbroken Sets of this Barbell complex:
1 Power Clean
1 Front Squat
1 Push Press
1 Back Squat
1 Push Press
50 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
50 Jumping Pull-Ups
50 Kettlebell Swings (1/.75 pood)
50 Walking Lunge Steps
50 Push Presses (45/35 lb)
50 Back Extensions
50 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)
BERGERON BEEP TEST
EMOM for as Long as Possible*
7 Thrusters (75/55 lb)
*until you’re no longer able to complete the rep count of an exercise in one minute
30 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
30 Jumping Pull-Ups
30 Kettlebell Swings (35/26 lb)
30 Push Presses (45/35 lb)
30 Back Extensions
30 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)
Time Cap: 30 minutes
Tips & Advice
No stranger to the world of CrossFit and fitness, we enlisted the help of Nick Killeen to drop his top tips and words of wisdom for those who are looking to test their performance or try any of these benchmark WODs for the first time.
Looking to tackle Cindy?
I think Cindy is all about finding rhythm. It's a long, high-repetition workout, and I typically think of three things to help me zone in and establish a rhythm to get through Cindy.
First, I'd try to keep the same pace throughout the entire workout. These are bodyweight movements that aren't meant to burn you out, but with so many reps, setting a pace that you can maintain from the beginning is important. Try practicing one or two rounds before starting the workout to see what the right pace feels like to you, and then watch the clock throughout to try and stick to it.
Second, it's important not to waste time on transitions, because there are a lot of them. I try to view the transitions as reps of their own. As you establish your rhythm with the pull-ups, push-ups, and squats, focus on keeping the same cadence with your transitions so that you stick to your pace.
And lastly, BREATHE! I often find that in high-rep workouts, athletes try moving so quickly that they totally lose track of their breathing. I typically match my breath to the pattern of each rep: at the bottom of each pull-up, at the top of each push-up, on the way out of each squat.
If you keep your pace consistent, move quickly through transitions, and breathe, you'll get into a flow and the workout will fly by.
Maybe you're eyeing testing out Jackie?
With a workout like Jackie, it's really easy to get excited and run out of steam too early. This is definitely a workout you want to move through quickly, but it's important that you leave enough gas in the tank for the pull-ups at the end.
I mentally view the row as four descending sections. I aim for an 80% effort for the first 400 meters, 85% for the next 300 meters, 90% for the next 200 meters, and then I pull my effort back slightly to bring my breath under control for the last 100 meters. That way, I can attack the thrusters right away rather than having to rest.
On thrusters, you waste a lot of time putting the bar down and picking it back up, so it's important to commit to larger sets. Can you stick to sets of 15-20? Maybe even two sets of 25? I find it helpful in a larger set to pause with the bar overhead, take a deep breath, and continue the exercise without putting down the bar.
The pull-ups are just a sprint. I like to go for big chunks here, too - maybe 12-10-8. If you aren't as strong at pull-ups, really focus on limiting your rest time. 10 sets of 3 can still be an efficient approach, but keep your rest to just 5-10 seconds in between. If you've paced the workout well at this point, you should have enough energy left to really push through this last part of the workout.
Ready for the forever challenging Filthy Fifty?
Filthy Fifty can look really intimidating at first, but I think the range of variation in the movements makes this one really fun. I think everyone can look at this workout and find something they're really good at and something they know is going to be really hard. For me, I can move quickly through the leg-focused movements like box jumps, lunges, and wall balls. I struggle more with the movements on the bar, like jumping pull-ups and knees-to-elbow. No matter what kind of athlete you are, the burpees are going to be the hardest part.
With this workout, I recommend setting a steady pace and playing to your strengths. Try to remain relaxed during the difficult movements, breaking things up into small sets and only taking short amounts of rest. It's important not to get frustrated or freaked out if something feels hard. Then, move quickly through the exercises you're more confident at to make up time.
On the burpees, try not to rest! The workout is almost done at this point, so I think it's better to keep moving through slow burpees than to get caught up resting on them. A trick I use is to count up to 5 and back down until I get to 50. Sets of 5 feel more manageable than a whopping set of 50 - sometimes those mind tricks make all the difference.
We've also got some insight from our very own Cameron Ahouse – the one to never back down from a fitness challenge.
When tackling Jackie:
You won’t win the workout on the row but you need to be strong throughout it. Don’t start out too fast on the row and die out in the last 500m. Find a pace where you can settle into and maintain throughout. With the thrusters I try to find a strong pace and pick it up during the last 15 reps. I tend to break the pull ups into 2-3 sets depending on grip and my breath.
When running through the Bergeron Beep Test:
Pace yourself on this one. You don’t want to come out too hot on the first few rounds as that rest period gets shorter and shorter. Stay consistent on all of the movements.