Not all WODs are created equal. Some are just more stomach-kickingly brutal than others.
Why is it that some WOD announcements give you that pit-of-the-stomach exam dread, yet when you look over at your WOD-buddy they’re all “ah, I quite like the Filthy Fifty”. They like it? Actually like it? Perhaps it’s bravado. Possibly they’re the next Rich Froning… orrr maybe they’re just a certified CrossFit maniac.
The truth is, although we might all be on the same unified-by-CrossFit mission to improve our GPP, we’re all different. Some of us are built for speed, power and agility, some of us are in it for the endurance long-game and some of us, well we’re just here because it beats sitting at home in a Netflix coma.
But there is something about the WODs you’ve made friends with, and the WODs you love to hate that tells you what kind of CrossFitter you really are.
How you feel about these 5 most brutal WODs will reveal a lot about your strengths and weaknesses as a CrossFitter. Find out what your most loved and most hated WOD says about you…
Filthy 50: the Endurance Lover’s WOD
The Filthy 50, otherwise known as “the WOD that never ends”.
I’ll be honest, the thought of 50 anythings sounds to me like watching the kettle-boil. Just looking at the Filthy 50 play list induces that preparation/survival mode that can only be brought on by long-haul flights, entering a marathon or embarking on a seemingly endless CrossFit WOD.
—50 box jumps, 50 pull ups, 50 kettlebell swings, 50 walking lunges, 50 knees to elbows, 50 push presses, 50 back extensions, 50 wall balls, 50 burpees and 50 double-unders—
But if, unlike me, you love a bit of Filthy 50, aside from probably ranking quite highly on the psychopathic spectrum, it’s safe to say that your endurance game is probably quite strong.
Hat’s off to you, Filthy 50 lover — endurance is your special CrossFit skill!
Fran: the CrossFit Quickie
If the Filthy 50 is a pace-yourself marathon, Fran is the all-out 100m sprint.
Fran is among the most revered CrossFit workouts and is a benchmark WOD for a reason. It is a deceptively simple sounding:
—21 thrusters, 21 pull ups, 15 thrusters, 15 pull ups, 9 thrusters, 9 pull ups. As fast as humanly possible—
If the 21-15-9 rep scheme of Fran gets your CrossFit mojo pumping and you love thrashing through your thrusters and pull ups — you’re the hare to the Filthy 50 tortoise.
Your CrossFit super powers are: speed and intensity. We shall call you, Mr/s Fast-Twitch.
Horton: the CrossFit Geek
The Horton hero WOD requires some serious CrossFit skill. It contains nine rounds and two of the most technically challenging moves in CrossFit: muscle ups and clean and jerks.
—9 x rounds, for time, with a partner: 9 bar muscle-ups, 11 clean and jerks, 155 lb,
50-yard buddy carry—
Enjoyment of this workout is solely reserved for those CrossFitters who have put in the serious Box time and dedication needed to learn and master technique. Plus, as it’s a partnered workout, there’s extra CrossFit-nerd points for camaraderie, competition and bond-building with your buddies.
Happy with a Horton announcement? Congratulations: you’re a total CrossFit Geek.
King Kong: the WOD for Those who Love to Lift
You’ll find no complex rep schemes here. King Kong is 100% all killer no filler.
Three rounds of HEAVY ASS lifts makes this a heavy weight WOD for those who love to lift – and love to lift LARGE!
—3 x rounds, for time: 1 deadlift 455/325lbs, 2 Muscle Ups, 3 Cleans 250/155lbs, 4 Handstand Push Ups—
If King Kong doesn’t kill you; if you revel in those deadlifts, your strength is, erm, strength itself!
Like the WOD’s namesake, you, my friend, are an official CrossFit heavyweight beast.
Murph: the Machine
The second hero WOD on our list of most brutal CrossFit WODs, and this one really takes the biscuit when it comes to brutality.
—For time: 1 mile Run, 100 Pull-ups, 200 Push-ups, 300 Squats, 1 mile Run—
…nuff said! There’s no doubt about it, if Murph ranks low on your WOD-dread scale and you’re not crawling back into the Box on your knees after that final, painful 1 mile run — you really are a CrossFit Machine!
Make your weakness your strength
Of course, the most revealing thing about the way a WOD makes you feel isn’t what you’re good at, but what you’re bad at.
In the same way that your immediate gut reaction to a coin flip can immediately help you make a decision you’ve been pondering over for hours on end, despite what the coin might say, that instinctive fight or flight response to the announcement of a particularly brutal WOD will help you identify and attack your weaknesses.
Burpees have you running for the sick bucket? You probably need to do more burpees.
Dread double-unders? Add more double-unders to your programme.
You suck at muscle ups? Guess what? Time to get more muscle up progressions in!
If you want to be a better CrossFit athlete, you’ve got to spend time doing those WODs and exercises you that you love to hate, until you eventually make those weaknesses your strengths.
In the meantime, I’ll just be over here in the corner trying to get past rep 35 of the Filthy 50 without wanting to cry. Take your time, I’ll be here a while… endurance – one day you will be mine!