One of the most distinctive traits of Crossfit is the workout of the day, also known as the WOD. The WOD is what makes us fit, strong, and better human beings. Well, maybe not that last bit. In case you don’t know, WODs are exercise plans scored by the time for completion, or by reps completed, or in some cases, poundage lifted. It’s like HITT, but well, better. And there’s no shortage of popular CrossFit WODs to choose from. So let’s take a look at the Top Ten CrossFit Workouts. I’ll warn you that this is not a scientifically ranked Top Ten. It’s based on nothing other than our experience. But if you’re looking for a list for inspiration, read on.
Murph is a hero WOD, a CrossFit workout named after a person. Think of them as tributes. This one is named after Lieutenant Murphy of Patchogue, New York. He was killed in the line of duty in 2005. It’s one of the best-known and most feared workouts.
This workout involves:
200 air squats
It’s a killer workout and one of my personal favourites. The 1-mile run at the end is tough after the 200 air squats. You’re permitted to break up the other exercises as you like. So you could finish the non-running part with pushups and pullups, saving your legs. You can also rotate through 10 pull-ups, 20 push-ups, 20 squats for example.
You must start and finish with a run.
Test your one-rep max with the Crossfit Total, the sum of the highest load lifted with back squats, deadlifts and shoulder presses. Warm and then give each lift three attempts. You need a lot of rest in between each move with this one.
- The first attempt sees you choosing a weight that you know you can do for three reps
- The second attempt sees you choosing a load you can do at least once
- The third attempt sees you attempting the weight you WANT to do
A classic. This workout tests three essential movements which help build baseline body strength. Do as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of the following exercises:
- 5 pullups
- 10 pushups
- 15 air squats
Easy, right? Nope.
Here’s a barbell WOD that will challenge your fitness levels as well as test your strength and ability to move a barbell fast. In fifteen minutes, do as many rounds as possible (AMRAP):
- 3 deadlifts
- 3 hang-clean squats
- 3 shoulder-to-overhead
The Rx weight for guys is 115 lbs (52 kg) and for girls is 85 lbs (38 kg)
Before you go piling on the weight, remember that it’s a squat clean which will tax your quads. And then you’ve got to get that weigh overhead three times. If you like this, check out the Bear Complex WOD!
Also known as the “three bars of death”, Linda is a cruel mistress for Crossfit lovers! She’s not the only one, of course, but this is one that is going to push you to your limit as you train. Linda is a workout done for time, and will challenge your strength in ways that you didn't think you could be challenged.
This has a tough pyramid set of three barbell moves for time, 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps:
- Deadlift at 1.5x your bodyweight
- Bench press at bodyweight
- Clean at 0.75x bodyweight
Snatch EMOM – Every Minute On The Minute
A typical EMOM WOD (lots of acronyms, sorry) is one exercise rep or set at the top of a minute followed by a rest for the time that is left (if any) until the next minute begins. These can be programmed to concentrate on anything you like, from strength and speed to power and skill. They’re an excellent training tool and can help you to improve your pacing and progression.
A good way to build endurance and consistency with the snatch is to perform a ten-minute EMOM of single snatch movements. Challenge your strength while working on snatch form.
For ten minutes every minute on the minute:
- 1 snatch at 85% of your one-rep max
A full-body strength workout with multiple movements in one rep. This is a killer workout. Nobody loves Manmakers but one thing is certain, they will work your body like few other movements. Expect sweat and tears, but hopefully no blood. This is the perfect movement for your CrossFit garage gym or home workout studio. No gym required.
- Place the dumbbells on the floor and jump back into a plank
- Follow with a push-up, a renegade row on the right and another push-up
- Row with the left, jump feet between dumbbells and add a squat clean thruster
- Now, do 49 more of these as fast as you can!
When you’re doing it for time, do 50 Manmakers with the heaviest weights that you can manage! This will take time to build up to, especially as you have to do fifty as fast as you can to make good time. Take a breath and dig right in – it’s going to be a challenge.
Read this post for more awesome CrossFit Dumbbell Workouts!
As with Cindy, Angie is all about bodyweight. The difference is that most beginners can’t finish Angie in the same way that they can with Cindy. This is not a WOD for CrossFitters with superb bodyweight strength and endurance.
Angie is a slog, and comprises:
- 100 pull-ups
- 100 push-ups
- 100 sit-ups
- 100 squats
Weights plus gymnastics (or even callisthenics) make up the workout called King Kong. This monster WOD with heavy deadlifts will test your posterior chain. And don’t forget the small matter of the ring muscle-ups. And just to add to the spicy mix, heavy squat cleans will test your speed under the bar. Lastly, you’ve got the handstand push-up for pure gymnastic strength. We can safely say that King Kong is definitely not for beginners!
For time. Follow the schedule of:
- 1 deadlift at 200 (scaled to 180, 160, or 140)kg
- 2 muscle-ups (scaled to 8 chest-to-bar pullups + 8 ring dips)
- 3 squat cleans at 110kg
- 4 handstand pushups
Lynne will test you on your pushing and pulling strength. There’s no time limit for this WOD. Go until you can’t go any longer! With the bench press for the chest, triceps and shoulders, and strict pullups for the back you’re getting a heavy workout for the major antagonistic muscles of the upper body. Stay focused on this workout and move seamlessly between each move. Linda is strict, remember!
Five rounds for the maximum amount of reps:
- Use your body weight to load up your bench press
- Strict pull-ups
Looking for more workout ideas? How about some new partner WODs? We've got your covered.
CrossFit fan. Ex-personal trainer, triathlete, and cross-country mountain biker. Masters Competitive CrossFit athlete. Writer and blogger.