Workout Routines

Benchmark of Upper Body Strength

CrossFit's spin on bench pressing is as sadistic a workout as you'd imagine.

Benchmark of Upper Body Strength

While Lynne might seem at odds with other CrossFit tests, it’s deceptively challenging. The workout calls for 10 maximum-rep sets—a Herculean task requiring strength, muscular endurance, and mental toughness. In most workouts, I pick and choose when to hit the gas pedal based on the movements and rep scheme. For Lynne, choice is removed: You’re forced to hit it as hard as you can each time you touch the barbell or pullup bar—meaning 10 encounters with those harsh, grinding reps on the edge of failure. Lynne herself once said, “I hate me after Round 3.”

The pull-ups can be any style—strict, kipping, or butterfly. Depending on your proficiency with each type of pull-up, you may opt to use different techniques, often in the same set, in hopes of getting the best score. You score this workout by recording total reps per round. For example, 10 reps in the bench press plus 12 pull-ups in one round would give you a score of 22.

I consider Lynne a great option when I’m lost for workout ideas. Benching is always fun, and doing max-effort pull-ups for five rounds is no joke. Sometimes it’s about doing things in your wheelhouse and having fun, and Lynne is a great way to get reps on the bench, work your upper body hard, and improve your fitness level all at the same time.

The Workouts

Note: Don’t even think about doing these in the same day, or the same week, for that matter. Your pecs and triceps are going to need ample recovery time from the high intensity bench pressing.

CrossFit Bench

After warmup, perform 10 heavy singles in the bench press, resting as long as needed between reps. The weight should be as heavy as you can manage for each rep.


5 Rounds of:

Body weight
Bench x Failure

Pull-up x Failure