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Programming a great CrossFit workout isn’t always about selecting the most difficult exercises. Sometimes, a session can consist solely of body weight movements; and by simply manipulating variables like exercise order, set and rep schemes, and rest times, you can get a ton of mileage out of just a few basic movements. Take the CrossFit benchmark WODs “Angie,” “Chelsea” and “Barbara,” for example. They’re nearly identical in exercise selection, but subtle differences make each a completely unique experience.
Angie consists of 100 reps each of pull-ups, pushups, bodyweight squats and sit-ups, generally performed in succession.
Chelsea will introduce you to the concept of EMOM (every minute on the minute)—as in, you’ll perform five pull-ups, 10 push-ups and 15 squats every minute for 30 minutes. If you can finish her, Chelsea translates into 150 pull-ups, 300 push-ups and 450 air squats, an absolutely staggering volume.
Barbara, meanwhile, is a real bitch. She consists of five rounds of 20 pull-ups, 30 push-ups, 40 sit-ups, and 50 squats. There’s a three-minute rest at the end of each round, which can seem generous by CrossFit standards, but by the third or fourth round, it becomes the fastest three minutes of your life.
If you’re new to CrossFit, we’ve provided scaled-down versions of each of these workouts. The full, or advanced, version is called the “Rx” attempt in CrossFit parlance. We highly recommend you take a stab at one of the scaled-down versions before jumping into an Rx attempt. The Pack version is intermediate, and the Puppy version is for beginners. These scaled versions let you dip your toe in the CrossFit waters and help mentally prepare you for the real deal.
“Don’t use these workouts more than once every few months,” Orlando says. “They are benchmarks; how you perform will help you gauge the validity of the rest of your programming.”
|Barbara – RX||20||30||40||50|
|Barbara – Pack||10||20||30||40|
|Barbara – Puppy||5||10||15||20|
|Angie – RX||100||100||100||100|
|Chelsea – RX||5||10||0||15|
|Chelsea – Pack||4||8||0||12|
|Chelsea – Puppy||4||8||0||12|