The Meaning Behind Girl WODs

by Gabriel “gaberock” Avilla (CF-L2)

What are Girl WODs?

In one word, the CrossFit Girl workouts should be considered as “benchmarks.” They’re like snapshots of where your fitness level stands in specific areas that each workout targets. Basically, every Girl WOD is a unique test for your fitness. Some focus on cardio, while others go for power, speed, strength, or flexibility.

A few Girl WOD facts:

  • In 2003, The Girls were first introduced in 2003 as six benchmark workouts: Angie, Barbara, Chelsea, Diane, Elizabeth, and Fran.
  • According to Morning Chalkup, CrossFit HQ has officially recognized a total of 13 Girl WODs. However, sites like WODwell reveal over 60 Girl WODs. 

Why Girl WODs are Important

Alright, folks, let’s talk about these Girls and how they play a vital role in tracking our progress. Consider them as our periodic fitness tests to see how far we’ve come. The Girls, along with other benchmarks such as Time Trials, 1 Rep Max lifts, and Hero WODs, should be part of our overall fitness routine to keep tabs on our improvements. But hey, when and how often you retest a specific Girl WOD can totally depend on your personal goals.

So here’s the deal: when you’ve got a specific focus in mind, it’s time to tackle a Girl that aligns with it. Let’s say you’re mastering those badass handstand pushups in your gymnastics journey – it’s time to revisit Diane and see how far you’ve aced ’em. If you’re gearing up for the CrossFit Open and looking to rock those barbell cycles, Isabel or Grace will be your go-to workouts to put your skills to the test.

But hold your horses, my friends! We don’t want to repeat the same benchmark workout over and over again. Each of these workouts should be on our radar, but we shouldn’t overdo it. Give ’em a shot no more than twice a year, if that. So, let’s keep the excitement high, mix it up, and conquer those Girls with flair. Remember, progress is our game, and these benchmarks are our measuring sticks. Let’s crush ’em, have a blast, and level up like the athletes we are!

Bodyweight Only

These workouts won’t require any fancy equipment, just your good ol’ body weight (and maybe a pull-up bar if you’ve got one). But don’t get it twisted, they ain’t a walk in the park. However, they’re perfect for beginners because the moves involved are usually less complicated or super advanced. For newer athletes, scaling bodyweight movements is a great way to define your baseline PR for the benchmark so that you can add steps toward achieving the standard movement. And hey, a lot of these bodyweight Girls are on the longer side, meant to be tackled in 20 to 30 minutes. So take your time, no need to rush. Focus on nailing that form—yeah, we’re all about speed and intensity, but if you’re just starting out, it’s all about getting those moves right rather than worrying about your scores. 

BarbaraPerform five rounds. Time each round. Rest exactly three minutes between rounds
20 pull-ups, 30 pushups, 40 situps, 50 air squats
ChelseaYou’ll perform all three exercises in a row, every minute on the minute (EMOM), continuing until you can’t complete a full round of exercises in a minute’s time. The workout lasts 30 minutes.
5 pull-ups, 10 pushups, 15 air squats
MaryPerform as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes.
5 handstand pushups, 10 single-leg squats per leg, 15 pull-ups
CindyAMRAP in 20 minutes (this uses the same exercises as Chelsea, but the format is different).
5 pull-ups, 10 pushups, 15 air squats
AnnieYou’ll perform rounds of both exercises back-to-back, completing 50 reps of each, 40 reps, 30 reps, 20 reps, and 10 reps, completing the workout for time.
Double-unders, Situps
NicoleAMRAP in 20 minutes; note how many pull-ups you complete for each round.
Run 400 meters, Pull-ups for max reps
AngieComplete all exercises and reps as fast as you can, for time.
100 pull-ups, 100 pushups, 100 situps, 100 air squats

Small Equipment and Bodyweight

These workouts bring in some smaller tools like kettlebells, plyo boxes, and medicine balls. And guess what? We’ve got some all-out running in the mix too, so get those legs pumping! Now, just like the bodyweight Girls, feel free to adjust the exercises to fit your level. There is no shame in scaling, my friends. Can’t handle swinging that 2-pood (that’s a hefty 72-pound) kettlebell in the Eva workout? No worries, grab a lighter weight and keep on rockin’. But hey, remember to jot down the weight you used so you can track your progress and crush it even harder next time.

EvaComplete five total rounds for time.
800-meter run, 30 kettlebell swings (prescribed with a 2-pood kettlebell), 30 pull-ups
HelenComplete three total rounds for time.
400-meter run, 21 kettlebell swings (prescribed with a 1.5-pood kettlebell), 12 pull-ups
KarenComplete all repetitions as fast as possible, for time.150 wall ball shots (prescribed with a 20-pound ball)
KellyComplete five total rounds, for time.
400-meter run30 box jumps (prescribed with a 24-inch box), 30 wall ball shots (prescribed with a 20-pound ball)

With Barbells

Alright, listen up folks, ’cause we’re diving into the realm of the toughest Girls in town! These benchmark workouts have got it all – we’re talking heavy lifting, bodyweight moves, sprints, rowing, and more. It’s a wild mix that’ll put your fitness to the test and leave you begging for more. Now, let’s talk about the queen bee of these workouts: Fran. She’s got some serious street cred in the CrossFit world. Everyone knows her name, and athletes worldwide measure themselves against her infamous “Fran-time.” Brace yourselves for a 21-15-9 rep scheme of thrusters and pull-ups. The goal? Crush it as fast as lightning, ideally without taking a single break. Yeah, you heard that right, unbroken action!

AmandaComplete rounds of 9 reps, 7 reps, and 5 reps of both exercises as fast as you can, for time.
Muscle-ups, Snatch (prescribed with a 135-pound barbell)
JackieComplete as fast as you can, for time.
1,000-meter row, 50 thrusters (prescribed with 45-pound barbell), 30 pull-ups
DianeComplete rounds of 21 reps, 15 reps, and 9 reps of both exercises as fast as you can, for time.
Deadlifts (prescribed with 225-pound barbell), Handstand pushups
FranComplete rounds of 21 reps, 15 reps, and 9 reps of both exercises as fast as you can, for time.
Thrusters (prescribed with 95-pound barbell), Pull-ups
ElizabethComplete rounds of 21 reps, 15 reps, and 9 reps of both exercises as fast as you can, for time.
Cleans (prescribed with 135-pound barbell), Ring dips
NancyComplete five total rounds of both exercises, as fast as you can for time.
400-meter run, 15 overhead squats (prescribed with 95-pound barbell)

So, get ready to tackle these challenging Girls head-on, push your limits, and let the world know you’re a force to be reckoned with. It’s time to show ’em what you’ve got and earn your bragging rights. Let the sweat, the gains, and the fun begin!

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