No, we are not suggesting that you need to work out on a bench!

So, what do we mean by a bench mark workout?

CrossFit has designed a series of standardised work outs allowing athletes to test their fitness. These are known as benchmark workouts. There are a variety of different workouts that come under the benchmark title. The best thing about these kind of work outs is that not only do they let you compare yourself to others, (and to the elite athletes) but they also allow you to track your own progress. They cover a variety of movements, and range from purely bodyweight, to heavy barbell complexes. Benchmark WODs are purely another tool in your CrossFit arsenal. Be sure to write down your results so if you complete the benchmark again you can track your progressions.

Many of the CrossFit benchmarks are named after women, much like the distinctive naming convention of storms. According to Greg Glassman, the founder of CrossFit, “anything that leaves you laying on your back gasping for air wondering what just happened to you should be named after a girl”.

Needless to say, you should leave a fair amount of time between retesting a benchmark WOD. There are multiple benchmark workouts to keep you busy. There are also standardised Hero Workouts, all of which commemorate fallen soldiers. For example, many CrossFit boxes complete a hero workout called Murph on Memorial Day every year in order to raise money for the Lt. Michael P. Murphy Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

Murph WOD

1 Mile Run
100 Pull Ups
200 Push Ups
300 Squats
1 Mile Run

To be completed with a 20 lb weighted vest.

There is no stealthy, secret way to improve your CrossFit benchmark WODs. Just make sure to track your progression, work on your weaknesses and you will no doubt see improvements. Improvements in your benchmarks show that you are developing as an athlete and getting fitter!

Emilio introduced me to CrossFit and the very first workout I ever completed happened to be a Benchmark Workout called “Fight Gone Bad”. This has become my annual marker to test how far I have come.

Fight Gone Bad

Three rounds of:
Wall-ball (9/6)
Sumo deadlift high-pull (34/25)
Box Jump, 20" box
Push-press, (34/25)
Row (Calories)

*All weights are in Kilos

In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. On call of "rotate", the athletes must move to next station immediately for best score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is one point.

Emilio and I have always liked the idea of having these benchmarks as ways of testing our progression, and given that we train together a lot and love to train together we have written a few of our own benchmarks that we wanted to share with you!

Our Anniversary Workout: “The Seven Sins, afterwards...”

This is a workout we wrote together, I had recently done the Hero WOD “Seven” and really enjoyed it and 7 happens to be Emilio’s favourite number!

7 Rounds for time (7 reps each, 70 for Double Unders)

Overhead Squats (60/35)
Toes to Bar
Handstand Push Ups
Deadlifts (110/70)
Pull Ups
GHD Sit Ups with Med Ball (9/6) 
Double Unders

*all weights are in kilos

Emilio’s Birthday Workout: “Rebenga 93”

Emilio was born in 1993 so I wrote him a birthday chipper WOD with 93 reps combining some of his favourite moves! The buy in is 24 burpees, representing his current age.

Buy in: 24 Burpees

Workout to be completed for time

15 Back Squats (60/40)
15 Pull Ups
12 Front Squats
12 Chest to Bar Pull Ups
9 Over Head Squats
9 Toes to Bar
6 Push Press
6 L-Sit Pull Ups
3 Sumo Deadlift High Pull
3 Muscle Ups
3 Burpees to Target

Steph’s Birthday Workout: “Random Sunday”

Written to celebrate Steph’s birthday. The name of the workout is dedicated to a very amazing and random Sunday that finished with a rally in old Fiat Pandas at a friend’s place.

22 – 18 – 14 – 10 – 6 – 2 reps of:

Calories on the rower
Kettlebell Clean and Press 24/16
Push Ups on the Kettlebell Handles

*Weights are in Kilos