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The WODs CrossFit Trainers Love


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How it works: Do 5 circuits for time.

400-meter run
15 barbell overhead squats (95 pounds)

The trainer: Grant Foreman, USA weightlifting sport performance coach, CrossFit level 1 trainer, and owner of Fathom CrossFit in San Diego

Why he loves it: “Some of the toughest CrossFit WODs are simple couplets (two movements) of a loaded and unloaded movement. ‘Nancy’ is a perfect blend of a loaded movement and running, but this CrossFit benchmark workout adds a bit of complexity with the overhead squats. Even though the weight is somewhat light for a regular CrossFit athlete, it becomes daunting as the rounds progress. If it’s your first time trying this WOD, I highly recommend scaling the weight down, or even just using a PVC stick.”

RELATED: At-Home CrossFit Workout


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How it works: Do 21 reps of each exercise, then 15 reps of each, then 9 reps of each.

Barbell deadlift (155 pounds for women)
Handstand pushups

The trainer: Sarah Pearlstein, CrossFit level 1 trainer and creator of YogaMob

Why she loves it: “As a former gymnast, I love handstand pushups! They are one of my favorite movements both to teach and to practice. I like the balance of upper- with lower-body strength in this workout, and the core strength involved in both movements provides a challenging full body experience. And of course the 21-15-9 rep scheme is a classic CrossFit crusher.”


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How it works: Do 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of each exercise.

Barbell deadlift (1.5 times your bodyweight)
Barbell bench press (1 time bodyweight)
Barbell clean (3/4 of your bodyweight)

The trainer: Casey Kirch, certified CrossFit football and Level 1 trainer and owner of Find Your Edge Fitness

Why he loves it: "I like this WOD because a variety of my favorite lifts are included, and the decrease in reps each round is a format I particularly enjoy. The workout is motivating and allows me to push to finish harder than I started.”


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How it works: Do as many circuits as possible in 20 minutes.

5 pull-ups
10 pushups
15 bodyweight squats

The trainer: Sabrena Merrill, ACE Master Trainer and CrossFit mobility and level 1 trainer in Seattle

Why she loves it: “I’m a frequent traveler and I love ‘Cindy’ because it is a bodyweight routine that can be done just about anywhere, as long as there is a pull-up bar (e.g., hotel gym, playground, park, etc.). This WOD challenges your whole body and layers in a metabolic challenge, resulting in 20 minutes of vigorous activity.”

RELATED: The 12 Biggest Myths About CrossFit

Lumberjack 20

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How it works: Do each exercise in order.

20 barbell deadlifts (185 pounds for women)
400-meter run
20 kettlebell swings (24 kilograms for women)
400-meter run
20 barbell overhead squats (75 pounds for women)
400-meter run
20 burpees
400-meter run
20 chest-to-bar pull-ups
400-meter run
20 box jumps (20 inch for women)
400-meter run
20 dumbbell squat cleans (30 pounds for women)
400-meter run

The trainer: Adam Babin, USA weightlifting level 1 sports performance, CrossFit level 1 trainer, and founder of Power Keg CrossFit

Why he loves it: “The ‘Lumberjack 20’ is my favorite CrossFit workout because it incorporates three key components in a great session: heavy barbell work, bodyweight gymnastics, and running. The repeating 20-rep scheme is fantastic, as it’s short enough to make you push yourself to complete each set unbroken and yet just long enough that if you do, you will lose that time in the 400-meter run. The runs offer the chance to recover in the first half, then allows you to turn it up in the second 200 meters to help make up time you may have lost during the last movement.”


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How it works: Do 9 reps of each exercise, then 7 reps of each, then 5 reps of each.

Barbell snatch

The trainer: Matt Scanlon, CrossFit movement and mobility and level 1 trainer and owner of CrossFit Memorial Hill in Kansas City, MO

Why he loves it: “I love ‘Amanda’ because it combines all the high-skill elements of gymnastics and weightlifting into one package—strength, coordination, motor control, speed, and agility. As a coach, I particularly love teaching the complex Olympic lifts and gymnastics movements to my athletes because I am able to give them a new set of goals around those movements that they likely have never experienced. The majority of my athletes come to me with a lifetime of fitness goals being all about the scale and how their jeans fit. All of the sudden, you introduce something like a muscle-up into their fitness repertoire, and their goals become movement- and skill-focused—it’s like a lightbulb turns on. Their fitness focus immediately shifts from fixing their body's deficiencies to finding its abilities.”


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How it works: Do the exercise for time.

30 barbell clean and jerks (95 pounds for women) [Tweet this workout!]

The coach: Christa Schinelli, certified personal trainer and level 1 CrossFit trainer

Why she loves it: “The workout seems simple, but the weight is heavy so it can really knock you down quick. What I like about it is the explosiveness and power required to get the reps done. I also like the fact that the WOD doesn't take very long—essentially it's a sprint, which is just my style.”


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How it works: Do 3 circuits for time.

400-meter run
21 kettlebell swings (24 kilograms)
12 pull-ups

The trainer: Doug Piller, CrossFit tactical athlete kettlebell instructor, level 1 trainer and owner of Power Keg CrossFit in San Diego

Why he loves it: “’Helen’ is one of CrossFit's classic benchmark workouts, which are great for routinely testing your improvement. This is one of my favorite workouts because it includes all three of the basic elements of a CrossFit workout—gymnastics, running, and weightlifting. What makes Helen fun and challenging is knowing that the workout will only last three rounds. While it might be tempting to take a rest on the run, trying going as close to all-out as you can, as that’s the secret to crushing this WOD and getting the best time possible.”

Kettlebell-Burpee-Sprint Combo

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How it works: Do 5 circuits.

20 kettlebell swings (24 kilograms)
20 burpees
200-meter sprint

The trainer: Ashley Hope Linder, CrossFit Olympic lifting and level1 trainer and founder of LinderKids, a non-profit that sponsors foster children to have gym memberships

Why she loves it: “I dig any type of WOD that makes you question your sanity and causes you to tap into an inner level of perseverance. A WOD with sprints always gets me excited, and any workout with burpees is definitely ideal.”


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How it works: Do the exercise for time.

30 barbell snatches (95 pounds for women)

The trainer: Abdulkarim Al-Rashed, CrossFit level 1 trainer

Why he loves it: “I have a love-hate relationship with this particular WOD. I love this workout because I can get it done in less than four minutes, yet at the same time I hate it because it’s a lot of snatches.”


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