21-15-9 reps of:
Handstand push-ups
Ring dips

Post time to comments.

What’s the hardest metcon workout?

I was asked this question yesterday and I feel it should be posted here.

There is no hardest CrossFit workout, they’ll each put forward different demands, which plays to our need for adaptation to the unknown and unknowable.

“Fran” (21-15-9 45kg thruster/pull ups) is considered the Crossfit benchmark workout. But this is in part to it’s legendary status and the superhuman times we see the CrossFit firebreathers get. Examples here and here of it’s mythical status in CrossFit.

That’s not to say that “Cindy” (As Many Rounds As Possible in 20mins of 5 pull ups, 10 push ups, 15 air squats) isn’t a humbling experience, and extremely taxing on the muscular endurance.

“Nancy” (5 rounds of 45Kg Overhead Squat, 400m) will tax anyone who has a midline stabilisation issues and/or sprinting deficiencies.

“Diane” (21-15-9 100kg deadlift, handstand press ups) combines a raw strength building manoeuvre with a gymnastics technique that is both demaning strength wise and balance/agility wise. If you’ve mastered these skills, the workout becomes systemically taxing over taxing on the muscles.

“Murph” (1 mile run, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 air squats, 1 mile run) is painful! And really about grit and determination.

“Elizaebth” (21-15-9 60kg Cleans/Ring Dips) calls for great technical proficiency and muscular control (stability/cordination etc)

The key thing is to
A) work on your weaknesses, as there is greater athletic benefit than continuing to bolster your strengths, and

B) mix it up! If you do just 1, or 5 of the main metcon workouts, you will adapt to be very good at these metcons. Soon enough, your progress stalls. Plus you’ve become specifically adapted as opposed to fit. In all but the most advanced specific athletes, this is a bad thing. And specific athletes (I’m talking professionals/Olympians here) have made a sacrifice in health to be that way. Of course, they’re compensated by sponsorship deals and the likes.

You’ll see metcon workouts on the main site or ours that are derivatives of the benchmarks, which both improve the benchmark score and also improve your ability to handle the unknown and unknowable as well as increase your work capacity across broad time and modal domains (make you fitter) For example, you’ll see Fran-esque workouts such as;

15-12-9 60Kg Thruster, 30Kg weighted Pull up
AMRAP 20mins: 5 40Kg Thrusters, 10 Pull Ups
9 rounds, 5 40Kg Thrusters, 5 Pull ups
etc, etc.

At the end of the day there shouldn’t be any easy workouts, nor is there by design. If the weight is manageable the time will be the tough part. If the weight is hard that’ll make it tougher. The only easy day was yesterday!