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5 infamous WODS every functional fitness athlete needs to try

For part three of our blog ‘The Word on the WOD’, we thought we’d just take a look at a few more important functional fitness WODs. Obviously there are lots and lots of potential contenders, and we could write thousands of words on this topic, but we’ve decided to pick the five favourites that we consider memorable in one way or another.

Fight Gone Bad

Inspired by the time-frame of a Mixed Martial Arts contest - three rounds of five minutes’ hard work and one minute rest - Fight Gone Bad (FGB) has become a notorious test of endurance and conditioning. It was named after famous MMA (and UFC) fighter, P.J. Benn who described this WOD as like a “fight gone bad.”

There’s no clock-stopping in-between exercises; athletes are left to pace themselves as they see fit but if you take thirty seconds rest, you’re probably not going to post high numbers as this FGB is scored by the total number you’ve achieved at the end of the full workout. Some athletes do it for five rounds instead of three. That’s not to say that three rounds is a scaled down version of Fight Gone Bad though; you just go all-out, however many rounds you do; it depends what you’re training for.

• Wallball Shots: 20lbs (approximately 4.5kg),10ft target. For reps.
• Sumo Deadlift High-Pull: 75lbs (approximately 34kg).For reps.
• Box Jump: 20 inch box.For reps.
• Push Press: 75lbs (approximately 34kg)For reps.
• Row: as many calories as possible.

Nancy - and her naughty big sister

‘Nancy’ was one of the ‘New Girl’ workouts introduced by the Journal in 2004 (following on from the original “Girls” (which we blogged about here: We know all functional fitness WODs are tough, but this one is a serious challenge for your legs and cardiovascular system as it’s five rounds and fairly high reps. It looks so innocuous on the whiteboard too - “Oh just five rounds of that?” - but there’s nothing insipid about Nancy.

• 400 metre run
• 15 Overhead Squats (43kg for men, 30kg for women)

In the 2013 Games, the athletes were given the task of completing ‘Naughty Nancy’, an even tougher version of this workout which involved a hilly run of 600 metres and then 25 Overhead Squats at 140lbs (approximately 63.5kg) for men and 95lbs (approximately 43kg) for women. As you can imagine, they nailed it.


Another one of the “New Girls” workouts from 2004, Jackie made an appearance at the 2013 Invitational in Berlin. She’s fast and furious, and all that’s required is that you rip through each exercise one after the other, a typical “chipper” WOD, meaning you can’t break it up into small bits and it might just chip away at your motivation and self-esteem… This WOD tests your power, speed and grit to the max. A great benchmark for measuring progress too as it involves classic lower and upper body moves.

• 1000m row
• Thrusters 45lbs (approximately 20kg barbell) 50 reps
• Pull ups 30 reps.

Battle of London 2013 Qualifier WOD 1

So this one might not be as well known as the others in this blog, but it’s an unforgettable workout. Appearing last year (2013) as the first qualifier workout for Battle of London, it forces athletes to chase down their cleans and leap over their box until their arms, legs and lungs hurt like hell. The cut off time is 12 minutes and the score is total reps. So if you get through the rounds of 20s then you’ll be at 120. For many athletes just getting to that point was hard enough. For others, it was what went on after that, that made the workout so memorable.

• 20 Cleans 45/30kg
• 20 box jump overs 24/20 inches
• 20 Cleans 60/40kg
• 20 box jump overs 24/20 inches
• 20 Cleans 75/50kg
• 20 box jump overs 24/20 inches
• As many cleans as possible at 90/60kg.



Another one of those Benchmark ‘Girl’ workouts, we couldn’t resist adding Grace here. Her simplicity is beautiful. Not only will she require you to have a certain level of skill (and, as her name suggests, grace) in Olympic lifting, but she’ll teach you to pace yourself. To come through Grace in one piece you really will have to pop your ego in a box somewhere far away; sacrificing form for time with these kind of complex movements will only end in tears (double entendre intended)!

• 30 Clean and Jerks at 135lbs (approximately 61.25kg for men) and 95lbs (approximately 43kg) for women. For time!

If you’d like us to post a blog on any particular WOD that we haven’t mentioned in this blog series, please do tweet us @progenexeurope and let us know. We’re always keen to hear from our followers about anything they’d like to read about, in fact.

Tagged with: Progenex wods hero functional fitness

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