Worst. WOD. Ever.

By Richard Grimes

In Workouts

October 13, 2010

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CrossFit has no shortage of grueling workouts, but Richard Grimes goes in search of the most unpleasant WOD ever devised.

A CrossFitter, an endurance runner and a triathlete sat in a bar drinking and telling stories about the hardest workout they’ve ever done—the one they never wanted to do again. The endurance runner started.

“Endurance running is the toughest sport there is. For one workout, I ran a hundred miles through the desert with only a bottle of water. Twice, I was bitten by rattlesnake. That’s the workout I never want to repeat.”

The triathlete wasn’t impressed. “That’s nothing. I once did a double Ironman workout—a five-mile swim, 250-mile bike and two marathons. It took two days and I lost one of my testicles when it snapped off during the second half of the bike ride. I never, ever want to have a workout like that again.”

They both turned to the CrossFitter who had remained silent the entire time.

“So,” asked the endurance runner, “If you had to choose, what CrossFit workout is so painful, so difficult that you never, ever want to do it again?”

The CrossFitter considered this for a second.

“Pretty much all of them,” she answered.



33 Comments on “Worst. WOD. Ever.”


wrote …

Try cffb kalsu as rxd it is 100 135lb thrusters with 5 burpees on the minute until completion. I made it to the fifties and then couldn't complete the burpees with enough time. It took me 20 minutes to get that far with scaling it to 105 lbs. I will never forget this Vietnam war hero because of this wod.


wrote …

I've done KALSU, and it was definitely horrible, although I didn't get bitten by a single rattlesnake during the period it took me to complete that WoD.


Monique Ames wrote …

Leo S here:

Kalsu indeed. I've done it in just under 25 mins rx'ed - levels of pain in other wods came close or were possibly equal, but Kalsu is a sick, sick wod and nothing has been nearly as bad so far.


wrote …

Kalsu for the win here, although "Fran on a Boat" definitely finishes in a close second.


wrote …

We've done that Front Squat WOD at CrossFit New England....people cried. Dudes, chicks....everyone. I'm dead serious, it's a mentally crushing, pain inducing workout....it basically tests how attached you are to your wrists....as it felt like (according to participants) that they had broken their wrists half way through the WOD. I wish I could explain the looks on people's faces after this WOD.....doesn't do it justice.


wrote …

5km row
100 chins
x3 rounds

i haven't done it but it was done


wrote …

Ahhh, the Front Squat Medley. I'm not sure if it is more of a mental conditioning WOD or a physical conditioning WOD. Actually, I do know.....it is mental about halfway to 3/4 of the way through any particular set. And Nadia, you were a beast during that WOD! If I remember correct you beat me, Chuck, and Dennis!


wrote …

Murph sux! The running, chin-ups, push-ups & squats, very high volume!!! Very tough!


wrote …

the beloved front squat medley...I’d have to say not the best idea Pat has had in my opinion. One hell of a wkout though. Word to the wise, just be willing to “Go To That Place.”
Happy WoD’ing


wrote …

Kalsu is one of the few I've ever DNF'd. Definitely hard, almost un-doable for most people. I made the mistake of programming it for my athletes a while back... LOL that was a "live and learn" mistake. That WOD is more about mental toughness than anything else if you have the strength.

Front squat medley- also sounds like a mental toughness WOD. The tougher you are, the more you refuse to let go of the bar. The capacity for pain is infinite in these types of WODs.

I still fear Fran more than any other, though.


wrote …

For me it has to be Eva. always always smashes me.


Alex Kourkoumelis wrote …

Any WOD with drinking involved.


Gerard Mcauliffe wrote …

Marathon in 2.58, easy, 5Km in 16 mins easy, but Fran frightens the shit out of me. I did it on Saturday for the first time in 12 months and set a 96 second Pr (5.25) Still not a great time but it's moving in the right direction. No other CrossFit wod makes me loose sleep the night before!
Kalsu as Rx'd would probably take me a week to complete so i'll have to drink more milk before trying that one!


replied to comment from Pat Sherwood

Hey Pat,

We do a "human sacrifice" every time the Buffalo Bills lose a game. Something scary and gruesome to please the football gods. Farmers mile, burpee mile, 100 manamkers, 100 bodyweight backsquats, double fran. 0 and 5 this season so whatever we're doing isn't working, but the squat medley sounds about right. What's the rest prescription between weights if any? And do you remember what you got? Not that I'm competitive or anything. Thanks, and looking forward to the next zone chronicles.


wrote …

Personnaly i think THE SEVEN is one of the training that destroy me mentally more than any other ! Eva is on the top of the list too.


replied to comment from James Mummey


The "human sacrifice" thing cracked me up. That is some serious dedication to you team! I've done the FS Medley probably 4 or 5 times (no one said I was the sharpest tool in the shed) and I would say we rest a least 5 minutes between the sets. There was usually about 3-4 people doing it, so each person would rest as we cheered the person on who was under the barbell.

Here are some of the better numbers we have seen....
185/135lbs: 25-30 reps or more.
135/95lbs: in the area of 40 reps.
95/65lbs: Anywhere above 50 reps. (I think a woman from CF New England holds the record at nearly 100)

Be careful with this WOD, it is a bit spicy. I hope the Bills do better so that you don't have to do it!



wrote …

Can someone lay out the front squat medley...haven't done it before...
And id have to go with kalsu or the 30x30...(my dumbass did the 30x30 on a two a day)


wrote …

"The Seven" as rx'd kills me.
Although I would have to say "Barbara", something about the sequence and timing... I can get through it, but it does make me feel nauseous when done.


wrote …

Check Lullaby with Blair Morrison
Scroll down the paige until you reach the first video watch, do and enjoy.

I programmed Lullaby for my athletes at CrossFit Reykjavik about a month ago and out of many only 3 athletes finished as Rx´d. This one is up the there with the best/worst
I also have to mention Holten. A hero workout posted on the mainsite a few weeks ago.

Best Regards from Iceland
Head Coach / Owner
CrossFit Reykjavik


wrote …

“... It’s the worst workout I have ever done; you should try it.”

I have to get a t-shirt with that quote printed on it!! (Maybe add the word, "Crossfit" infront of it.)


replied to comment from Mark Rogers

@Mark, I just hit the "like" button


wrote …

The first cross-fit style workout I ever did was 10 wall balls, 10 burpees, 10 rounds for time. It was my intro to cross fit and after 5 rounds I was crushed. After a year of cross fit, the WOD (which I subsequently completed) seems tame compared to others I've done, but I can still remember the first time and how horrible it was. My first 2K row brings back similar memories


replied to comment from Pat Sherwood

"a bit spicy"

I can think of other adjectives to describe it...


replied to comment from Pat Sherwood

Oh pat, you are too humble. You BOTH beat me. Chuck crushed that last round with 72 reps i think! I just remember having 5 minutes to recover then demoing the GHD. :P Good times.


wrote …

My worst WOD ever: TAPS at the 2010 Southeast Regional Affiliate Cup Qualifiers. I compare all WODs to that event and think, "Well, at least it's not Taps!" Thanks, JMac...


wrote …

For me, its the Air Force WOD. That thing has beaten me twice! and I'm itching to give it a go for a third time :)


wrote …

"DT" scaled up to bodyweight. Only wod I've ever DNF'd. A few of us had the bright idea to do this after realizing that our good friend Bubba Hagood from CFNE was nearly doing bodyweight DT by doing rx. I got to 3 rounds at 210# and had to bail! Think he was the only one that finished... good times


wrote …


Bodyweight DT?!

That adds 30 lbs to the wod for me; sounds like such a great challenge/thumb skin remover.

Doing it today.


wrote …

Yes! Yes! Yes! Oh Yes! Respect the Front Squat Medley and Attach the greatest possible warning next to this WOD.

Nadia crushing it in Canada nearly threw me into a religious experience. "Squat-a-Saurous Rex" Jenni Orr is a force to be reckoned with in this wod as well. Speal? nothing short of insane.

The Front Squat Medley stings because on the last set, you can always do 1 more rep......If you really want to.


wrote …

for the front squat medley what are the rest breaks between sets, I want to do this workout


wrote …

Respect the comments, but for me it's no contest - Kalsu is straight sick!!


wrote …

There are many horrible workouts, and I am both triathlete and cross fitter. Would not say that cross fit workouts are necessarily tougher than endurance workouts.
I personally hate Angie as wod, and swimming repeats (10*100)and the marathon.
I see Gerard did a marathon in 2h58' easy. Incredible. And 5k in 16 minutes cannot be easy either.


wrote …

I always want to do them all again... that's what it is all about, try to beat the last time! I can assure you though that I would NEVER want to try a full Ironman... those guys are in a different league!...sorta like Gymnasts!

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