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Meet the Girls: CrossFit Benchmark Workouts

Written by Joanna B.


Posted on September 16 2017

Did you know that it's been 15 years since CrossFit founder himself, Greg Glassman, introduced CrossFit's first benchmark workouts? (Yes, it's been that long!) Fondly called “The Girls”: “Angie, Barbara, Chelsea, Diane, Elizabeth, and Fran” were first published on CrossFit Journal's September 2003 article. These six original benchmark workouts...

serve to benchmark and measure your performance and improvement through repeated, irregular, appearances in the "Workout of the Day" (WOD).

What's in a Name?

Why are the benchmark workouts named after girls? Greg Glassman took inspiration from the Weather Service's naming system. Storms are given a person's name, in alphabetical order, as they are easier to recall and are less cumbersome. (The first storm is given a name that starts with an "A", like "Arlene". The second storm's name starts with a "B" like Barbara", and so on.)

Greg Glassman was also quoted in saying, 

I think anything that leaves you laying on your back gasping for air wondering what just happened to you should be named after a girl.

Meet "The Girls"


For time

  • 100 pull-ups
  • 100 push-ups
  • 100 sit-ups
  • 100 squats


5 rounds for time - 3 minutes rest between rounds

  • 20 pull-ups
  • 30 push-ups
  • 40 sit-ups
  • 50 squats


Every minute on the minute (EMOM) for 30 minutes

  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats


21-15-9 reps 3 rounds for time

  • Deadlift (RX = 102kg for men and 52.5kg for women)
  • Handstand pushups


21-15-9 reps 3 rounds for time

  • Clean (RX = 60kg for men and 43.5KG for women)
  • Ring Dips


21-15-9 reps 3 rounds for time

  • Thruster (RX = 42.5kg for men and 30kg for women)
  • Pull-ups

CrossFit Female Athlete doing a deadlift in a CrossFit Gym

The New Girls

In 2004, CrossFit Journal published another article and introduced six more 'girl' benchmark WOD's:


For time

  • Clean and Jerk 30 reps (RX = 61kg for men and 43kg for women)


3 rounds for time

  • 400 meter run
  • Kettlebell swings 21 reps (RX = 24kg for men and 16kg for women)
  • Pull-ups 12 reps


For time

  • Snatch 135 lbs 30 reps (RX = 61kg for men and 43kg for women)


For time

  • 1000 meter row
  • Thruster 50 reps (RX = 20kg for men and 15kg for women)
  • Pull-ups 30 reps


For time

  • Wall-balls 150 shots


10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps of the triplet. Set up three bars and storm through for time.

  • Clean 3/4 bodyweight 
  • Bench bodyweight
  • Deadlift 1 1/2 bodyweight


As many rounds possible (AMRAP) in 20 minutes

  • 5 Handstand push-ups
  • 10 pistol squats (1-legged squats)
  • 15 Pull-ups 


Five rounds for time

  • 400 meter run
  • Overhead squat 15 reps (RX = 42.5kg for men and 30kg for women)

More Benchmark Workouts

Overtime, CrossFit HQ added more benchmark WOD's to the mix. Some of them are:

Complete as many rounds in 20 minutes as you can of:

  • 5 Pull-ups
  • 10 Push-ups
  • 15 Squats


50-40-30-20 and 10 rep rounds of:

  • Double-unders
  • Sit-ups

Infographic Summary

East Dallas CrossFit summarised all the girl WOD's in this neat infographic. (A free, hi-res and printable version is available on their website here.)

Finally, as a homage to two of these tough WOD's, FRAN CINDY, a functional training & lifestyle clothing brand, is available on MO REPS Fitness Store. FRAN CINDY clothing are produced to survive the toughest WOD's, and are designed to wear out of the BOX. Check them out in our store:


To read the full article about these Benchmark WODS see:



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