I Googled, “Why are benchmark workouts important in CrossFit?”
Don’t ask why.
It’s definitely not because this week’s Outside the Box Benchmark features an 800 Meter Run and I didn’t want to do it. Or because Devil Presses feel like an exorcism of every demon in my family tree.
Nope, I was just curious. And do you know what curiosity does to cats like me?
As if Greg Glassman was reading my mind, the first result was a link to the CrossFit Journal. Here.
Too long, didn’t read.
Still, if the Godfather of CrossFit says they’re important… You fall in line. If Glassman told me that sparkling water was bad for my neck, I’d never take another sip of that Peach/Pear goodness. In 2012, I met Glassman at Regionals. We shook hands. I PR’d my Squat Snatch three days later.
Anyway, where was I going with this?
Oh yeah! I did the fifth OTB benchmark. It was really hard. Even harder because I psyched myself out before doing it. The mental game is not my strong suit. Nor is the physical game, frankly. There’s something terrifying about an 800 Meter Run… directly after Devil Presses… that just makes my body weak. I get so weak in the knees, I can hardly speak, I lose all control, and something takes over me. Ahem, SWV.
The Workout “Outsider Chipper”
50 Single Dumbbell Thrusters, 25 lbs
40 Single Arm Dumbbell Sumo Deadlift High-pulls, 25 lbs
30 Single Dumbbell Squat Cleans, 25 lbs
20 Devil Press, 25 lbs
Run, 800 m
Just another late night workout. I’ve been really busy lately, between work and trying to squeeze every ounce of time with my kids before they go back to school – nights are my best times to workout.
My favorite CrossFit Benchmark Workout is a finished one. Grace is a good one. Cindy is a staple. Fran is dirty. DT is intense. Karen makes me want to call a manager. None of them feature running. Know why? I hate running.
3… 2… 1… Go!
50 Single Dumbbell Thrusters
My initial thought: One dumbbell. Only 25 lbs. Should be easy, right? Even 50 reps shouldn’t be too bad. I mean, I used to be able to Back Squat over 500.
The first 25 reps felt good, too. I got that single dumbbell over my head and squatted back down like a human accordion.
And then my body went somewhere else.
The final 10 reps were terrible. I never dropped the weight, but my goodness they felt spicy. There’s something dangerous about 50 of anything. Unless it’s Oreos.
40 Single Arm Dumbbell Sumo Deadlift High-pull
These wouldn’t be so bad. If there weren’t 40 reps or if I had longer arms. Sometimes I pick on my wife and say she has go-go-gadget arms. She can reach things higher than me. Her arms aren’t even long, but my love language is picking. Compared to me, her arms are long… since I’m like a miniature T-Rex covered in hair.
Twenty total each arm, alternating one after the other. I can feel the burn in my trap and tricep. Joanie is now taking pictures of me as I pant and wheeze through the last few reps.
I pause, take a deep breath, and ask if she can grab me something from the car.
Her: “You’re asking me to go to the garage right now? Seriously?”
Me: “No, I figured you could just reach over there from here.”
30 Single Dumbbell Squat Clean
I knew this one would sting. God is now punishing me for the sick burn on my Rib. Also, my legs are are fire from the 50 squatty thrusters and the wide-stanced, squatty SDHPs. I groan every time I stand out of a chair, and yet this workout start with 120 reps of buttcheekery.
20 Devil Presses
Not everyone knows what a Devil Press is. And frankly. this ain’t the place you go to find out about workout descriptions. (Unless you’re looking for Jump Rope help, then I got your back.)
Let me put it like this. Greg Glassman named the queen of CrossFit benchmark workouts, “Fran.”
Fran. The name of your mom’s friend who always gave you candy. He said, “Anything that left you flat on your back looking up at the sky asking what the ** just happened to me, deserved a female’s name.”
Disclaimer: There’s a joke here about how much worse Devil Presses must be compared to Fran, but my brain has shut down. Fran makes me cough, DPs make me lost.
Remember kids: Your mom’s friend < Satan.
800 Meter Run
Ohhhh, Taz is funny for this one. Chippers are meant to drop in reps with each new movement. Ya know, 50, 40, 30, 20… 10! As I start to take my first steps into my late night run, I feel tricked by the Barber lady. This should be a 10 meter run. I could sprint it even!
Instead, I’m forced to run into the darkness, for 800 Meters. That’s 2 laps on a track. 4 laps on my little makeshift running path. There are no street lights, either. It’s like running into the abyss.
It would be even more poetic if I did look like this when I’m running.
Here’s the thing about benchmark workouts; if you’re doing them right, you’re going to feel it. My body started to betray me on the 11th meter, but at 600m I was contemplating vomiting in a neighbor’s yard and being arrested (again) just so I didn’t have to finish.
I did, though. I waddled my way to the finish line like an overconfident goat.
Because benchmark workouts are more about the finish line than the finish time. And I made it.
Interested in learning more about OTB? Check out our FREE 3-Day-Workout Preview.
Or hey, why not just sign up? Me and the Outsiders are waiting for ya.
Tune in next week for another Death to Dadbod.
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