CrossFit workouts can be pretty brutal. They test the limits of your strength, speed and endurance, with or without a group setting. Hear mixed opinions about CrossFit? It's worth it—but if you want to test yourself before you jump in feet-first, put yourself through these six ultra-demanding WODs—that's CrossFit-speak for "workout of the day."
And what workouts they are. These nasty routines run the gamut from extremely difficult to utterly vicious and borderline insane. As long as you're giving them your all, they'll leave you winded and sore like never before.
1. Filthy 50
A CrossFit staple, the Filthy 50 is a brutal series of taxing exercises that’s likely to seem endless if you’ve never done it before. The circuit includes 50 reps of 10 different exercises, all done as quickly as possible. Do 50 box jumps with a 24-inch box, 50 jumping pullups, 50 kettlebell swings, 50 walking lunge steps, 50 knees to elbows, 50 reps of push press with 45 pounds, 50 back extensions, 50 wallballs using a 20-pound ball, 50 burpees (dropping all the way to the floor), 50 double-unders.
This workout does a good job conveying the basics, and the madness, of CrossFit. This WOD gets to a lot of people at the knees-to-elbows stage, according to Sara Haley, star of Sweat Unlimited, a DVD series of extreme five-minute workouts. "[The Filthy 50] is such a challenge because you have to literally be good at everything. It’s a full-body workout that includes cardio." The sheer number of exercises can be hard to fathom, so it’s best to just pace yourself and focus on the task at hand, not on how much more there is to do. Of course, you can also modify this and do less of each exercise if you’re new to CrossFit and don’t want to dive in head-first—try 20 or 25 of each during your first time through the circuit.
Challenge Time: 25 minutes