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Oakdale, CA 95361
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June 05, 2013

Wednesday’s benchmark WOD is Barbara.  It’s a CrossFit Original, information pills one of Glassman’s earliest mad creations.  Barbara is basically 5 intervals of a lot of calisthenics with 3 minutes rest between sets.

The biggest issue we will run into with Barbara isn’t with how to scale it, but how to record the time.  In my opinion, the best way to document this WOD is to score each round individually – it would look like 2:40, 2:40, 2:47, 2:55, 3:07.  But, this becomes very difficult in a group setting – I can’t reset the clock for every round, because people are finishing at different times.  So that’s out.

Another method I have seen to score Barbara is to just document the work, i.e., subtract 12 minutes (the rest time) from your score.  The problem with this method is…I suck at math.  Especially in a group setting.  The thought of everyone giving me their times as I try to subtract at the whiteboard gives me the heebie jeebies.

Finally, the most simple method, and the one we’ll use Wednesday is: complete a round, look at the clock whilst beginning your rest.  Add 3 minutes and start your next round.  Your score for Barbara will be the cumulative total of all your work and rest.  Simple, right.

Whew – now for the important stuff – how to perform the WOD.

For all athletes, sit ups are something to think about.  Let me state – I hate sit ups in scored WODs.  They are easy to slime and hard to score.  Abmats will be available and I recommend you use them.  I will allow anchoring the feet using a dumbbell or a kettle bell.  Anchoring is faster, but until recently, we didn’t have enough dumbbells to anchor everyone’s feet.  Anchoring your feet will force you to use your hip flexors more.  Another excellent method for fast sit ups is using the gymnastic mat.  Hook your heels on the end of the mat and, Viola!, sit-ups sped up.

My last note on sit-ups. I hate using them in scored WODs because they are easy to cut the most important part off to sacrifice speed.  A full rep is counted when you touch your TOES.  Not your ankles, your heels or even your shoelaces.  Touch your toes, and get that final squeeze from your core.  That little squeeze at the top is the one that will make you better a squatting, pulling, pressing – damn near everything.

The goal for the WOD is to keep your work/rest ratio’s at 1/1 (that’s 3 minutes a round) at the fast end or 2/1 (6 minutes) at the not as fast end.  We will adjust by scaling the reps and the movements.


For RX athletes, the only real issue to think about is your sit up.  If you’ve done Murph or Cindy recently, this is just another version.  The 20-30-40-50 should be 5 all out sprints.  The goal is roughly 3 minutes a round.  1 minute to do 20-30 pullups and pushups, 1 minute for 40 sit-ups and 1 minute for 50 squats.


For scaled athletes, we will likely need to lower the reps to keep you within the work/rest range.  I recommend doing 10-20-30-40 instead of the full 20-30-40-50. If you feel like you are close to RX, I would even recommend 15-25-35-45, but if a round is taking over 6 minutes, please drop the reps in the next round. OR…you may want to try just 3 rounds of the full 20-30-40-50.  Lots of options here, so have a plan and talk it over with a coach.

For most, pullups will be the limiting factor in this WOD.  Scale with bands, jumping pullups or body pulls (rings or bar).  For this WOD, I recommend the lightest scaling option.  Same with pushups – BUT – try to hang onto the full plank here.  I would rather you do 20 planked pushups than 30 on your knees. 



Workout of the Day


5 Rounds, for total time of

20 Pullups

30 Pushups

40 Situps

50 Squats

Rest precisely 3 minutes between rounds.

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