CrossFit benchmark workouts are notoriously tough. Why are so many of them named after girls?

The founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, had a simple and amusing answer: “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.”

“The Girls” is a collection of CrossFit WODs (workouts of the day) that are meant to leave you breathless and haggard as if you were hit by a hurricane. After all, many storms have women’s names too. These intense benchmark WODs are occasionally attempted by athletes to track their progress. They are not meant to be performed on a regular basis.

While other official WODs pay tribute to star athletes, both female and male, “The Girls” have formed a specific group since their introduction in 2003 as the first CrossFit benchmark workouts. They were named Angie, Barbara, Chelsea, Diane, Elizabeth, and Fran. 2004 saw the addition of Isabel, Jackie, Karen, Linda, Mary, and Nancy. Since then, more and more women’s names have been included in the growing list.

Here are some examples of “The Girls” and their challenging demands. Several of these have variations tailored to suit one’s personal fitness level.

The Original Girls

ANGIE: For Time — 100 Pull-Ups, 100 Push-Ups, 100 Sit-Ups, and 100 Air Squats.

BARBARA: 5 Rounds For Time — 20 Pull-Ups, 30 Push-Ups, 40 Sit-Ups, 50 Air Squats, and 3 Minutes Rest

CHELSEA: Every Minute On The Minute For 30 Minutes — 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, and 15 Air Squats

DIANE: 29-15-9 Reps For Time — Deadlift (225/155 lb) and Handstand Push-Ups

ELIZABETH: 21-15-9 Reps For Time — Squat Cleans (135/95 lb) and Ring Dips

FRAN: 21-15-9 Reps For Time —Thrusters (95/65 lb) and Pull-Ups

The New Girls

ISABEL: For Time — 30 Snatches (135/95 lb)

JACKIE: For Time — 100 Meter Row, Thrusters (45/35 lb), and Pull-Ups

KAREN: For Time — 150 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb, 10/9 ft)

LINDA: 10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 Reps For Time — Deadlift (1.5 bodyweight), Bench Press (bodyweight), and Cleans (3/4 bodyweight)

MARY: As Many Reps As Possible — 5 Handstand Push-Ups, 10 Pistols (alternating legs), and 15 Pull-Ups

NANCY: 5 Rounds For Time —400 Meter Run and 15 Overhead Squats (95/65 lb)

Even More Girls

CINDY: As Many Reps As Possible in 20 Minutes — 5 Pull-Ups, 10 Push-Ups, and 15 Air Squats

ANNIE: 50-40-20-10 Reps For Time — Double Unders and Sit-Ups

KAREN: For Time — 150 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb, 10/9 ft)

CHRISTINE: 3 Rounds For Time — 500 Meter Row, 12 Deadlifts (bodyweight), and 21 Box Jumps (24/20 in)

KELLY: 5 Rounds For Time — 400 Meter Run, 30 Box Jumps (24/20 in), and 30 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 lb)

AMANDA: 9-7-5 Reps For Time — Muscle-Ups and Snatches (135/95 lb)

MARY: As Many Reps As Possible in 20 Minutes — 5 Handstand Push-Ups, 10 Pistols (alternating legs), and 15 Pull-Ups

LYNNE: 5 Rounds For Max Reps — Bench Press (bodyweight) and Pull-Ups

NICOLE: As Many Reps As Possible in 20 Minutes — 400 Meter Run and Max Pull-Ups

MAGGIE: 5 Rounds For Time — 20 Handstand Push-Ups, 40 Pull-Ups, and 60 Pistols (alternating legs)

Tune into the E-Sports International newsroom for more articles on health, fitness, and wellness.

Photo Credits:

Images are from Oxygen, Grown Strong, CrossFit Games, and Becoming Superhuman.

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