Filthy Fifty Rebranded for the Holidays

I walked into CrossFit London on December 24th for the 7 am workout.

The WOD (workout of the day) was posted on the board, Kris Kringle Fifty.

Um, rebranding has its limits.

For time:
50 Box jump, 20/24 inch box
50 Jumping pull-ups
50 Kettlebell swings, 12 kg/16kg
Walking Lunge, 50 steps
50 Knees to elbows
50 Push press, 20/25 kg
50 Back extensions
50 Wall ball shots, 14/20 kg ball
50 Burpees
50 Double unders

That’s CrossFit’s notorious Filthy Fifty.

I ended up doing step ups on the box and lowering the weight on the wall ball shots. I was happy that I could stick with the Rx (recommended) weight on the push press and on the kettlebell swings. No pink kettlebells for me!

One of my favourite things about CrossFits is how scalable the workouts are. See my earlier post on modifying CrossFit workouts.

I took the advice of the CrossFit coach and “chipped away at it.” I did sets of 10 and made no effort to do 50 in a row, “unbroken” as they say, of any of it. I just focused on the one thing I had to do and I didn’t even look at what was next. Taking off my glasses helped as I couldn’t see the board.

But even with modifying it and breaking it into pieces there’s still not much nice to say about a workout that has 50 burpees in it!

Here’s what Men’s Fitness has to say about this workout.

“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 headfirst—try 20 or 25 of each during your first time through the circuit.”

Men’s Fitness lists a Challenge Time of 25 minutes. Even with modifications it took me 33:01. I enjoyed watching one of the super fit athletes do it Rx, as recommended, in a mere 20 something minutes. Strong and speedy.

In a weird way I’m hoping we do it again next Christmas Eve and I can do it either with fewer modifications or with a faster time, or both.

Image: CrossFit Christmas card
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