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Workout I Did: CrossFit WOD Chelsea

Just a reminder that this is our new feature called Workout I Did. Read them all and feel the workout love here!

Eight rounds into CrossFit WOD Chelsea and I was on my knees. Literally and figuratively. Credit: bgreenlee

Eight rounds into CrossFit WOD Chelsea and I was on my knees. Literally and figuratively. Credit: bgreenlee

There a number of benchmark workouts of the day (WOD)  in the CrossFit world. I seem to hear the most about Fran (thrusters and pull-ups), probably because it’s so fast and so darn brutal. But the other one I seem to hear a lot about? Chelsea. She sounds so nice and friendly. Like she’d be wearing a floral-print dress and invite you over for tea and crumpets. But, CrossFit WOD Chelsea? Well, she’s a bit different. She’s more like Madonna in this video, whipping you into shape and/or submission.

How CrossFit WOD Chelsea Works

Do the below exercises in a row every minute on the minute for 30 minutes. The goal is to do 30 rounds in 30 minutes. But if you’re not superhuman just yet, see how many rounds you can get through to full completion (i.e. doing the full three-move circuit in a minute) in the full half hour (not on the minute) and record that number.

  • 5 pull-ups
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats

Yep, ol’ Chelsea ain’t playing. I did her (well, that just sounds wrong…) at the Fit Pit with the intention of getting through as many rounds as I could, as quickly as I could, unmodified (pull-ups without the band and push-ups on my toes). And, guys, I got through ONE round in the prescribed minute. One! However, I was able to remain unmodified yet slower with the moves until round eight, when one of my calluses on my hand tore and my push-ups-on-my-toes form was starting to be compromised from fatigue. So then I modified to ring rows for the pull-ups and push-ups on the knees. When the timer for 30 minutes went off, I had completed 17 total rounds.

My energy felt pretty good throughout the WOD, and I really pushed it—I was definitely sore for a couple days. (Side note: It’s amazing how in a workout like this squats begin to feel like recovery. Crazy pants!) And I’m excited that now that we’re all blogging about some of our workouts, I have a record that I can go back to and compare my number to when this CrossFit WOD rolls around again. And, she will. Because Chelsea, gets around—whip and all.

Do you do or track any “benchmark” workouts that show you just how much stronger and fitter you get over time? Ever done Chelsea? Would love to hear about it! —Jenn


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  1. HollyDoesHealthy says:

    Hi! I nominated you for the Beautiful Blogger Award x

  2. Faythe says:

    Back when I had access to my (beloved) Crossfit gym, my (super-buff) bf happened to come with me to see what it was about…on the day we did Chelsea. I still hear from him how Crossfit is a crazy hard program. 🙂 It is (but oh how I miss it).

  3. Wow that looks like a tough one, I’ve just joined a CrossFit box so will look out for it – eeek!

  4. kim says:

    Are you actually able to do 5 pull-ups? I struggle with these. I finally got to the point where I can do 1 unassisted, otherwise I have to use the p90x pull-up assistance bands. Any suggestions on how I can add more unassisted ones. I can’t seem to get past 1.

    1. Jenn says:

      Hi Kim,

      I am! But I do kipping ones (just now I’ve worked up to being able to do a couple of deadhang/strict pull-ups) — and it took me almost a whole year on the bands to be able to do a pull-up. So just keep at it — doing 1 a day and trying for two, until you can. It takes time, but you’ll get there! 🙂

      –FBG Jenn

  5. Kathryn says:

    I’m sorry but that’s not chelsea. I actually know rhetoric person who wrote the chelsea work out. Like personally. He’s my coach. It has nothing to do with crossfit. It’s a kettle bell workout of swings and burpees. Starting at the swings and 25 burpees then going up in swings and down in burpees by 5 till it’s opposite. Idk where crossfit gets off some times. Just another thing to bother me about the technique

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