Last week we introduced the Benchmark Series and dove into the details of the why and how. This week we’ll take a look at the fun in store for 2018 and give you a little more background on some of our selections.
This year’s collection of workouts includes 13 total workouts of which 2 are repeats from last year. Of the 13, we have 3 that are considered short time domain (0:00-5:00), 3 in the medium time domain (5:00-15:00) and 5 in the long time domain (15:00-30:00), and 2 strength workouts. On paper, it looks as if we’re biasing the longer time range but two of them are interval style.
“Fran” makes a return from 2015 and we’ve introduced a heavy barbell complex in “The Bear Complex.” Lastly, we’ll be doing everyone’s favorite 1-mile interval workout, “Dallas.” Here’s a little background on why we chose those three workouts.


We brought back Fran as it is the iconic CrossFit benchmark as nothing says CrossFit like a 21-15-9 couplet of thrusters and pull-ups. Greg Glassman once said that “performance is directly correlated with intensity. Intensity is directly correlated with discomfort.” Fran is the epitome of intensity and often leaves athletes who do it properly with the infamous Fran Cough. Fran combines a gymnastics movement with a large range of motion barbell movement and uses weights that allow everyone to push far out of their comfort zone. It’s considered the bench press of CrossFit and we love it for the limits it pushes us to.

The Bear Complex

One area we’ve noticed the gym as a whole could use more development in is the cycling through of barbell movements. The Bear Complex accomplishes this and it allows us to go heavier and heavier! A combination of a deadlift, power clean, front squat, push press, back squat, and push jerk also places us under tension for a time that is hard to compete with in other workouts. Good notes will be needed on this one as we progressively get better at handling heavy barbells for long durations. Whoever said lifting doesn’t include cardio has never done The Bear!

Dallas (aka the Elephant in the Room)

Hey, remember when we programmed Dallas, nobody showed up, and the late-cancel tally was through the roof? Yea, we see you! If you were one of those people, you likely didn’t come for one of two reasons: you don’t like running or you said you’d do it on your own, but did you? If you don’t like running, I get you, it’s not my favorite either; however, if your goal is to be fitter, leaner, stronger (ie good at CrossFit) you have to come on the days that work your weaknesses. Not only will you get physical benefits that transfer to GPP, you will get tremendous psychological benefits that can’t be matched by doing things you like. Ever. If you were the latter reason, be real, you’re not going to go run 3×1-mile repeats on your own, and if you do it won’t be near the intensity that running alongside 12-25 people creates. Lastly, we tested the 1-mile run last year in the Benchmark Series. We’re curious to see, after another year, how close the 3 1-mile repeats come to people’s original mile for time.
Well there it is! Post your thoughts to comments and see you in class!