11 WODs With Thursters That Will Challenge You (+ Good Times To Beat)


Thrusters! I don’t know about you, but I hated thrusters when I started CrossFit 5 years ago, and I still hate them. I bet there are some thrusters lovers but unfortunately, I am not one of them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t do thrusters regularly!

The only reason why I hate thrusters is that they are one of the hardest CrossFit exercises and I always breath heavy after every WOD that involves thrusters. They can be done at very high intensity, and they work almost every muscle in your body.

How to get good at Thrusters?

There are only two strategies how to get as quickly as possible through thrusters depends on how heavy thrusters are for you.

Go unbroken!

For example, let’s consider you are doing Jackie.


For Time
1000 meter row
50 Thruster 45 lbs
30 pull-ups

Jackie is WOD with 50 light thrusters that can be done with a fast pace, only limiting factors are fatigued quads and elevated heart rate from the rower but most of the people will be able to do all thrusters in 1-2 sets unbroken. Elite athletes will even speed up the squat and pull the bar back to the squat during thrusters to get through 50 thrusters quicker.

So, go through the thrusters unbroken if your WOD is similar to the Jackie or it has number of reps you know you can do unbroken quickly.

Split those sets more than you think!

For this example, I will use 14.5/16.5.


For Time 21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Thrusters 95/65 lbs
Bar Facing Burpees

I have met many people who went unbroken in all the sets, and none of them was able to finish this WOD under 10:00 while when I have done this WOD in 9:50 only sets I have done unbroken were set of 6 and set of 3. I am not saying that going unbroken is the bad thing, but you need to have a capacity for that.

For me, the workout looked like this 21=8+7+6, 18=7+6+5, 15=6+5+4, 12=7+5, 9=5+4, 6=6 and 3=3. Why did this help? I have found out that splitting the sets but keeping rest short and trying to finish reps quickly leads to lower heart rate and higher average pace.

The reason why that works is that you can always pick up the bar immediately after the second movement as you know that there is an only small set of reps waiting for you.

By the way, I have used this strategy even in 17.5 (10 RFT, 9 Thrusters 95/65 + 35 DUs) where I went for 5+4 thrusters in all the sets, except last round where I went unbroken, and I have finished in 9:10.

Another example of when to go unbroken and when to split

Let’s consider a ~12-minute chipper that starts and ends with 20 Thrusters 95/65 lbs. First thrusters should be done unbroken as the weight is relatively easy and reps are doable unbroken. I would only split thrusters into two or three sets if next movement is focused on pushing, like HSPU but last thrusters should be split into 2-3 quick sets instead of going unbroken but slowly, go unbroken on them only if you still have the energy to go quickly.

And the last example is 5 Rounds of 9 Thrusters 135/95 lbs, and 18 Box Jumps 24/20″. There is no need to go unbroken on the box jumps, even in the first round as workout is focused a lot on quads. I would probably go for three sets of 4+3+2 with quick rest in the between, and I believe I will be faster than someone doing 5+4 or even unbroken set of 9.

11 WODs With Thrusters That Will Challenge You (+ Good Times To Beat)

#1 Heavy Thrusters and Box Jumps

5 Rounds of
9 Thrusters 135/95 lbs
18 Box Jumps 24/20″

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 16min 50sec
Average athlete: 14min 1sec
Advanced athlete: 11min 13sec
Elite athlete: 8min 25sec
Regional athlete: 7min 18sec

Good time cap: 19min

Every round of thrusters will be heavier and heavier as fatigued from box jumps will kick in.

#2 Hi-rep Thrusters and DUs

12 Min AMRAP
30 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
90 DUs

Good score to beat for

Beginner athlete: 1 rounds and 83reps
Average athlete: 2 rounds and 65reps
Advanced athlete: 3 rounds and 47reps
Elite athlete: 4 rounds and 29reps
Regional athlete: 4 rounds and 69reps

Scale if slower than: 1 rounds and 22 reps

That’s a lot of thrusters! Be smart about how you approach it even 6 sets of 5 reps is OK.

#3 Thrusters, Cleans and Burpees

14 Rounds of
7 Thrusters 75/55 lbs
7 Power Cleans 75/55 lbs
7 Burpees

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 25min 26sec
Average athlete: 21min 12sec
Advanced athlete: 16min 58sec
Elite athlete: 12min 43sec
Regional athlete: 11min 1sec

Good time cap: 28min

Start slowly and try to hold the same pace until the end. 90 sec/round will give you the time of 21:00 which beats average time to beat. Elite athletes can try to go for EMOM.

#4 Row, Thrusters, and Run Chipper

For Time
60 Cal Row
50 Thrusters 45/35 lbs
400m Run
50 Thrusters 45/35 lbs
60 Cal Row

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 22min 21sec
Average athlete: 18min 38sec
Advanced athlete: 14min 54sec
Elite athlete: 11min 11sec
Regional athlete: 9min 41sec

Good time cap: 25min

You can go unbroken!

#5 Air Squats and Thrusters

For Time
60 Air Squats
20 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
60 Air Squats
20 Thrusters 115/80 lbs
60 Air Squats
20 Thrusters 135/95 lbs

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 19min 14sec
Average athlete: 16min 2sec
Advanced athlete: 12min 50sec
Elite athlete: 9min 37sec
Regional athlete: 8min 20sec

Good time cap: 22min

Say good bye to your quads! Learn to rest on air squats and push harder on thrusters.

#6 Thrusters and Run

10 Rounds of
10 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
200m Run

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 20min 25sec
Average athlete: 17min 1sec
Advanced athlete: 13min 37sec
Elite athlete: 10min 13sec
Regional athlete: 8min 51sec

Good time cap: 23min

Try to pace the run so you can do all thrusters unbroken or push the pace on the run and split thrusters into 2 sets.

#7 Thrusters, Burpees and Wall Balls

For time 30-20-10
Thrusters 75/55 lbs
Wall Balls 20/14 lbs

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 15min 10sec
Average athlete: 12min 38sec
Advanced athlete: 10min 7sec
Elite athlete: 7min 35sec
Regional athlete: 6min 34sec

Good time cap: 17min

This triplet is one of the most brutal WODs I have ever done. There is zero place to rest.

#8 Thrusters EMOM

For 15 minutes (or for as long as you can)
1. Min: 21 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
2. Min: 15 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
3. Min: 9 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
Repeat 21-15-9 in next minutes

Good score to beat for

Beginner athlete: 3 minutes
Average athlete: 6 minutes
Advanced athlete: 9 minutes
Elite athlete: 15 minutes
Regional athlete: 30 minutes

It is like Fran without the pull ups and you will probably fail sooner than you expect.

#9 Row, Burpees, Thrusters E3MOM

10 x Every 3 Minutes
In 3 minutes complete:
20/15 Cal Row
20 Rower Facing Burpees
1 Thrusters with 90% of 1 RM

Good score to beat for

30 Minutes are doable for all athlete levels. Scale reps down to 15/15 or 10/10 if you can’t get to the thrusters until 2:30 and if you miss the thrusters just repeat it in the next interval.

If you have time after thrusters, you may even try to add weight for few rounds.

#10 Thrusters and Push Ups

10 Min AMRAP
15 Push Ups
15 Thrusters 95/65 lbs

Good score to beat for

Beginner athlete: 4 rounds and 5reps
Average athlete: 6 rounds and 7reps
Advanced athlete: 8 rounds and 9reps
Elite athlete: 10 rounds and 12reps
Regional athlete: 11 rounds and 9reps

Scale if slower than: 2 rounds and 19 reps

The push ups look easy in this WOD but they will fatigue your shoulders, and you will have a hard time on thrusters.

#11 Thrusters and Burpees

For Time 21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Thrusters 95/65 lbs
Bar Facing Burpees

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 21min 28sec
Average athlete: 17min 53sec
Advanced athlete: 14min 19sec
Elite athlete: 10min 44sec
Regional athlete: 9min 18sec

Good time cap: 24min

I wanted to come out with a harder combination of thrusters + burpees, but 14.5/16.5 rep scheme is really the worst!

CrossFit Hero Month Challenge

What is Hero month challenge?

Goal was to do at least one Hero WOD in each training session for one month. Hero WODs are usually longer and more difficult than regular CrossFit WODs we do every day. All these WODs are also named after fallen heroes and are usually done to honor these people and some of them are even done as part of fundraising projects like Hotshots 19.


I saw Hero month challenge last year on Chris Spealler’s blog and I have finally decided to give it a shot. I am making my own programming with only 1 WOD / day with some strength or accessory training before or after WOD so when I decided to start Hero month I don’t needed to change many things.


  • 4-5 Hero WODs / week
  • Strength or accessory training before every WOD
  • Get used to longer and heavier workouts


I am used to do Hero WODs from time to time but doing them multiple times per week is much harder than I excepted. As I said I though I would be able to do 4-5 Hero WODs per week but at the end of month I have done only 3-4 Hero WODs per week because I was destroyed by these workouts.

My main focus was to choose Hero WODs that I have never done before, I’ve only repeated 3 out of 17 Heroes. I’ve also try to pick the ones that have the movements that I haven’t done in last 2 workouts. For example Jason consists of total of 50 muscle ups so I avoided muscle ups in the WODs for few next trainings.

Usually my training session consists of strength training and 1 WOD (metcon), I thought that I will continue with this scheme during Hero month but most of the training sessions I had to forget about doing strength training before WOD. All I did before WOD was just warm up on the movements that were in the Hero WOD. If I were doing strength session before all Heroes I would have to switch to only 2-3 Hero WODs per week because I will have hard time to recover.

On other hand focusing only on one Hero WOD per day and nothing else was just enough. Some Hero WODs were pretty hard with heavy weights or difficult gymnastic movements and my strength is on about the same level as was before Hero month.

I have even hit some PRs during Hero month with 100 kg Snatch and Randy 4:03 in one training, PRed 100m Row in 16.3 after Jason, PRed J.T. in 7:18 and DT in 7:45.


It was great experience, there were only few Hero WODs that were shorter than 20 minutes and I had really hard time to recover after some of them and I had to take day off instead of doing only light training as I am used to if I am not fully recovered.

I have also noticed that many Hero WODs are focused on heavy cleans, heavy squats, a lot of pull ups/muscle ups or running, so my quads and back muscles had much harder time to recover while my shoulders or abs were still ready and full of strength.

Was the Hero month great idea?

I think it was because it challenged me in slightly different way than I am used to and I was glad for every rest day I had but on other hand I won’t recommend anyone to do it for more than one month because WODs are heavily focused on legs and back muscles while they forget about shoulder/chest/triceps and abs (except few Heroes).

Doing +20 minutes WODs almost every training session was very exhausting and right now I am back to my regular training and I am again enjoying simple couplets/triplets that takes 5-15 minutes with occasional long WOD from time to time.

Hero month also made me to do some thing in the WODs that I’ve never thought before like 8 rounds of 26 Rings Push Ups in Gator or going for multiple reps with almost 1 rep max of Deadlift in Marston, RX weight was 405 lbs but I had scale down to 365 lbs.

Top 3 Most Challenging Hero WODs From My Hero Month

  • 3rd place Wittman

    • 7 Rounds of
      15 American KB Swings 1.5 pood
      15 Power Cleans 95 lbs
      15 Box Jumps 24″Wittman was my first choice during Hero Month and it was one of the most intensive WODs I’ve ever done. All movements in Wittman are relatively easy and there is just enough reps on each of them so you can keep moving without stopping. Ability to move the weight all the time in so many reps makes the Wittman one of the most intensive WODs I’ve ever done, there is just no time for rest and when I finished it I couldn’t move for 5 minutes.My time: 14:52
  • 2nd place Helton

    • 3 Rounds of
      800m Run
      30 Dumbell Squat Cleans 2 x 50 lbs
      30 BurpeesWhen I saw this WOD I knew that dumbbell squat cleans would hurt but during WOD it was just different story. I would rather do 30 squat cleans with 200 lbs than doing them with pair of 50 lbs dumbbells, it was one of the hardest exercises I have ever done and I was really looking forward for burpees and run during. I think that these squat cleans were so hard because I am not used on the dumbbells during WODs and now I have motivation to them at least once per month.My time: 28:08
  • 1st place Klepto

    • 4 Rounds of
      27 Box Jumps 24″
      20 Burpees
      11 Squat Cleans, 145 lbsWhen I first saw Klepto I knew it would hurt but I thought that Klepto is just another classic CrossFit triplet which I am doing all the time. Maybe it was so hard because I did Jason day before (which had 250 air squats) or because of the combination of the movements but I was “dying” since first squat cleans even though it’s only 145 lbs and I am used to do 135 lbs squat cleans during WODs even in higher reps. Klepto was really painful experience, I wanted to go faster but my heart rate and my quads just didn’t let me to.My time: 18:26

My Hero Month, How I Did?

I wanted to start on 1st October but I had chance to visit gym during 30th September so I started my hero month little earlier but I have done my last workout on 31st October.

I have done total of 17 hero WODs during 32 days and here you can check what was my times/scores:


Sep 30th
7 rounds of:
15 Kettlebell Swings 1.5 pood
15 Power Cleans 95 lbs
15 Box Jumps 24″

Time: 14:52


Oct 2nd
10 rounds of
150 m Run
7 Pull Up (Chest To Bar)s
7 Front Squats 135 lbs
7 Handstand Push Ups

Time: 19:08


Oct 3rd
20:00 AMRAP
1 Deadlift 405 lbs, scaled to 365 lbs
10 Toes-to-bars
15 Burpee (Bar Facing)s

Score: 10+8


Oct 5th
8 rounds of
5 Front Squats 185 lbs
26 Ring Push-ups

Time: 22:28


Oct 7th
45:00 AMRAP
800 m Run
80 Air Squats
8 Muscle Ups

Score: 6+260


Oct 9th
For Time
75 Power Snatches 75 lbs

Time: 4:03


Oct 10th
10 rounds of
10 Thrusters 95 lbs
10 Ring Push-ups

Time: 12:35


Oct 13th
30 rounds of
5 Wall Balls 20 lbs
3 Handstand Push Ups
1 Power Clean 225 lbs

Time: 22:18


Oct 16th
100 Squats
5 Muscle Ups
75 Squats
10 Muscle Ups
50 Squats
15 Muscle Ups
25 Squats
20 Muscle Ups

Time: 22:22


Oct 17th
4 rounds of
27 Box Jumps 24″
20 Burpees
11 Squat Cleans 145 lbs

Time: 18:26


Oct 20th
5 rounds of
3 Cleans 225 lbs
200 m Run
Alternating Kettlebell Snatch 1.5 pood
Rest 2 mins

Round in 1:46-1:55


Oct 22th
10 Handstand Push Ups
15 Deadlifts 250 lbs
25 Box Jumps 30″
50 Pull-ups
100 Wall Balls 20 lbs
200 Double Unders
400 m Run + 45 lbs

Time: 18:22


Oct 23th
5 rounds of*
Bear Crawl 100 ft
Standing Broad Jump 100 ft
* By mistake we did only 3 rounds

Time: 3:25


Oct 24th
21 Overhead Squats 95 lbs
42 Pull-ups
15 Overhead Squats 95 lbs
30 Pull-ups
9 Overhead Squats 95 lbs
18 Pull-ups

Time: 6:50


Oct 26th
3 rounds of
800 m Run
30 Dumbbell Squat Cleans 2 x 50 lbs
30 Burpees

Time: 28:08


Oct 30th
21-15-9 reps of
Handstand Push Up
Ring Dip

Time: 7:18


Oct 31th
5 rounds of
12 Deadlifts 155 lbs
9 Hang Power Cleans 155 lbs
6 Push Jerks 155 lbs

Time: 7:45