We all know how CrossFit workouts are often challenging and never boring. Athletes often feel a sense of accomplishment from completing a difficult WOD. Because of this, it’s not unusual for an athlete to get extremely serious as their competitive juices get flowing. Too much of this can lead to the athlete injuring himself/herself or at the very least, not enjoying the process.
Effective coaches understand that in order to guarantee continuity to the athlete’s progress, workouts also need to be fun. It’s not just METCON’s, going for PR’s and all the usual types of activities. The best condition that an athlete needs to be in is focused but still enjoying himself/herself while thinking long term in the middle of a punishing workout.
The WOD already has a competitive element because athletes can compare reps and speed. So when you apply games and other elements to difficult non-game activities, you can to make the WODs very enjoyable. But what else can you do?
Make Warm-ups Fun
Warm-ups can be very monotonous, so you have to make sure you inject some fun in this stage of the workout. One way is to split the class into two groups and have them perform a series of warm-up movements (from running to broad jumps, duck walks, and bear crawls) and whichever team loses will do a set of burpees while the winning team will be spared.
Now if your class is a bit smaller, you can have them play a funnel tag. Watch the video below to know what that is: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gXXAotTVNTY
Match Workout Pace to a Song
A fun but extremely challenging workout involves matching the pace of the workout to a song. You can play a song and when the athletes hear a word trigger, they execute a movement. This often leaves your athletes smiling and cradling sore body parts after the workout.
- Sally-Up by Moby
This has to be one of the popular Workouts songs that a lot of CrossFit athletes love and a lot of coaches incorporate in their programming as well, whether in warm-ups or in actual workouts.
This will require you to do 30 reps for the 3:30 duration of the song. When you hear “Sally-Up”, you get to the top position and “Sally-Down”, you go to the bottom position of the movement. It’s that easy (but not really).
The movements often used are push-ups, air squats and pull-ups. You can also incorporate weighted back squats and handstand push-ups if you want to spice things up!
Here are a few more examples.
- Roxanne by The Police
In this song, everyone starts from a plank position. When you hear the word “Roxanne”, you have to do a push-up. When you hear “put on the red light”, you do a half-burpee or a squat thrust.
Who doesn’t know this song?
When you hear “Ghostbusters”, do alternating lunges and a burpee. When you hear “I ain’t afraid of no ghost”, do a burpee then alternating lunges.
- Thunderstruck by AC/DC.
With this variation, you start from a squat hold position. When you hear the word “thunder,” do a squat jump. When you hear “thunderstruck”, do a short 10–15m sprint and back.
Overall, just remember that adding variation is key! Keep it fun from time to time and you’ll see how your athletes will gain more long-term value in your approach. Do you have other variations that make workouts fun and engaging? We’d like to hear about it.