The Chief WOD: Basic Instructions and Proper Form

The Chief WOD is one of the more traditional CrossFit benchmark WODs.

It consists of athletes completing 5 rounds of 3-minute AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of:

  • 9 air squats
  • 6 push-ups
  • 3 power cleans carrying 135 pounds.

After a period of 5 rounds, there is a 1-minute rest time.

The overall score you get is measured by the complete number of reps and rounds completed in 5 rounds.

Depending on the box or coach, you might have to begin each round with cleans.

Alternatively, you might be required to start the next round where you finished the previous one.

You should note that the most challenging and technical aspect of The Chief WOD has to be the power cleans (see below for a good video demo of this movement).

Making this part of the workout straightforward is to scale down the weight you use. Doing this can make your movement a lot more seamless.

When conducting the movements in this workout, you should do so with intensity and speed.

Bear this in mind, as this can be a factor in the weight class you select.

Depending on your coach, you might be able to scale air squats and push-ups.

The Chief WOD: Proper Form is Key

All the movements in this workout are foundational CrossFit movements, so they should be familiar.

Nevertheless, here are a few guidelines on achieving the correct form:

For Air Squats

Always kick your hips back towards the wall. Your knees should also follow suit.

You should extend your arms to provide balance while you maintain a puffed-out or proud chest.

When going down, ensure that you are parallel. Always drive through your heels, and when you reach the top, lockout on each rep.

For Push-Ups

Ensure that you lock out on every rep. And always keep your core and belly tight when you head to the floor.

You can challenge yourself by doing this movement with the hand release variant.

For Power Cleans

Ensure that your back is tight at all times. When lifting, put the bar as close to your body as possible.

Always catch low and avoid muscling reps to conserve energy and save you from fatigue.

You can use a hook grip if you are comfortable with it.

Tip: you can conserve energy by dropping your reps from the top.

Helpful Tips for Completing the Chief WOD

  • Scale the weight on the power cleans if you discover you cannot quickly complete 3 reps
  • Find an intensity and speed that you can constantly maintain through the 5 rounds
  • Improve your power cleans by using a lower weight. This lower weight can help you get comfortable with the front rack position and the movement
Tim Rollins, Editor

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