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CrossFit has rightfully earned its place in history for its ability to get athletes ready for sport. Its application has extended to Military and Law Enforcement fields who have been able to find a unified method of training to help people reach their potential.

The Benchmark workout helps athletes measure their performance, and technology has helped CrossFit share their method across the world. To say it has spread like WildFire would be an understatement. As the fastest growing, grass-roots movements of all time, CrossFit is now the fitness method of choice for millions of people around the world.

The Benchmark workout creates a worldwide standard that can be followed with black and white results. There are specific “points of performance” that can be followed for each exercise, and scores determine who has the best results.

While the origins of many Benchmark workouts are known only to a few, some, like Fight Gone Bad, were born from Legends.

BJ Penn is a UFC fighter and the first Gold Medalist of the World Ju-Jitsu Championship. According to Wikipedia, “Penn holds the distinction of being undefeated as a Lightweight for over eight years.

Needless to say, he is tough as nails and his version of mental toughness exceeds most mortals. So when he asked, CrossFit Founder, Coach Greg Glassman, to design a workout for him, he was looking to be pushed to his limits.

Coach Glassman had a lot to consider. As a fighter, he already knew how to train, so his work capacity is already at a high level. Just like in a fight, the workout needed to work every part of the body. It also needed to test is Aerobic Threshold. This is his ability to last for the entire fight.

The workout consists of 5 Exercises, each with a different purpose in mind. Each exercise is an explosive compound movement, which means, they work several muscle groups at once. The workout is 3 rounds (or periods) and each exercise is performed for 1 minute with a 1 minute rest after each round.

3 Rounds for Total Reps. 1 Min Rest After Each Round
1 Min of Wall Balls
1 Min of Sumo Deadlift High Pulls
1 Minute of Box Jumps
1 Minute of Push Press
1 Minute of Row for Calories

Just like a UFC Fight, the workout is three, 5-minute periods with a 1-minute rest after each period. There’s no stopping between exercises, just like there’s no stopping in a fight. You must transition from one to the next quickly. Protect yourself in areas that you are weaker and hit it hard in the areas you excel.

BJ Penn went all out. And at the end, when he has laying in a puddle of sweat, flat on his back, Coach Glassman asked him “how was that workout?”. Penn’s response, “It was like a Fight Gone Bad”.

And just like that, like so many other incredible workouts, Fight Gone Bad was born.




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