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“12 Days of Christmas”

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a.k.a.: "12 Days of CrossFit," Christmas Holiday WOD

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  • For Time, adding one movement per round:
  • 1 Sumo Deadlift High-Pull (75/55 lb)
  • 2 Thrusters (75/55 lb)
  • 3 Push Presses (75/55 lb)
  • 4 Power Cleans (75/55 lb)
  • 5 Power Snatches (75/55 lb)
  • 6 Kettlebell Swings (53/35 lb)
  • 7 Pull-Ups
  • 8 Knees-to-Elbows
  • 9 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
  • 10 Double-Unders
  • 11 Burpees
  • 12 Overhead Walking Lunges (45/25 lb Plate)
  • Start with 1 Sumo Deadlift High-Pull (SDLHP). Then do 2 Thrusters and 1 SDLHP. Then 3 Push Presses, 2 Thrusters, and 1 SDLHP. Continue this way until the final found of 12 Overhead Walking Lunges, 11 Burpees, and each movement descending in repetitions all the way down to 1 SDLHP.

Like the song the “12 Days of Christmas,” complete each exercise in ascending order then work back down to 1, adding one exercise per round. Like this: 1, then 2-1, then 3-2-1, then 4-3-2-1, etc. – all the way to 12-11-10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1.

Score is the total amount of time it takes to complete the full 364 repetitions.

Tips and Strategy

Many athletes struggle with the unusual rep scheme in this WOD. Have a written version of the workout handy while you’re doing it. Listen to the song “The Twelve Days Of Christmas” on repeat to embed the rep scheme in your brain.

Intended Stimulus

This version of the WOD is designed to be light. The sets should be unbroken. The only “rest” that should be taken is during the transition from one movement to the next.

Movement Standards

Kettlebell Swings: These are American Kettlebell Swings, meaning the kettlebell goes overhead.

In CrossFit, when a WOD denotes “Kettlebell Swings” it typically means “American Kettlebell Swings.” If a WOD denotes a “Russian Kettlebell Swing,” the bell stops at eye-level before you lower back down to the starting position.

Overhead Walking Lunges: Press the plate overhead with your arms fully extended and the plate over your mid-foot. Step one leg forward and lower your torso until the trailing knee gently taps the floor. To complete the movement, reach full hip/knee extension. Continue until you reach twelve repetitions, all while you keep the plate fully locked out overhead.

Scaling Options

Chipper style WODs (particularly ones with less technical movements and lighter weights) like this one can be great for less-seasoned athletes due to the variety of movements.

More variety means you won’t burn out as quickly as you would, for example, in a singlet WOD like “Randy,” (75 Power Snatches for time).

Even though this version of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is relatively friendly for most levels, beginners will still need to reduce the load and scale some of the skill work to maintain the intended stimulus for this WOD—which is to keep a fairly fast pace by completing the movements unbroken.

Beginner
1 Sumo Deadlift High-Pull (45/35 lb)
2 Thrusters (45/35 lb)
3 Push Presses (45/35 lb)
4 Power Cleans (45/35 lb)
5 Power Snatches (45/35 lb)
6 Russian Kettlebell Swings (35/26 lb)
7 Ring Rows
8 Hanging Knee Raises
9 Box Step-Ups (24/20 in)
10 Single-Unders
11 Burpees
12 Overhead Walking Lunges (15/10 lb Plate)

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Background: There are many variations of this “12 Days of Christmas” Holiday WOD (a.k.a.: “12 Days of CrossFit” or “12 WODs of Christmas”). The version above is one of the originals (from Snoridge CrossFit (@snoridgecrossfit)).

You can use different movements and weights to make this workout high skill, heavy, strength-based, light, gymnastics-based, etc. There’s no limit to the movement and load combinations!

See Also (variations of this classic holiday WOD): “12 Days of Xmas Barbell Style” and others from The CrossFit Board, CrossFit New England, CrossFit Invictus, CrossFit 808, CrossFit BarringtonCentral Bucks CrossFit, and CrossFit Amplify.

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