Home/WODs/Classic Benchmarks/CrossFit Total
No Ads (Upgrade)

“CrossFit Total”


CrossFit Benchmark WOD

92.5K 492
  • Sum of the Best of Each Lift
  • Back Squat
  • Shoulder Press
  • Deadlift

Attempt each lift 3 times. The weight must increase after each successful attempt at each movement. The weight may not be decreased after the first attempt. A failed rep counts as an attempt. Take the Back Squat and Shoulder Press (aka: Strict Press) from the weight rack.

There is no time limit for each lift or for the length of the session in which they are all performed, but they must all be performed during one session (i.e., athlete cannot leave the area to rest or perform other activities between the three lifts).

Score is the sum of the best of all three lifts.

Good Score for “CrossFit Total”
– Beginner: <500/<300 lb
– Intermediate: 600-800/300-500 lb
– Advanced: 800-1,000/500-700 lb
– Elite: 1,000/700+ lb

Tips and Strategy

In the days leading up to the “CrossFit Total,” perform mostly endurance/bodyweight workouts–your body will be fresher and ready for a max load test if you stay away from heavy lifting for a few days.

During the WOD, take your time. Rest for several minutes between attempts. Adequate rest will ensure that you find your true “CrossFit Total.”

And warm up aggressively…


General Warm-Up
5 minutes of double- or triple-under practice.

Then, 3 rounds with an empty barbell of:
5 Deadlifts
5 Power Cleans
5 Should Presses
5 Bent Over Rows
5 Back Squats

Specific Warm-Up
For each lift use the following schema:
5 reps at 30% of 1RM
3 reps at 50% of 1RM
2 reps at 60% of 1RM
1 reps at 65% of 1RM
1 reps at 75% of 1RM
1 reps at 85% of 1RM

First attempt in the workout should be about 90-95% of 1 rep max.

Intended Stimulus

“CrossFit Total” should feel heavy and slow. There should be several minutes of rest during the WOD. You should feel mentally exhausted at the end of “CrossFit Total” due to the number of times you have to come face to face with maximal loads.

If you’re brand new to the movements, increase the reps and decrease the load so you can practice the movements; but if you have some experience with these lifts, complete the WOD as prescribed and use it to measure your personal strength gains over time.

Scaling Options

“CrossFit Total” is a heavy, not-for-time workout designed to test your max strength capacity on three of the most critical lifts in functional fitness. If you’re new to these movements, increase the volume (repetitions) and decrease the load to practice the mechanics.

Back Squat, heavy 5 reps
Shoulder Press, heavy 5 reps
Deadlift, heavy 5 reps
(Work up to a heavy set of 5 repetitions for each of the 3 movements.)

Beginner A
Back Squat, 3-3-1-1 reps
Shoulder Press, 3-3-1-1 reps
Deadlift, 3-3-1-1 reps
(Work up to 2 sets of 3 repetitions, and then 2 heavy singles. Increase the load with every new set—the dash between the numbers tells you to go up in weight. These should feel pretty heavy.)

Beginner B
Back Squat, 5-5-5-5-5 reps
Shoulder Press, 5-5-5-5-5 reps
Deadlift, 5-5-5-5-5 reps
(Complete 5 sets of 5 reps for each of the movements. Increase the load with every new set—the dash between the numbers tells you to go up in weight. The last couple of sets should feel very challenging.)

No Ads (Upgrade)
No Ads (Upgrade)
namesake photo

Background: The “CrossFit Total” is CrossFit’s approach to testing absolute strength, deeming these movements the “three most effective lifts in existence for developing and testing functional strength.” It was first posted in the CrossFit Journal on December 1, 2006.

“The CrossFit Total reflects an athlete’s functional strength capacity more accurately than any other test.” – Mark Rippetoe

The CrossFit Total is the sum of the best of three attempts at the squat, the press, and the deadlift. All three lifts are done while standing on the floor. They require minimal and inexpensive equipment. They are not technique-dependent to the extent of the Olympic lifts, yet they require technical proficiency beyond mere passing familiarity. They are safe when performed correctly since they can all be performed without spotters—alone in a garage if necessary.

The “CrossFit Total” was the first workout for the first-ever 2007 CrossFit Games. It was also featured as workout #3 on day one of the 2018 CrossFit Games, and on day #1 of Phase 2 of the 2020 CrossFit Games.

See also:CrossFit Total II,” “CrossFit Football Total

No Ads (Upgrade)
No Ads (Upgrade)