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“Elizabeth”

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CrossFit "Girl" Benchmark WOD

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  • 21-15-9 Reps For Time
  • Cleans (135/95 lb)
  • Ring Dips

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform 21 Cleans and 21 Ring Dips, then 15 Cleans and 15 Ring Dips, then 9 Cleans and 9 Ring Dips. “Elizabeth” can be performed with either Squat Cleans (typical Rx) or Power Cleans (sometimes called “Power Elizabeth”).

Score is the time on the clock when the final repetition (the 9th Ring Dip) is completed. 

Good Times for “Elizabeth” (source)
– Beginner: 10-14+ minutes
– Intermediate: 7-10 minutes
– Advanced: 4-7 minutes
– Elite: <4 minutes

Scaling Options 

“Elizabeth” is a classic benchmark that should be completed relatively quickly. It can be performed with either Squat Cleans or Power Cleans. Decide which version/technique you’ll use before you start, then stick with it. Go lighter on the Cleans and modify the Ring Dips so you can complete the work in fewer than 10 minutes.

Intermediate
15-12-9 reps for time of:
Cleans (115/75 lb)
Ring Dips

Beginner
15-12-9 reps for time of:
Cleans (75/55 lb)
Push-Ups

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namesake photo
Background: "Elizabeth," one of CrossFit's original six "Girls" WODs. It was first posted on the CrossFit Main Site as the workout of the day for Friday, September 12, 2003 (030912).

A September 2013 CrossFit Journal article stated: "not only does ["Elizabeth," "Diane" and "Fran"] combine weightlifting and a calisthenic element but is a powerful whole body workout containing functional hip, pushing, and pulling movements.

But the crushing charm of these ladies lies in their magnificent capacity to root out weaknesses and humiliate you with them. For many athletes the high rep deadlifts at 225 pounds, cleans at 135 pounds, and thrusters at 95 pounds are easy. For these same athlete's handstand push-ups, ring dips, and pull-ups are very likely deficiencies. Typically, these athletes are larger. Similarly, those athletes for whom handstand push-ups, pull-ups, and ring dips are a breeze are nearly certain to bristle at these loads and high reps in the weightlifting. Typically, these athletes are smaller. Do these workouts favor middleweights? It doesn’t seem so. The middleweights seem to suffer at both ends."

Tips and Strategy: As needed, break the Ring Dips up into manageable sets from the beginning. If you go to failure on the Ring Dips, you'll be stuck at the rings, performing singles, resting for several seconds between repetitions.

If you perform Squat Cleans, break the reps into smaller sets, as Squat Cleans are more muscularly fatiguing than Power Cleans are. Try one of these rep schemes, and rest a few seconds between sets:
Round of 21: 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 or 6, 5, 5, 5
Round of 15: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 or 5, 5, 5
Round of 9: 4, 3, 2 or 5, 4

If you perform Power Cleans, aim for big sets during the rounds of 21 and 15, and go unbroken on the round of 9.

Intended Stimulus: "Elizabeth" should make you feel both physically exhausted (your triceps should be on fire and your quads--if you performed Squat Cleans--should be burning) and mentally fatigued. "Elizabeth" is highly mental, especially for athletes that don't know their limits when it comes to Dips. You'll constantly be walking the line between intensity (good) and burnout (bad), and that's a tough place to be. Scale "Elizabeth" so you can get it done in around 10 minutes; but don't scale it to where you walk away completely unscathed--it should still hurt.
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