“Fortitude”

CrossFit New England Benchmark WOD

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  • Alternating Minutes for 15 Rounds in 30 minutes
  • Even Minutes: 15/12 Calorie Row
  • Odd Minutes: 15 Burpees

Athletes alternate between calories on the rower and burpees each minute, every minute on the minute (EMOM). They will have the whole first minute to complete a 15/12 Calorie Row, then rest until the top of the next minute. Then they have the whole next minute to complete 15 burpees.

Scaling: These numbers are meant to be challenging, but ideally something that athletes can complete between 45-50 seconds each round. Some modification options would be to bring the rep numbers down to somewhere between 10-15, to make each minute :45 seconds on and :15 seconds off, or to bring down the total number of rounds. It is better to pick a modification from the beginning and stick to it than it is to modify in the middle of the workout.

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Strategy: Finding a steady pace to stick to for the majority of this workout is the name of the game. The difficulty will undoubtedly increase in the later rounds, but being able to stay calm and keep the heart rate down in the earlier rounds will better guarantee success in the second half of this thirty minute effort. Quick transitions to and from the rower gain back precious seconds and allow athletes to work for the full minute each round. Fast is smooth, smooth is fast.

Background: CrossFit New England is famous for being the training ground for multiple CrossFit Games champions, under the expert eye of head coach and owner, Ben Bergeron. The earliest mention we've found of this "Fortitude" workout, from November 2013, on the CrossFit New England website, is slightly different in that athletes were to use the first 2 minutes of the workout to set the bar by accumulating as many calories and burpees as they could in :40 seconds, then resting :20 seconds. Athletes would then attempt to maintain those numbers each minute for the rest of the 30-minute workout.

Later versions of "Fortitude" prescribed different numbers of calories and burpees, with the most recent version using the prescribed (Rx) counts you see at the top of this page.
Movements : Burpee, Row/Rowing
Equipment : Rower
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