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by Ben Bergeron

“Macho Man”

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CrossFit New England Benchmark WOD

74.2K 739
  • EMOM for as Long as Possible
  • 3 Power Cleans (185/135 lb)
  • 3 Front Squats (185/135 lb)
  • 3 Jerks (185/135 lb)

Each minute on the minute (EMOM), starting at the top of the minute, complete one round of 3 Power Cleans, 3 Front Squats and 3 Jerks. Rest the remainder of the minute. Take the barbell from the ground. Do not use a rack.

Score is the total number of rounds completed before becoming unable to complete a round prior the start of the next minute.

Good Score for “Macho Man”
– Beginner: 7-9 rounds
– Intermediate: 10-12 rounds
– Advanced: 13-15 rounds
– Elite: 16+ rounds

Tips and Strategy

To get a good score in this WOD, go as unbroken as possible for as long as possible: 3 unbroken Power Cleans, directly into 3 unbroken Front Squats, directly into 3 unbroken Jerks. Anytime you put down the barbell during the 9 repetitions, you have to complete at least 1 unnecessary rep. This causes more muscular fatigue and takes away more of your (already limited) time. Go unbroken to find success in “Macho Man.”

Intended Stimulus

“Macho Man” should feel moderately heavy right from the beginning. It should not feel light. The first 5-7 minutes of this WOD should feel pretty doable but after minute 7, the muscular fatigue and breathlessness should be real.

At the end of “Macho Man,” you should feel almost as much mental exhaustion as you do physical: a WOD that requires such a fierce race against the clock will challenge your mental fortitude.

Scaling Options

For “Macho Man,” scale the load so you can complete all movements in 30 seconds or less for the first several minutes. The load should feel moderately heavy. If you’re brand new to these movements, scale the complexity (see: Beginner B) of the movements so you can get the metabolic benefits of a loaded barbell.

Beginner A 
3 Power Cleans (135/95 lb)
3 Front Squats (135/95 lb)
3 Jerks (135/95 lb)

Beginner B
3 Deadlifts (95/65 lb)
3 Front Squats (95/65 lb)*
3 Push Presses (95/65 lb)*
*For the Beginner B option, set up 2 barbells. Take the Front Squats and Push Presses from a rack.

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namesake photo
Background: "Macho Man" is one of CrossFit New England’s official benchmarks, first posted on their website July 12, 2012 with Rx weights of 165/115 lb, then later on Ben Bergeron’s “Competitors WOD” blog on January 3, 2014 with Rx weights of 185/135 lb, which became the standard Rx version. Bergeron has also been known to program this for his competitive athletes at 205/145 lb.

CFNE names their daily WODs "for fun," but this WOD is from a short list provided to us by CFNE’s former Director of Operations, Eamon Coyne. CFNE is famous for being the training ground for multiple CrossFit Games champions under head coach and owner, Ben Bergeron.

"This is the equal but opposite test of the "Bergeron Beep Test." Compare scores (they should be similar) to determine your strengths and weaknesses.

"My contention is that an athlete who can get 16+ on BOTH tests has the work capacity to qualify for The Games. BTW, Rich Froning did 20+ rounds with 205 lb" - Ben Bergeron (2014)
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