The Angie WOD: Goal Times, Tips, and Safety

This full-body benchmark will challenge every muscle in your body.

Pull-Ups

Seasoned CrossFitter’s know all about the benchmark workouts. They are the ones that leave you feeling exhausted, exhilarated, and strong — all at the same time. Angie, which debuted in 2005, is one of the benchmark workouts that CrossFit athletes use to measure progress, performance, strength gains, and overall fitness levels. This workout of the day (WOD) is part of the “Girls” series that requires you to perform the big four bodyweight exercises: 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 bodyweight/air squats. 

The goal is to complete 100 reps of each exercise before moving to the next move. Since this is a benchmark workout, you will measure the time it takes for you to complete all of the exercises, which equals 400 reps total. You will record your time and compare it to a previous timed Angie WOD or use it as the starting benchmark and set goals to improve your time. 

Score: The goal of Angie is to perform 100 pull-ups, 100 push-ups, 100 sit-ups, and 100 bodyweight squats for time. The time is based on your benchmark or first workout, with a goal to shave off time each time you do the workout. 

Equipment Needed: Angie is a bodyweight-only workout, but you do need access to a pull-up bar. You may also want to have a band or ring rows if you plan on scaling the pull-ups.

Level: Angie is meant for all levels of CrossFit athletes, because the total number of reps can be modified depending on your fitness level.

Benefits 

Angie is a full-body workout that targets all of the major muscle groups. More specifically, you can expect to feel your lats, shoulders, chest, abdominals, quads, hamstrings, and glutes working during the movements. And don’t be surprised if these muscles still feel pumped after finishing the workout. Plus, the high rep scheme will get your heart rate up and give you an excellent metabolic workout. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Check to make sure you have all of the tools needed to complete the workout: a timer, pull-up bar, and mat for the sit-ups. 
  2. Do a short warm-up consisting of dynamic exercises such as leg swings, knee hugs, walking lunges, high knee skips, windmills, etc. 
  3. The first exercise is pull-ups, so make sure the timer is close by so you can press start when you are ready to do your first pull-up. You have a choice in how you complete each set of 100. For example, you can do 5 sets of 20, 10 sets of 10, 2 sets of 25, the possibilities are endless. This allows you to take a short break between each “mini-set” to catch your breath or rest your muscles so you can complete the entire 100 repetitions. If you need to modify the total number of reps, see the steps under the modifications section. 
  4. Perform 100 pull-ups. This is the exercise where you have some choice in how you want to do the movement. You can do a straight pull-up, butterfly, or kipping pull-up. Stand under the pull-up bar. Grab the bar using a pronated grip (palms facing out). Lift your body off the floor and pull yourself up until your chin breaks the horizontal plane of the bar (a little above level with the bar). Pause, then lower back down and repeat without letting your feet touch the floor. 
  5. Perform 100 push-ups. Lie facedown on the floor. With your hands about three inches wider than shoulder-width apart, push yourself up into a push-up position. Fully extend your elbows and lower your body to the starting position. 
  6. Perform 100 sit-ups. A lot of CrossFit gyms use an abmat to perform sit-ups. With the abmat on the floor, sit down, place the bottom of your feet together, so they are touching each other. Your knees will be pointing out to the sides. Make sure the abmat is behind your lower back/lumbar spine, and lie all the way back. Your hands will touch the floor behind your head. Engage your abdominal muscles and lift your torso into the seated position. Continue until touch your hands to your feet. Repeat. 
  7. Perform 100 bodyweight/air squats. Stand with your feet hip-width apart, and toes pointed slightly out. Weight should be on the back of your heels. Engage your core, keep your chest up (pull shoulder blades towards each other), and bend your knees to squat down like you are getting ready to sit in a chair. Raise your arms out in front of you and squat down until your thighs are slightly below parallel. Arms will be out in front of you and gaze straight ahead. Pause at the bottom of the squat. Take a deep breath, then exhale as you straighten your legs and squeeze your glutes to come up to the starting position. Your arms will lower to the sides. 
  8. Remember to finish all 100 reps of an exercise before moving to the next move. 
  9. Stop the timer and record your time. 
  10. Hydrate and cool down for five minutes. 

Common Mistakes

Defining Your Workout Space

Since the only exercise equipment you need is a pull-up bar, try to do all four exercises right by the pull-up bar. That way, you’re not wasting time between exercises moving to a different part of the gym. 

Going Too Fast

Yes, you’re trying to do this workout for time, but you also need to pace yourself. If you empty the gas in the first 30 reps, you will struggle to make it to 100. 

Performing the Workout Too Often

These benchmark workouts are not designed to be a weekly activity. You should only perform the Angie WOD every few months to track your progress.

Not Scaling the Workout

This is not the time to go all out if you’re not ready for a high-intensity level. If you are new to these benchmark workouts or your fitness level is not where it needs to be, it’s okay to do the reps in sets or do a modified version of an exercise. Just remember to perform the movement the same way the next time you want to assess your progress. 

Modifications and Variations

If you’re new to exercise, coming off of an injury, or new to CrossFit, you can modify this WOD by scaling it down. The easiest way to accomplish this is to decrease the number of repetitions for each exercise. For example, you can scale down the reps to 50 each. If this feels challenging, stay at this rep scheme for a few benchmark workouts before tackling the full WOD. 

There are also ways to scale each exercise. If you plan on doing a modified version of the exercises, consider having a trainer walk you through the modification, especially if it involves using any equipment. For the pull-up, you can modify the exercise by performing them with a band, ring rows, TRX straps, or do jumping pull-ups. The push-ups can be done on your knees, with your hands on a bench, or using a bar for support in a squat rack. To modify the sit-ups, you can do half the movement or sit-ups with supported legs. 

Safety and Precaution

Angie is a workout you can do at home, the gym, or at a CrossFit gym. As long as you have access to a pull-up bar and an exercise mat or padded floor for the sit-ups, you can easily perform this workout with little guidance. That said, correct form is everything. If you are unfamiliar with how to perform the exercises with proper form, it’s a good idea to do this workout at a CrossFit gym. And of course, warming up with dynamic exercises prior to setting the timer will ensure that your body is warm and ready for the intensity of the workout. As with any workout, make sure your body is properly fueled and hydrated. 

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