The Filthy Fifty WoD: Goal Times, Tips, and Safety

Try this workout to get better at 10 essential CrossFit moves

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The Filthy Fifty WOD became an official CrossFit workout of the day when it was posted on the CrossFit main website on June 19, 2005, just a few years after the official founding of CrossFit in 2000.

This workout is the total embodiment of CrossFit’s “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity” ideal. Combining 10 different high-intensity movements in a manner designed to be completed quickly and efficiently, the Filthy Fifty will test your strength, endurance, and mental grit. 

The Filthy Fifty WOD is completed as follows: 

  • 50 Box Jumps (24/20 inches)
  • 50 Jumping Pull-Ups
  • 50 Kettlebell Swings (16/12 kg or 35/26 pounds)
  • 50 Walking Lunges (bodyweight)
  • 50 Knees-to-Elbows
  • 50 Push Press (45/35 pounds)
  • 50 Back Extensions
  • 50 Wall Ball Shots (20/14 pounds)
  • 50 Burpees
  • 50 Double-Unders

The Filthy Fifty CrossFit WOD

Score: Filthy 50 is scored “for time,” meaning you complete all of the reps as fast as possible. 

Goal times: Beginner: 25-30 minutes, intermediate: 20-25 minutes; advanced: 15-20 minutes; elite: less than 15 minutes. 

Equipment Needed: Box, pull-up bar, kettlebell, barbell, bumper plates, glute-hamstring developer (GHD) or back extension bench, medicine ball (wall ball), jump rope

Level: Advanced, but can be modified for intermediate and beginner athletes.

Benefits

Every CrossFit workout comes with its own unique suite of health and fitness benefits. Some emphasize strength; some emphasize cardiovascular endurance; some emphasize gymnastics skills and technical movements. Some workouts, like the Filthy Fifty, combine all of those facets and more. Here are three main fitness benefits you can expect from the Filthy Fifty WOD. 

Gain Muscular Endurance

The Filthy Fifty involves lots of reps at light-to-moderate weights, which is one of the best ways to build muscular endurance and improve your stamina. Muscular endurance and stamina refer to how long your muscles can sustain repeated movements. Filthy Fifty will test the muscular endurance of your legs, arms, shoulders, back, and core. 

Practice Many Functional Movements

Filthy Fifty involves many functional movements, such as squats, overhead presses, lunges, pull-ups, kettlebell swings, and back extensions. All of these exercises develop muscles and movement patterns you need for day-to-day life. They make activities like picking up heavy boxes or shelving groceries much easier. 

The Filthy Fifty WOD also includes some technical movements that require agility and body awareness, such as knees-to-elbows and double-unders. 

Effective Full Body Workout

If you’re looking for a single workout that challenges literally every muscle group, look no further than the Filthy Fifty WOD. In just 30 minutes or so (or however long it takes you to complete the workout), you’ll get a great burn in your quads, hamstrings, shoulders, arms, chest, back, and core. 

Step-by-Step Instructions

Filthy Fifty — a chipper-style WOD — involves chipping away at 10 different movements, 50 reps at a time. For example, you’ll start with 50 box jumps. When you finish the 50 box jumps, move on to 50 jumping pull-ups, and so forth. Keep reading for tips on how to complete all 10 of the Filthy Fifty movements. 

1. 50 Box Jumps

When performing box jumps, make sure to pull your knees up as you jump and land with your feet flat on the box. Stand all the way up at the top to complete the rep. Step back down, rather than jumping down, to avoid damage to your Achilles tendon or other parts of your ankle. 

2. 50 Jumping Pull-ups

You’ll use your legs to propel yourself up to the pull-up bar for jumping pull-ups. The range of motion is the same as for regular pull-ups, but the added momentum from your legs allows you to do more reps. 

3. 50 Kettlebell Swings

The kettlebell swing is a fantastic exercise for building strength in your posterior chain, AKA your calves, hamstrings, glutes, lower back, lats, and more. Make sure to keep your chest up during the entire swing — don’t let the kettlebell pull you forward.

4. 50 Walking Lunges

Step one foot forward and lower your knee to the ground until both knees are at a 45-degree angle. Bring your back foot forward so you’re in the standing position, and then step that foot forward into a lunge. Keep alternating until you complete 50 reps. 

5. 50 Knees-to-elbows

Hang from the pull-up bar (usually called the “rig” in CrossFit gyms) and use your abs to pull your knees to your elbows. Most people “kip” for this movement, which involves arching and hollowing your body to create momentum. Learn more about kipping and knees-to-elbows

6. 50 Push Presses

The push press is a variation of the overhead press that involves dipping (slightly bending your knees) and driving up with your legs to put momentum on the bar. Check out this CrossFit demo of the push press, and learn more about how to perform the overhead press

7. 50 Back Extensions

In CrossFit, athletes perform back extensions on a glute-hamstring developer, or GHD. You’ll lie face-down on the machine with your hips resting on the pads and your torso suspended in the air. Bend at the hips to lower your torso, and then straighten the hips to bring your torso back to parallel. Here’s a helpful CrossFit demo video for back extensions. 

8. 50 Wall-balls

A wall-ball is a full-body movement that includes a squat with a medicine ball and an overhead toss. The prescribed targets are 10 feet for men and 8 feet for women in the Filthy Fifty. Learn more about how to do wall-balls in the CrossFit Girl WOD “Karen” — 150 wall-balls for time.

9. 50 Burpees

Most of us are familiar with burpees — they’re one of the most dreaded exercises inside and outside of CrossFit because they’re so dang tough (here’s how to do one). You should definitely pace yourself on this part of Filthy Fifty. Aim for steady sets of five to 10 with short breaks. 

10. 50 Double-unders 

When you jump rope normally, the rope passes under your feet once per jump. When you perform double-unders, the rope passes under your feet twice per jump. It’s a tough skill to master, and most CrossFit athletes spend months practicing before they can do many double-unders in a row. 

You can learn more about performing double-unders by reading about the “Annie” CrossFit WOD, which involves more than 100 double-unders. 

Common Mistakes

There are 10 different movements in the Filthy Fifty workout, which means there’s a lot of room for error. Try to avoid these common mistakes while completing the WOD. 

Starting Out Too Fast

This is a long workout, and you’ll need to pace yourself. If you go too fast right when the buzzer goes off, you might burn out and not be able to finish. To ensure you know how to pace yourself, practice the Filthy Fifty movements ahead of time to gauge how easy or difficult each exercise is for you.

Not Scaling Weights

One of the most common mistakes in CrossFit across the board is failing to scale the weights. Sometimes, your ego will tell you to do the prescribed weight, even if it’s way too heavy. But any CrossFit coach will tell you that it’s better to scale and finish than to not scale and not finish. 

Kettlebell Weight: The prescribed weight for men is 16 kilograms (35 pounds); for women, it’s 12 kilograms (26 pounds). Beginners may want to scale down to 12 kilograms for men and 8 kilograms (18 pounds) for women. 

Push Press Weight: The prescribed barbell weights for the push press are 45 pounds (bar only) for men and 35 pounds (female bar only) for women. Men who are just starting out can scale to 35 pounds, and women who are just starting out can scale to the 15-pound training barbell.

Wall-ball Weight: The prescribed wall-ball weight for men is 20 pounds; for women it’s 14 pounds. Beginners may want to scale to 14 pounds and 10 pounds. 

Not Scaling Movements

In addition to scaling weights, you can scale the movements themselves. Here are some options for two tough movements. 

Double-unders: If you’re nowhere close to performing double-unders, you should scale to single-unders (the regular way to jump rope). If you can perform double-unders, but not efficiently, you should scale the rep count to 25 double-unders to get some practice in.

Box Jumps: Box jumps are arguably one of the more dangerous movements in CrossFit. A small mishap can result in a painful injury. To avoid injury, scale the height of the box if you aren’t comfortable with the prescribed height. Most CrossFit gyms have boxes in varying heights. 

Technique Mistakes

Some of the exercises in the Filthy Fifty WOD are complicated and require attention to technique. Here’s what to look out for on kettlebell swings and push presses. 

Kettlebell Swings: Use your legs and glutes, not your back, to give the kettlebell momentum. This movement should incorporate a full hip extension to spare your lower back from excessive pressure. Additionally, make sure to keep your chest upright as the kettlebell returns from the overhead position. 

Push Presses: The push press involves a slight dip and a hip drive to push the barbell off of the shoulders. When you dip, keep your chest up and your elbows parallel to the ground. Finish with your elbows locked out overhead. 

Modifications and Variations

In CrossFit, you always have the option to scale the workout of the day to your fitness level. For Filthy Fifty, you might need to scale the weights, the box height, or the movements themselves. You may also need to scale the rep count — 500 reps is no joke! Here are two ways to scale Filthy Fifty: one for intermediate athletes and one for beginner athletes. 

Intermediate Option

  • 50 box jumps
  • 50 jumping pull-ups
  • 50 kettlebell swings
  • 50 walking-lunge steps
  • 50 knees-to-elbows
  • 50 push presses
  • 50 back extensions
  • 50 wall-ball shots
  • 50 burpees
  • 50 double-unders

Men: 20-inch box, 12-kg KB, 33-lb. push press, 14-lb. ball

Women: 16-inch box, 8-kg KB, 22-lb. push press, 10-lb. Ball

Beginner Option

  • 30 box jumps
  • 30 jumping pull-ups
  • 30 kettlebell swings
  • 30 walking-lunge steps
  • 30 hanging leg raises
  • 30 push presses
  • 30 back extensions
  • 30 wall-ball shots
  • 30 burpees
  • 30 single-unders

Men: 16-inch box, 8-kg KB, 22-lb. push press, 10-lb. ball

Women: 12-inch box, 4-kg KB, 11-lb. push press, 8-lb. ball

Safety and Precautions

Any time you exercise, you should take certain precautions. There are general precautions, and there are specific precautions to individual workouts. Before attempting the Filthy Fifty WOD, consider these safety tips. 

General Precautions

Warm Up and Cool Down: Before starting Filthy Fifty, spend at least 15 minutes warming up. Your warm-up should include cardio work at an easy pace (jogging, rowing, or cycling) and dynamic stretches. Make sure to prime your shoulders, hips, and knees for their full range of motion. 

Hydrate and Eat: You’ll need to fuel up for the Filthy Fifty. It’s a longer workout, so be sure to eat healthy fats in addition to carbohydrates before. After your workout, replenish with fast-digesting carbohydrates and protein. Before, during, and after the Filthy Fifty, stay hydrated with water and electrolyte drinks.

Filthy Fifty Precautions

Wear guards and grips: It’s a good idea to protect your hands and your shins for the Filthy Fifty workout, just in case you slip up on a box jump or the pull-up bar starts to hurt your hands. Ask your coach for recommendations for CrossFit guards and grips.

Practice your technique: The Filthy Fifty comprises very common CrossFit movements. If you’ve been going to a CrossFit gym for a while, you’ll probably know how to perform them all. Whether you’ve done these exercises before or not, you should take time to practice them before the WOD. Incorporate practice reps at lighter weights into your warm-up, so your body isn’t so surprised when you start the workout. 

Ask a coach about modifications: Always talk to your CrossFit coach about modifications, especially for injuries, pregnancy, or other conditions that might affect your ability to complete the workout. Your coach can help you modify for safety.

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Article Sources

Verywell Fit uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial policy to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  • Jeremy Gordon. Scaling CrossFit Workouts. http://library.crossfit.com/free/pdf/CFJ_2015_10_Scaling_Gordon_4.pdf: CrossFit Journal; 2015.

  • WODwell. "Filthy Fifty" CrossFit Benchmark WOD.. https://wodwell.com/wod/filthy-50/: WODWell.com; 2016.