Partner WODs by Coach Lexi

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Everyone loves a team workout right?! They’re fun, you get to share the load, share the pain, share the fun. We normally see at least one partner or team WOD in the programming a week at Perpetua. Last week we saw 3 team WODs. I have recently just done a pairs competition (Battle of the Gods) with Mario and competed with a lot of you in the John Mehigan Cup. The second round of Box Battles is coming up in less than 2 weeks time (another pairs competition). So I thought I would write a few tips on how to work well as a pair whilst competing.

My competitive background as a Thai Boxer was a very lonely one in some respects. I spent a great deal of time training alone for long periods of time. I was a fighter for nearly 10 years and during fights although you have the support of your 2 corner men, when the bell goes and you start the fight it’s really only you in the ring with your opponent. I learned a lot about myself during those years, I knew what my limits were and when I was able to push past them or when to step back. This experience definitely helped me in CrossFit. As an individual competitor I know how hard to push, when to step it up, when to take it down a gear or two. Getting to know yourself properly comes through experience, trial and error. But what happens when you have to think not only about what you’re doing, but the needs and capabilities of your training partner?

Communication is key. This may seem pretty straight forward but how often have you got half way through a WOD and completely forgotten your rep count or forgotten what movement comes next? Well most of the time if you get something wrong you just correct it and move on, the only person it will really affect is yourself and your own time/score. But what happens when you have to be responsible for your own reps as well as knowing what someone else is doing? Knowing that what you do won’t just affect you but your partner too. If you just attack a WOD like it’s your own you will very quickly fail. Be aware what your partner is doing, if you see they are starting to slow down or struggle, talk to them, encourage them, ask them if they want to switch out. Count reps together, remind each other what’s coming next.


Another thing to be smart about is your game plan. You’ll hear me talk about this a lot in the huddle before a team WOD. Have a game plan, but be prepared to change it if you need to. If you see your partner is not able to complete all their reps then go in there and help them. Tell them what you’re going to do and then take over. Be ready for anything when you’re out there in the thick of it all. It is sometimes extremely rewarding and you may surprise yourself as to what you are capable of.

Get to know your partner and how they work. Ok, in class sometimes we get put together with someone we don’t often work with that much so this isn’t always possible. But when competing I would get to know who it is you’ll be throwing around with. Know what each other can lift, what their numbers are, what their strengths and weaknesses are. This will help with a game plan from the start but will also help you be a more understanding partner when it comes mid WOD and things aren’t going 100% to plan. You have to be flexible (and no I don’t mean the yoga bending type of flexible, I mean the type that can cope with changes in circumstance). I am all for planning (as some of my team mates on the competition team will tell you…!), it goes a long way to have a plan. But be flexible with it if you have to be. Be prepared for anything.

Lastly and most importantly, encourage each other and enjoy yourselves! Don’t get too serious and think the world is coming to an end if your partner fails a rep. Chances are they will be just as upset as you are and it won’t help if you both get down about it. Keep the spirits high and offer encouragement.

The workouts for the Box Battles are already released and can be found at We will be testing some of these WODs in a class before the event so it will give you a chance to test run some of what I have spoken about here. If any of you have any questions or want some advice on any of this then grab me for a chat before or after a class. I am really looking forward to competing with you all again on the 15th August. Let’s do what we do best and come out on top!

Coach Lexi

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