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Barbara was one of the first ever benchmark workouts published by the CrossFit main site. It was written about in-depth in an article in 2003, along with the announcement of Angie, Elizabeth, Chelsea, Diane, and Fran.


5 rounds for time of:

  • 20 pull-ups
  • 30 push-ups
  • 40 sit-ups
  • 50 air squats
  • 3 minutes rest between rounds.


Think of the three minutes of rest as mandatory. In the world of aerobic capacity, training your body to accept and maximize rest between rounds is one of the most effective tools you can develop.


  • Pull-Ups – Let’s face it: not many people can crank out 20 pull-ups. Let alone five rounds of them.
    • Loop resistance bands around the pull-up bar. You can stick your knee through the band to use its resistance as a puling force to aid you in the reps. If you need a little more help, add more bands.
    • “Wait! I don’t have bands or a pull-up bar!”
      • We can help! If you don’t have resistance bands, you can do the ever-so-fun jumping pull-ups. Lacking a bar? At the very least, you can work on your pulling motion with a bent-over row.
  • Push-Ups – Scale these by first trying them from your knees. If you need additional help, don’t hesitate to push-up against a railing. You can scale this all the way to doing push-ups while standing up and leaning against a wall.
  • Sit-Ups – If you struggle with the full range of motion of a sit-up, it’s great to start with the more-limited crunch. Still struggling? Try a plan, holding the plank one second for every rep of sit-up you should be doing.
  • Air Squats – the best scaling for an air squat is to instead sit down and get out of a chair, and/or use an aid like a railing to assist yourself with the motion.

Comment with your scores/times below and see how you did against the community!