Brandon’s CrossFit Fun Factor

Hey everybody!  Today is not going to be an ordinary blog post- I, the aloof BF, am filling in for Claire in the first attempt as a “guest” writer. We thought it might be fun to mix things up once in a while, and for me to chime in a little of my own voice. It’s a funny thing to be an occasionally mentioned subject on a blog, especially when you encounter many of its readers in person. I’ve seen people come up to Claire and say, “Hey, are you Claire?  I read your blog, it’s great to meet you!” and then sneak an awkward side glance my way, the kind everyone has experienced, the kind that says, “I think I know you, your face looks familiar, but I’m not sure, so I’m going to look away before making eye contact!” My other favorite is when Claire and I walk into the gym together- “Hi Claire!  How are you this morning!  Oh, hi BF.” So, now that we can set formalities aside and we’re all best friends, come say hi sometime.

Claire and I (and the rest of the gym) have been suffering since we did Kelly on Monday. From all the benchmark and Hero WODs we’ve done so far, and this being the second time we’ve done Kelly, I’ve concluded that Kelly is the disgruntled, unmercifully punishing matriarch of the benchmark WOD family. From her high ruling throne in the world of pain, she descends her suffering upon the innocent WODers with purposeful fury. I mean come on, 150 wall balls?? I’d like to meet Kelly and actually introduce her to wall balls, because anyone who has actually done them would know you don’t program 150 of them like that.

After the WOD and a good vent session with Claire that was along those lines, I determined that there is only one lift that, given a choice, I would pick wall balls over: Thrusters. But this made us curious about why some lifts give us a higher degree of suffering than others.

Suffering, we concluded, is the battle raging between psychological fatigue and muscular fatigue.  I find it interesting that there have been scientific studies showing psychological fatigue will stop you before true muscle fatigue truly sets in almost every time, and it is this paradox, I believe, that is the beating heart of CrossFit.

After concluding that Thrusters and Wall Balls are about as sufferable as it gets, I started to think about what my Top 10 list of most miserable moves in CrossFit would be. Sure, everything we do in CrossFit is difficult–but it is the battle that is waged between psychological fatigue and muscular fatigue that sets these apart.  It’s the, “C’mon, one more rep! But this hurts so bad!” argument in your head, when you know you can keep going, but just want to cry.

So, here, in order, are my Top 10. Do you agree? I’m really interested to know what everyone else’s least favorite move is, so we decided to turn this list into a poll. If you see your most sufferable move on this list, you can vote for it–and if you think I missed something, please let me know in the comments!


  • Whitney

    Hi Brandon!! So I voted wall climbs because while the first few of each round feel good – my body starts to shut down and hate them with each additional step. However, I hate Snatches. They just scare me! Taking all that weight and flying it overyour head in one movement…. one day the rest of me is just going to go with the bar. Scary stuff, if you ask me! Fun reading your blog. Nice job! See you soon!!

    • Brandon

      Snatches are freaky for sure! I feel that way with C&J too. It’s tough to commit to getting under a heavy weight and to trust yourself that much. Wall climbs definitely have a high level of suffering. Its a strange combination of feeling like you’re flailing, being inverted, and trying to balance and not smoke your core. My hands hurt the worst on those I find, and I’m just waiting for the day I find a small pebble chillin on the floor!

  • clairechapman

    For the record, I (Claire) think wall balls are actually worse than Thrusters…

    • Brandon

      we just need to get you a 30 lb slam ball ;)

  • Sarah

    Overhead Squats would for sure be in my top five!

    • Brandon

      Thats a good one for sure, though for me my shoulders or wrists simply fail before I start to suffer too badly

  • Kelsi

    Brandolin! You don’t like running? =p

    • clairechapman

      That’s what I said! He claims that “Running and CrossFit Running are NOT the same.” Whatever that means.

    • Brandon

      I knew someone would be surprised by that. I love running. If we could do a 3 or 4 miles worked in each WOD I’d be psyched. But I’m talking about the SUFFERING factor! Some of the worst pain I’ve put myself through is running. There’s always that voice saying “just a little faster, just a little faster”. Plus, running after doing, say, deadlifts or squats or jumping lunges is not the same as a gentle lope out on a trail :^)

  • cardioandcocktails

    Burpees all day long. I would rather do wall balls for a half hour straight than do 2 burpees, I’m not even kidding!

    • Brandon

      ouch! really? Even if you paid me a dollar for every wall ball, I wouldn’t do 5 minutes of wall balls!

    • Jennifer

      That is ridiculous! I did wall balls for the first time yesterday and can’t imagine doing more than 10 of them that I had to do ;)

  • Sarah @ Run, Write, Conquer

    Hands down, I would rather do any of the movements in your top ten list over push presses. I don’t know why I hate these so much, other than the fact that I am simply not good at them. I concentrate so much on not inadvertently push jerking them and end up expending way too much energy.

    • clairechapman

      Oh I can totally relate to that. We actually had push presses in our WOD this morning and finally the coach came over and told me, “Uh, you know you’re doing a jerk, right?” We had been working on split jerks earlier in the set and my brain could NOT make the switch!


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