11 WODs With Thursters That Will Challenge You (+ Good Times To Beat)


Thrusters! I don’t know about you, but I hated thrusters when I started CrossFit 5 years ago, and I still hate them. I bet there are some thrusters lovers but unfortunately, I am not one of them, but that doesn’t mean I don’t do thrusters regularly!

The only reason why I hate thrusters is that they are one of the hardest CrossFit exercises and I always breath heavy after every WOD that involves thrusters. They can be done at very high intensity, and they work almost every muscle in your body.

How to get good at Thrusters?

There are only two strategies how to get as quickly as possible through thrusters depends on how heavy thrusters are for you.

Go unbroken!

For example, let’s consider you are doing Jackie.


For Time
1000 meter row
50 Thruster 45 lbs
30 pull-ups

Jackie is WOD with 50 light thrusters that can be done with a fast pace, only limiting factors are fatigued quads and elevated heart rate from the rower but most of the people will be able to do all thrusters in 1-2 sets unbroken. Elite athletes will even speed up the squat and pull the bar back to the squat during thrusters to get through 50 thrusters quicker.

So, go through the thrusters unbroken if your WOD is similar to the Jackie or it has number of reps you know you can do unbroken quickly.

Split those sets more than you think!

For this example, I will use 14.5/16.5.


For Time 21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Thrusters 95/65 lbs
Bar Facing Burpees

I have met many people who went unbroken in all the sets, and none of them was able to finish this WOD under 10:00 while when I have done this WOD in 9:50 only sets I have done unbroken were set of 6 and set of 3. I am not saying that going unbroken is the bad thing, but you need to have a capacity for that.

For me, the workout looked like this 21=8+7+6, 18=7+6+5, 15=6+5+4, 12=7+5, 9=5+4, 6=6 and 3=3. Why did this help? I have found out that splitting the sets but keeping rest short and trying to finish reps quickly leads to lower heart rate and higher average pace.

The reason why that works is that you can always pick up the bar immediately after the second movement as you know that there is an only small set of reps waiting for you.

By the way, I have used this strategy even in 17.5 (10 RFT, 9 Thrusters 95/65 + 35 DUs) where I went for 5+4 thrusters in all the sets, except last round where I went unbroken, and I have finished in 9:10.

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Another example of when to go unbroken and when to split

Let’s consider a ~12-minute chipper that starts and ends with 20 Thrusters 95/65 lbs. First thrusters should be done unbroken as the weight is relatively easy and reps are doable unbroken. I would only split thrusters into two or three sets if next movement is focused on pushing, like HSPU but last thrusters should be split into 2-3 quick sets instead of going unbroken but slowly, go unbroken on them only if you still have the energy to go quickly.

And the last example is 5 Rounds of 9 Thrusters 135/95 lbs, and 18 Box Jumps 24/20″. There is no need to go unbroken on the box jumps, even in the first round as workout is focused a lot on quads. I would probably go for three sets of 4+3+2 with quick rest in the between, and I believe I will be faster than someone doing 5+4 or even unbroken set of 9.

11 WODs With Thrusters That Will Challenge You (+ Good Times To Beat)

#1 Heavy Thrusters and Box Jumps

5 Rounds of
9 Thrusters 135/95 lbs
18 Box Jumps 24/20″

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 16min 50sec
Average athlete: 14min 1sec
Advanced athlete: 11min 13sec
Elite athlete: 8min 25sec
Regional athlete: 7min 18sec

Good time cap: 19min

Every round of thrusters will be heavier and heavier as fatigue from box jumps will kick in.

#2 Hi-rep Thrusters and DUs

12 Min AMRAP
30 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
90 DUs

Good score to beat for

Beginner athlete: 1 rounds and 83reps
Average athlete: 2 rounds and 65reps
Advanced athlete: 3 rounds and 47reps
Elite athlete: 4 rounds and 29reps
Regional athlete: 4 rounds and 69reps

Scale if slower than: 1 rounds and 22 reps

That’s a lot of thrusters! Be smart about how you approach it even 6 sets of 5 reps is OK.

#3 Thrusters, Cleans and Burpees

14 Rounds of
7 Thrusters 75/55 lbs
7 Power Cleans 75/55 lbs
7 Burpees

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 25min 26sec
Average athlete: 21min 12sec
Advanced athlete: 16min 58sec
Elite athlete: 12min 43sec
Regional athlete: 11min 1sec

Good time cap: 28min

Start slowly and try to hold the same pace until the end. 90 sec/round will give you the time of 21:00 which beats average time to beat. Elite athletes can try to go for EMOM.

#4 Row, Thrusters, and Run Chipper

For Time
60 Cal Row
50 Thrusters 45/35 lbs
400m Run
50 Thrusters 45/35 lbs
60 Cal Row

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 22min 21sec
Average athlete: 18min 38sec
Advanced athlete: 14min 54sec
Elite athlete: 11min 11sec
Regional athlete: 9min 41sec

Good time cap: 25min

You can go unbroken!

#5 Air Squats and Thrusters

For Time
60 Air Squats
20 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
60 Air Squats
20 Thrusters 115/80 lbs
60 Air Squats
20 Thrusters 135/95 lbs

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 19min 14sec
Average athlete: 16min 2sec
Advanced athlete: 12min 50sec
Elite athlete: 9min 37sec
Regional athlete: 8min 20sec

Good time cap: 22min

Say good bye to your quads! Learn to rest on air squats and push harder on thrusters.

#6 Thrusters and Run

10 Rounds of
10 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
200m Run

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 20min 25sec
Average athlete: 17min 1sec
Advanced athlete: 13min 37sec
Elite athlete: 10min 13sec
Regional athlete: 8min 51sec

Good time cap: 23min

Try to pace the run so you can do all thrusters unbroken or push the pace on the run and split thrusters into 2 sets.

#7 Thrusters, Burpees and Wall Balls

For time 30-20-10
Thrusters 75/55 lbs
Wall Balls 20/14 lbs

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 15min 10sec
Average athlete: 12min 38sec
Advanced athlete: 10min 7sec
Elite athlete: 7min 35sec
Regional athlete: 6min 34sec

Good time cap: 17min

This triplet is one of the most brutal WODs I have ever done. There is zero place to rest.

#8 Thrusters EMOM

For 15 minutes (or for as long as you can)
1. Min: 21 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
2. Min: 15 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
3. Min: 9 Thrusters 95/65 lbs
Repeat 21-15-9 in next minutes

Good score to beat for

Beginner athlete: 3 minutes
Average athlete: 6 minutes
Advanced athlete: 9 minutes
Elite athlete: 15 minutes
Regional athlete: 30 minutes

It is like Fran without the pull ups and you will probably fail sooner than you expect.

#9 Row, Burpees, Thrusters E3MOM

10 x Every 3 Minutes
In 3 minutes complete:
20/15 Cal Row
20 Rower Facing Burpees
1 Thrusters with 90% of 1 RM

Good score to beat for

30 Minutes are doable for all athlete levels. Scale reps down to 15/15 or 10/10 if you can’t get to the thrusters until 2:30 and if you miss the thrusters just repeat it in the next interval.

If you have time after thrusters, you may even try to add weight for few rounds.

#10 Thrusters and Push Ups

10 Min AMRAP
15 Push Ups
15 Thrusters 95/65 lbs

Good score to beat for

Beginner athlete: 4 rounds and 5reps
Average athlete: 6 rounds and 7reps
Advanced athlete: 8 rounds and 9reps
Elite athlete: 10 rounds and 12reps
Regional athlete: 11 rounds and 9reps

Scale if slower than: 2 rounds and 19 reps

The push ups look easy in this WOD but they will fatigue your shoulders, and you will have a hard time on thrusters.

#11 Thrusters and Burpees

For Time 21-18-15-12-9-6-3
Thrusters 95/65 lbs
Bar Facing Burpees

Good time to beat for

Beginner athlete: 21min 28sec
Average athlete: 17min 53sec
Advanced athlete: 14min 19sec
Elite athlete: 10min 44sec
Regional athlete: 9min 18sec

Good time cap: 24min

I wanted to come out with a harder combination of thrusters + burpees, but 14.5/16.5 rep scheme is really the worst!