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10 Best Pistol WODs for CrossFit Athletes

Time to test your pistol skills.

Pistol WODs are a great way to build solid lower body strength, power, mobility and skill.

For more information on technique and tips, check out our guide to the Pistol.

Pistol WODs 1 – Chuck

10 Rounds for Time

  • Push-Ups (3-6-9-12-15-18-21-24-27-30 reps)
  • Pull-Ups (1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-10 reps)
  • Dips (2-4-6-8-10-12-14-16-18-20 reps)
  • Chin-Ups (10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps)
  • Pistols (5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5-5 reps)

In the first round complete 3 push-ups, 1 pull-up, 2 dips, 10 chin-ups and 5 pistols. In the next round complete 6, 2, 7, 10 and 5 of each movement, and so on for 10 rounds.

The difference between a pull-up and a chin-up is the hand position on the pull-up bar (hands should face inward for pull-ups, outward for chin-ups).

WOD 2 – Mary

AMRAP in 20 minutes

  • 5 Handstand Push-Ups
  • 10 Pistols (alternating legs)
  • 15 Pull-Ups

On a 20-minute clock, complete as many rounds and repetitions as possible (AMRAP) of the prescribed work in the order written: 5 Handstand Push-Ups followed by 10 Pistols followed by 15 Pull-Ups.

Score is the total number of rounds and repetitions completed before the 20-minute clock stops.

Good Scores for “Mary”

– Beginner: 7-8 rounds

– Intermediate: 9-12 rounds

– Advanced: 13-16 rounds

– Elite: 17+ rounds

Tips and Strategy

“Mary” is a WOD where you should go mostly unbroken. The workout is nicely divided into upper body pushing (Handstand Push-Ups), lower body (Pistols), and upper body pulling (Pull-Ups), making major muscle fatigue less of a factor. (In contrast, you’d need to do several small sets in a WOD like “JT” where the three exercises all require upper body pushing: Handstand Push-Ups, Ring Dips, and Push-Ups.)

Intended Stimulus

“Mary” should feel really physically challenging. You’ve got 3 difficult gymnastics movements to perform and even though there aren’t any monostructural cardiovascular movements in this WOD (Running, Rowing, Jump Rope, etc.) you should feel your lungs burning thanks to your speed.

Don’t use “Mary” as a time to work on your gymnastic skills–you’ll lose “Mary’s” benefit if you stare at the wall for minutes at a time, waiting for a Handstand Push-Up to happen.

Scaling Options

“Mary” is a WOD that requires above-average gymnastics skills: Handstand Push-Ups, Pistols, and Pull-Ups.

Scale the skill level of these movements (see: Handstand Push-Up Scaling | Pistol Scaling | Pull-Up Scaling) so you can move smoothly throughout this WOD.

You’ll lose the intended stimulus of “Mary” if you treat the workout like a skill session.

Intermediate Option

20 Minute AMRAP

  • 2 Handstand Push-Ups
  • 6 Pistols (alternating legs)
  • 10 Pull-Ups

Beginner Option

20 Minute AMRAP

  • 5 Push-Ups
  • 10 Alternating Stationary Lunges
  • 15 Ring Rows

WOD 3 – CrossFit One Zone Home WOD

5 Rounds for Time

  • 15 Single-Leg Glute Bridges (per leg)
  • 20 Mountain Climbers
  • 20 Air Squats
  • 20 Hollow Rocks

With a running clock, complete 5 rounds of the prescribed work in the order written as fast as possible (“For Time”).

Score is the time on the clock when the last round of the Hollow Rocks is completed.

Movement Standards

Single-Leg Glute Bridge: Lay on the ground with your back, hips, and feet planted firmly. Place both of the feet close to the hips and then raise one leg. Lift your hips towards the sky while keeping one foot planted on the ground.

Make sure to squeeze the glutes and keep the core tight. Lower the hips down to the ground for one repetition.

Pistol WODs 4 – Living Room Mash 6

For Time

  • 10-minute Plank Hold

Every time you rest, perform:

  • 4 Burpees
  • 6 Hand Release Push-Ups
  • 8 Alternating Pistols

With a running clock, perform a Plank Hold for an accumulated time of 10 minutes. Every time you rest from the Plank Hold, perform 4 Burpees, 6 Hand Release Push-Ups, and 8 Alternating Pistols.

Score is the time on the clock when the 10-minute Plank Hold is completed.

Pistol WODs 5 – Schmalls

For Time

800 metre Run

Then 2 Rounds of:

  • 50 Burpees
  • 40 Pull-Ups
  • 30 Pistols
  • 20 Kettlebell Swings (1.5/1 pood)
  • 10 Handstand Push-Ups

Then, 800 metre Run

Pistol WODs 6 – The Legend

For Time

  • 4 Pistols
  • 25 Kettlebell Swings (54/35 lb)
  • 50 Push-Ups
  • 75 Pull-Ups
  • 50 Push-Ups
  • 25 Kettlebell Swings (54/35 lb)
  • 4 Pistols

WOD 7 – Triple G Chipper

For Time

  • 100 Pull-Ups
  • 80 GHD Sit-Ups
  • 60 Pistols (alternating legs)
  • 40 calorie Row
  • 20 Dumbbell Push Presses (100/70 lb)

Time Cap: 15 minutes

Athletes will complete 100 pull-ups, 80 GHD sit-ups, 60 one-legged squats, 40 calories on the rower, 20 dumbbell push presses, then cross the finish line.

Score is the total time it takes for them to complete the event.

Pistol WODs 8 – Nasty Girls V2

3 Rounds for Time

  • 50 Pistols (alternating legs)
  • 7 Muscle-Ups
  • 10 Hang Power Cleans (175/125 lb)

Pistol WODs 9 – Wobble

For Time

Buy-In:

  • 50 Double-Unders

Then, 30-20-10 reps of:

  • Alternating Pistols
  • Russian Kettlebell Swings (2/1.5 pood)

Cash-Out:

  • 50 Double-Unders

Scaling

For Time

Buy-In:

  • 75 Single-Unders

Then, 30-20-10 reps of:

  • Alternating Box Squat Pistols
  • Russian Kettlebell Swings (1/.5 pood)

Cash-Out:

  • 75 Single-Unders

WOD 9 – 1911

For Time

  • 50 Pistols
  • 25 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
  • 40 Pistols
  • 20 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
  • 30 Pistols
  • 15 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
  • 20 Pistols
  • 10 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
  • 10 Pistols
  • 5 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups

This workout is scored by time to complete the descending couplet.

Scaling

Intermediate

For Time

  • 50 Box-Assisted Pistols
  • 25 Pull-Ups
  • 40 Box-Assisted Pistols
  • 20 Pull-Ups
  • 30 Box-Assisted Pistols
  • 15 Pull-Ups
  • 20 Box-Assisted Pistols
  • 10 Pull-Ups
  • 10 Box-Assisted Pistols
  • 5 Pull-Ups

Beginner

For Time

  • 50 Banded Pistols
  • 25 Ring Rows
  • 40 Banded Pistols
  • 20 Ring Rows
  • 30 Banded Pistols
  • 15 Ring Rows
  • 20 Banded Pistols
  • 10 Ring Rows
  • 10 Banded Pistols
  • 5 Ring Rows

Pistol WODs 10 – Painstorm VII

For Time

  • 50-40-30-20-10 Air Squats
  • 45-35-25-15-5 Push-Ups
  • 400 metre Run
  • 40-32-24-16-8 Left-Arm Dumbbell Snatches (50/35 lb)
  • 36-28-20-12-4 Right-Arm Dumbbell Snatches (50/35 lb)
  • 400 metre Run
  • 30-24-18-12-6 Box Jumps (24/20 in)
  • 27-21-15-9-3 Pull-Ups
  • 400 metre Run
  • 20-16-12-8-4 Dumbbell Burpee Hang Squat Clean Thrusters (50/35 lb)
  • 18-14-10-6-2 Ring Dips
  • 400 metre Run
  • 10-8-6-4-2 Handstand Push-Ups
  • 9-7-5-3-1 Pistols (L+R=1)
  • 400 metre Run

With a running clock, as fast as possible perform the prescribed work. Athlete must perform 50 Air Squats and 45 Push-Ups down to 10 Air Squats and 5 Push-Ups. Run 400 metres.

Then, athlete must complete 40 Left-Arm Dumbbell Snatches and 36 Right-Arm Dumbbell Snatches down to 8 Left-Arm Dumbbell Snatches and 4 Right-Arm Dumbbell Snatches. Run 400 metres.

After the Run, perform 30 Box Jumps and 27 Pull-Ups down to 6 Box Jumps and 3 Pull-Ups. Run 400 metres.

Then, perform 20 reps of the Dumbell Burpee Hang Squat Clean Thrusters complex and 18 Ring Dips down to 4 Dumbbell Complexes and 2 Ring Dips. Run 400 metres.

Then, complete 10 Handstand Push-Ups and 9 Pistols down to 2 Handstand Push-Ups and 1 Pistol. Finally, Run 400 metres.

Score is the time on the clock when the workout is completed.

Pistol WODs

If you enjoyed these Pistol WODs then check out these Paddleboard and Air Squat WODs.

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