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6 Killer Workouts With Thrusters: Prepare for the Pain!

When you feel like you’ve finally advanced to the next level and improved your performance, somebody puts together a workout that knocks you back down again. These Wods often include thrusters. Push-pull movement combinations such as linking them with pull ups, chest to bar, rope climbs and other exercises are always punishing.

We gathered six workouts for you to try, and made sure that they are scalable enough for beginners to give them a go as well. We don’t want anyone to miss out on the pain!

Must-read: How-To Thruster


National Pro Grid League was established in 2014 by Tony Budding. The large team format allows athletes who are specialized in one field get their chance, which means World Champions in Olympic Weightlifting will be an extremely desired addition to the teams. Last year Dmitry Klokov stole the show in the thruster ladder event with a 175 kg lift. For 2015 he signed with Baltimore Anthem and will be a regular player on the GRID in the upcoming season.

Complete the ladder
time cap: 3 minutes
9 weights
starting: 115 kg
finishing: 175 kg


We wrote about this WOD before, mainly because you suggested it should be considered as one of the hardest workouts ever. Kalsu is a Hero WOD which honours Robert James “Bob” Kalsu (April 13, 1945 – July 21, 1970), a former professional American Football player, who left his sport career behind to serve his country in the Vietnam war.

Kalsu RX:
On the minute (until you complete 100 reps of thrusters).
5 burpees
max rep thrusters 61/38 kg (135/85 lbs)

Score: time it took you to complete 100 thrusters.

Related: Kalsu and 100 Thrusters: the Hardest WOD Ever?

Beginners: light Kalsu
3 burpees
max rep thrusters 43/29 kg (95/65 lbs)


Back in 2013 CrossFit HQ did a workout video together with Rich Froning and Rory McKernan doing the famous Fran with a little twist: 61 kg thrusters and weighted strict pull ups.

Heavy Fran
For time: 15-12-9
Thruster 61 kg (135 lbs)
Weighted strict pull ups with 20 kg (45 lbs) dumbbell
(Place the dumbbell between your legs.)

Regular Fran
Thruster 30/42.5 kg
Pull ups

Beginners Fran:
Thrusters (empty barbell)
Strict ring rows


This WOD topped our chart in the article on top 5 most brutal workouts. Have you ever legless rope climbs after a nice amount of thrusters?

Legless RX:
For time:

  • 27 Thrusters 43/30 kg
  • 4 legless rope climbs
  • 21 Thrusters 43/30 kg
  • 3 legless rope climbs
  • 15 Thrusters 43/30 kg
  • 2 legless rope climbs
  • 9 Thrusters 43/30 kg
  • 1 legless rope climb

Scaled it: use regular rope climbs instead.

Beginners: from ground to standing rope climbs (feet stay on floor)


Last year’s Open ended with a not-so-comfortable burpee thrusters MetCon. The usual scheme 21-15-9 got extended and was upgraded with an additional 18, 12, 6 and 3 reps.

CrossFit Open 14.5
For time: 21-18-15-12-9-6-3 reps
Thruster 43/30 kg
Burpees (over the bar)


Seven is a hero WOD which honours seven CIA officers who died in Afghanistan in 2009. You can find the workout on crossfit.com. Mikko Salo’s time is 19:19. Yours?

The Seven
7 rounds for time:
7 handstand push-ups
7 thrusters 61 kg
7 knees to elbows
7 deadlifts 111 kg
7 burpees
7 kettlebell swings 32 kg
7 pull-ups

Have you already tried one of those? If yes, comment below.

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