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3 Tips on Attacking Helen

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3 rounds for time:

400m run

21 kettle bell swings

12 pull-ups


Seems simple.  Sort of….


Helen is one of CrossFit’s most famous benchmarks.  These benchmark workouts are designed to measure your progress and fitness levels throughout your training program.  Although they may seem straight forward in rep schemes and movements, the benchmark workouts will make you think twice before saying “that seems pretty easy.”  Here are some tips for attacking Helen efficiently:

      1. Don’t waste time! This workout is a sprint, so you want to minimize time between movements.  As soon as you come in from the run, approach the kettle bell and start swinging.  The more time you spend thinking about how awful that run was, the more time you add to your final score.
      2. Break-up the pull-ups into attainable reps.  Not all of us are able to do the pull-ups unbroken (keep practicing though!), so break them up into attainable reps.  By doing small rep schemes, you can take short breaks between your sets, as opposed to long breaks after burning out your grip from a big set.
      3. Keep your legs moving.  That last 400m might seem daunting, but don’t slow down!  Thinking about each agonizing step will only make you more anxious, which increases your heart rate and breathing.  Run all the way through the door; once you get inside the gym, take those few steps to your kettlebell as time to breathe before picking it up.

Remember, benchmarks are here to help you and your training success.  Don’t fear them, or even worse – cherry pick them.  Look at the rep schemes before hand and think realistically about how you can attack the WOD.

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