CrossFit Games

A Brief History Of The Worm

May 14, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Crossfit Mayhem (
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Perhaps one of the strangest and most challenging elements of team competition in Crossfit, the Worm has been a staple of the sport since its formal introduction in 2014 following in the steps of its more archaic predecessor, which featured large logs tied together. 

In its debut year, the Worm featured some simple movements. On the second to last day of competition, teams were introduced to the Worm and given two workouts, featuring squats, burpees over the Worm, and running with the Worm.

Since 2014, the movements surrounding the Worm have grown in complexity, with elements such as clean and jerks and shoulder to overhead being added to the roster. The actual Worm itself has changed as well. In 2018, Rogue re-introduced the Worm to the formal competition season* as a four-person implement adapting to the new four-person team standards.

The history of the Worm: While the modern Worm might be six feet shorter than its 17-foot precursor, it still weighs a whopping 365 pounds (that’s heavier than the original 280-pound four-person Worm used at the Invitational in 2014)  Here’s a breakdown of the evolution of the Worm over the years.

Worm VersionYears ActiveTotal Weight
The Log Worm2013405#
6-Person Worm2014-2018405#
Invitational 4-Person Worm2014-2015 & 2017280#
Invitational Slug2016225# & 300#
Modern 4-Person Worm2018-Present365#

Breaking it down: Of course, one athlete can’t be expected to handle all 365 pounds on their own. Today’s modern Worm features four sections of varying weight. 

  • Each Worm contains two 100-pound sections and two 70-pound sections. 
  • Each is separated by a 6-pound filler bag and held together by a seven-pound shell. 
  • The front and third sections of the Worm contain the heaviest sections, while the second and back sections of the Worm contain the 70-pound filler bags.
  • This Worm starkly contrasts the weight of the original four-person Worm first used in the CrossFit Invitational, which featured filler weights weighing 80, 65, 75, and 60 pounds from front to back respectively. 

The Worm at the Games: Since its debut in2018, the four-person Worm has made an appearance at every CrossFit Games. Though certain Games certainly favor the teamwork of the Worm.

YearNumber Of Worm Workouts
2020*No Team Competition*
Number Of Appearances By Apparatus
Big Bob32218
Team Barbell10102

When looking at the Worm, we see it tied with the legendary Big Bob Apparatus, which was introduced in 2012.

The Worm this year: So far this year, we have yet to see the Worm in the team competition, but Semifinals are about to change that. This year, one-third of the workouts (two out of the six) will feature a Worm element of some sort.

Workout One:

4 rounds for time, with one member at each station, of:

2.5K/2K Echo Bike*
800-m run*
Bear-hug sandbag hold*
150 double-unders*
10 Worm clean and jerks

Time cap: 28 minutes 

*Athletes must change stations every round.

Women: 150 pound sandbag 
Men: 200 pound sandbag

Workout 6:

For time:

15 Worm burpees
15 Worm squats  

Women complete 1 seated legless rope climb (each)
Men complete 10 strict chest-to-wall handstand push-ups (each)


15 Worm burpees
15 Worm squats

Women complete 2 legless rope climbs (each)

Men complete 15 strict handstand push-ups (each)


15 Worm burpees

15 Worm squats

Women complete 3 rope climbs each
Men complete 20 handstand push-ups each


15 Worm burpees
15 Worm squats 

Time cap: 16 minutes

The big picture: Since 2013, the Worm has challenged the team athletes of the CrossFit Games in some capacity or another. It’s truly one of the more unique elements that separates team from individual competition and blends a true test of teamwork and strength.

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