CrossFit Games

From Helen to Helena: The Benchmark WOD is Back at the CrossFit Games

August 4, 2023 by
Photo Credit: Jonathan Ortega @j_tega_
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On August 9, 2003, “The CrossFit Challenge” was introduced to the community, as a workout consisting of three rounds for time, of a 400 meter run, 21 kettlebell swings and 12 pull ups. In November, the workout was renamed “Helen” and added to the list of “The Girls” benchmark workouts. 

Flashback: In 2010, the workout was performed at the Games, in a variation called “Pyramid Double Helen. The test was as follows: 

  • Pyramid Double Helen

For time:

1200 m run
63 kettlebell swings
36 pull ups
800 m run
42 kettlebell swings
24 pull ups
400 m run
21 kettlebell swings
12 pull ups
Kettlebell weight: 35/53 pounds

Time cap: 22 minutes 

2023 CrossFit Games: Over the last week, we’ve seen Helen performed as written, by the Age Group and Adaptive Divisions, with modifications made for certain adaptive athletes, substituting the SkiErg for the run. 

Yesterday, the variation “Helena” was announced for the individuals, which is a new version of the workout never seen before. It is scheduled as Test 6, and is as follows:

  • Helena

Three rounds for time: 

400 m run
21 dumbbell snatches
12 bar muscle ups
Dumbbell weight: 35/50 pounds

Time cap: 11 minutes

The bottom line: Neither the weight nor the rep scheme will slow any of the athletes down and we should expect to see the snatches and the muscle ups performed unbroken. The fastest runners are the expected winners, with the 400-meter runs being where the athletes will be able to gain the lead.

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