In CrossFit, ‘flashy’ movements have often become the main focus on athletes schedules. For many people, CrossFit has allowed them to do things they have never done before, maybe even things they never thought they could do. Doing a movement for the first time is definitely a highlight and a boost on your self-esteem. Naturally, it is something we get caught up on and can’t wait till the next time we have that movement on a workout. Those days tend to be hard, due to increased difficulty of the movements, and leave you satisfied from working on high skill exercises. But are the “sexy workouts” as beneficial for your overall health and fitness as it is for your self-esteem?

“Sexy Workout”

5 RFT:

10 Cleans @155

5 Rope Climbs

3 Handstand Push Ups

30 Double- Unders


Not a “Sexy Workout”

5 RFT:

10 DB Thrusters @50/Hand

500m Rower

10 Burpees

Rest 2 min b/w rounds


Ask most people which workout they would rather do and most will say the “sexy” one. Unless they haven’t gotten the “J Cup” technique for rope climbs or being upside down on the wall, and even then they might still pick the first WOD. The idea of doing a workout with high skill movements is exciting for most athletes, and they end up overlooking the fact that workouts are designed for a specific stimulus, not to feed your ego.

Unless you are proficient on the movements for the workout, you will not achieve the desired stimulus. Depending on the workout, even if you are proficient in it you might still not be at the level of performing a workout with that movement in it. But “how do we get proficient in a movement if we are not doing it in workouts”?

We practice them.


Practicing in a controlled environment ensures that we are performing each movement correctly. We can even add other movements, and increase the difficulty in our practice, but still, it should be sustainable. If you can’t keep the pace up due to the difficult skill level of an exercise you are missing the point of the workout. We practice the tougher movements so we can do them in workouts, not the other way around.

Therefore, the answer to our original question “is the sexiest workout the best workout?” is no. The best workouts are those that get you to the desired stimulus. And, more often than not, those will involve simpler movements. Movements you can do and keep a good, steady pace while pushing yourself. Also, these simpler movements are all foundations for more complex movements. Master the single under before going for double unders, master the push ups before attempting a handstand push ups and master the air squat prior to doing overhead squats.

Simple and effective goes a long way.


At Celebration CrossFit we prioritize your overall and long-term health and fitness. We focus on each workout and how it is specifically designed to target and improve your fitness. While also practicing those higher skill movements that you never thought you could do!

by Coach Matt