Karen WOD

For time — 150 wall ball shots (20/14lb)

What is the Karen WOD?

The Karen WOD is one of “The New Girls”, a workout added to the original CrossFit “The Girls” benchmark WODs. For time athletes must complete 150 wall ball shots (20/14lb). Karen is a CrossFit benchmark WOD used to assess an athlete’s progress over time.

With just one movement there is nothing complex about the Karen WOD, however, the number of reps means it is still a very demanding workout. Each wall ball shot is to a ten-feet target and requires a full squat after catching the ball on the way down – with 150 reps there’s a reason CrossFit described Karen as having the same effect as three girls.

Karen is intended to be a sprint, with elite CrossFit athletes able to finish the WOD in less than 5 minutes. Given the number of reps, keeping a good pace is essential, while it’s also very likely you will need to break down the number of reps into smaller groups to avoid burning out. There are several options for scaling: reduce the weight of the medicine ball, squat-to-box wall balls or if you’re not comfortable with any weight at all you can perform thrusters with a PVC pipe.

Tips for the Karen WOD

  • Find a good pace and rhythm. Keep the movement as seamless as possible.
  • Break up the reps sensibly. Pausing for a few seconds before carrying on is better than going to failure.
  • Scale the weight/movement if needed.

Karen WOD Videos

See how to do the Karen WOD with the following videos and get inspiration from elite Crossfit athletes.

John Konye completes the Karen WOD unbroken in a time of 4.40.

The guys and girls at CrossFit Adrenaline do the Karen WOD.

Jason Khalipa performs the Karen workout in a time of 5.29.