CrossFit is generally known for being an exciting fitness discipline. The constantly varied workouts and evolving movements ensure that there is always something new to train for.
However, teaming up with a friend to knock out some CrossFit partner WODs is an excellent way to add some additional spice to things. These workouts are great for evenly-skilled partners and also for those with different experience and ability levels alike.
My wife and I have completed a number of partner workouts together. We even paired up for a competition in Spain where teams competed in a series of CrossFit partner WODs.
The best part about the competition? She only wanted to kill me about 20 percent of the time!
(She didn’t appreciate having to pick up so much of the slack with the handstand walks…or that I didn’t wait for her on the big run)!
Check out the workouts below and find some inspiration for your next partner workout…whether your teaming up with a CrossFit beginner or the next coming of Mat Fraser!
Table of Contents
8 Best CrossFit Partner WODs for Evenly-Skilled Athletes
These first 8 CrossFit partner WODs work best for two athletes with similar skillsets and ability levels. You can both manage all of the movements and loads and can synchronize your reps better than Justin, Lance, and the boys!
Equipment: Air runner
The internal reps can be split however you want, but both partners have to run a mile. The 30-minute time cap requires partners to strategize and to keep moving!
Don’t…trust your partner to hold up their end of the reps? Feel free to take on the iconic Murph WOD on your own!
2019 Atlantic Games Qualifier WOD 2
Equipment: Wall ball, dumbbell, pull-up bar/rack
With a little strategy, the first two portions of each round can be completed without accumulated fatigue. Both partners need to be adept at chest-to-bar pull-ups or one of them is going to be pretty upset at their reps not counting!
Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates, air runners
The synchronization and “buddy runs” make this workout perfect for similarly-skilled athletes. However, getting used to never-ending synchronization might take some adjusting!
Mark and Dennis
Equipment: Plyo boxes, barbell, bumper plates, wall ball
One could argue that this workout favors dissimilar athletes (a better deadlifter with someone who doesn’t mind… “hanging out”). However. the synchronization and required wall ball changes are excellent for similar partners.
2019 Atlantic Games WOD 2
Equipment: Concept2 rower, jump rope, air runner
The long “buddy run” requires both athletes to possess similar speed and endurance. Both partners should be adept at double-unders or else one will get bored while the other wears themself out before the run!
2018 CrossFit Team Series WOD 8
Equipment: Pull-up bar/rack, dumbbells, plyo boxes
Once again, the synchronization requirements make this workout ideal for similarly-conditioned athletes. Thankfully, the toes-to-bar are spaced out, giving some well-deserved rest to everyone’s abs!
Equipment: Dumbbells, jump ropes
In theory, you could have a “thruster guy”…but you still both have to do the double-unders. Thankfully, you have 16 minutes to figure things out!
2019 Atlantic Games Qualifier WOD 1
Equipment: Concept2 rower, barbell, bumper plates
The odd number of row/burpee rounds calls for some strategizing, but both partners need to be adept at cleans in order to achieve a high score.
8 Best CrossFit Partner WODs for “Specialized” Athletes
This is where things get serious! These WODs can be performed much faster and more efficiently if you have the “right” partner combination. Let’s take a look at some of the CrossFit partner archetypes!
Can pick anything up! Doesn’t even look at the weight on the barbell. Can static hold for ages. Probably shoulda been a powerlifter, instead! Can use heavy armor.
Can cycle a barbell at warp speed. runs from exercise to exercise. “Resting pace” is other people’s “working pace”. Can almost always run from enemies.
Can do strict handstand push-ups by the hundreds. Walks on hands better than on feet. Body kips involuntarily. At higher levels, attacks better without a weapon.
Not top end at anything, but can do everything very well. Never gets no-repped, never whines “I can’t do this!” Probably coaches a class. Can use white and black magic!
Consider who you are and who each of your CrossFit partners are. Pair up properly for your CrossFit partner WODs and you’ll win every time!
Philip M Wigal
Equipment: Concept2 rower, bike erg, dumbbells, barbell, bumper plates
If you have a Fast Guy and a Strong Guy, you can get through this pretty quickly (assuming appropriate division of labor). Hopefully your Fast Guy is good on the bike!
Helen Meets Grace
Equipment: Air runners, kettlebells, pull-up bar/rack, barbell, bumper plates
Like the previous workout, a Fast Guy and a Strong Guy can do well with this one. However, a Versatile Guy might be better for chipping in on the clean-and-jerks at the end. Worst case, the weight is manageable enough for the Strong Guy to cluster these!
Equipment: Air runner, barbell, bumper plates, wall ball
A dedicated “row guy” won’t be quite enough with the sheer volume of clean and jerks and wall balls (the “row guy” is probably good at wall ball shots, anyways). The heavier-than-normal clean-and-jerks are tripping points. Who thought they’d be “resting” through 100 burpees?!
Equipment: Sandbag, bumper plates, dumbbell
An experienced “rucker” would be a big help here since the carry is likely to take as long as the other 3 movements combined each round.
To further complicate things, do you really want to leave one partner’s bag out on the track after each round (if you split up the carry)?
2018 Crow Games Final WOD
Equipment: Jump rope, kettlebell, barbell, bumper plates, pull-up bar/rack
A dedicated handstand push-up/Gymnast Guy makes all the difference in this workout. At least in theory.
When I did this one, I smoked my shoulders out during the lunges and thrusters, could only crank out 20 handstand push-ups and my team settled for silver.
Totally not bitter or anything!
3 Girls, 2019 Winter Classic WOD 1
Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates, Concept2 rower, pull-up bar/rack
A Gymnast Guy and a Strong Guy can split this one up pretty efficiently. Like the “Helen Meets Grace” WOD above, the Gymnast Guy needs to be able to hit a few clean-and-jerks at the end.
181221 – Mayhem
Equipment: Gymnastics rings, barbell, bumper plates
Ideally, both athletes will be able to contribute evenly, but a Gymnast Guy and a Strong Guy can still chip away at this workout.
These CrossFit partner WODs seem to love their clean-and-jerks, don’t they?!
2018 CrossFit Team Series WOD 6
Equipment: Concept2 rower
This WOD was part of a series where teams remained constant, throughout. No mixing and matching here! In a perfect world, the rowing giant (or Fast Guy who rows well) and short-armed, handstand push-up warrior do this unbroken.
8 Best CrossFit Partner WODs with A Lot of Rest
Now to my favorite kind of CrossFit partner WOD…ones where you get to rest
Many of these are in a “I go, you go” format where rest is built in for each partner. For others, you might be staring at your buddy for long stretches as they gut out 50 Assault Bike calories. That rest feels so good, but the impending doom of your turn on the bike feels…not so good!
2018 CrossFit Sacrifice Backyard Throwdown WOD 1
Equipment: Concept2 rower, bumper plate
The rest is pretty long, but after the row, the lunges really start to take a toll. The “I go, you go” format ensures that everyone will get a chance to exhaust themself!
You Go, I Go, Assault Fitness Benchmark
Equipment: Assault Bike, dumbbell
In contrast to the previous workout, the rounds here are really short…but so is the rest. At 12 minutes, this is essentially one long sprint CrossFit partner WOD.
190612 – Mayhem
Equipment: Assault Bike, wall ball
There is no set schedule to switch, but long sets on the bike provide perfect rest periods. Ideally, you’re switching out every 10 or so reps on the wall balls.
2021 CrossFit Open WOD 4
Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates
Are you working together as much as you are competing with your partner with this WOD? Either way, you’re far more likely to hit a PR on this sequence with a buddy throwing around some heavy weights beside you!
181130 – Mayhem
Equipment: Assault Bike
Plan on hanging around for a bit and getting very well acquainted with the Assault Bike.
I would make the argument that this CrossFit partner WOD is perfect for the garage gym…but I’d probably actually be hurting my cause…
Equipment: Assault Bike, slam ball
If you’re first, you get all the rest you want once you hit that last Assault Bike calorie! All of these WODs can be modified, but this WOD sticks out for allowing you to select your own weights and implements for the carry.
Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates, air runner
If both athletes agree to take turns, there should be adequate rest included so that nobody ever has to run. Just remember…
20020 – Mayhem
Equipment: Concept2 rower, barbell, bumper plates
Mayhem workouts show up here A LOT, don’t they?
Regardless of how the row is split up, both partners will likely have some rest before the clean-and jerks. From here, sets of 5 should be doable and allow each partner some breathing room.
Find somebody like these athletes to do CrossFit partner WODs with and you’ll have more rest than you’ll know what to do with!
Best CrossFit Partner WOD Couples
You may not agree with my strategies for the CrossFit partner WODs, but the athleticism of these CrossFit “power couples” is indisputable.
As a former CrossFit Games champion, Annie Thorisdottir is the more popular of the two, but Frederik Aegidius is certainly no slouch. He has competed in the Games 5 times and has placed inside the top 50 worldwide in the CrossFit Open an astounding 9 times.
I’m sorry to say, if these two roll up to a partner competition you’re competing in, you’re in a race for silver.
Gabriela Migala has established herself as a perennial CrossFit Games podium challenger. Her boyfriend, Kristóf Horváth, isn’t as accomplished as his younger sister Laura, but has come close to qualifying for the CrossFit Games on multiple occasions.
The Polish-Hungarian duo confirm that in CrossFit, “Eastern Europe is Rising”.
When your boyfriend or girlfriend is that good at CrossFit, you might as well get married!
“Who Should I Do CrossFit Partner WODs With?!”
Some days, it can be hard to get motivated to head out to the garage for a workout.
If you have a family, it doesn’t have to be.
Why push yourself so hard when your husband, wife, kid, or aunt is available to push you through some CrossFit partner WODs?
A lot of these WODs included the Assault Bike and Concept2 Rower. Interested in more WODs with these machines? Check out our articles on the best Assault Bike workouts and rowing workouts…you don’t have to tell your partner, if you don’t want to!