Brutal Crossfit Workout: “Bull”

(Last Updated On: May 6, 2016)

This is our second workout in our new series of CrossFit workouts featuring only the most brutal and difficult CrossFit has to offer.  It’s called “Bull”; a hero WOD named in honor of U.S. Marine Corps Captain Brandon “Bull” Barrett.  It’s the type of workout that makes hardened enforcers quiver and cage fighters cry. Ok perhaps not quite, but

Scott Panchik

it’s absolutely brutal.

What is it, you say?  Drumroll….


Two rounds for time of:

200 Double-unders

135 pound Overhead squat, 50 reps

50 Pull-ups

Run 1 mile


Initial thoughts:  The first thing coach helpfully informed us of was that “it took Mikko Salo 33 minutes to finish”.  I thought to myself… I hope that’s not the same Finnish Superman who won the 2009 Crossfit Games – considered by many as the toughest Games ever.  Talk about a stomach drop!  Having done it multiple times since, that sick feeling beforehand only gets worse.

From the outset “Bull” sounds brutal.  Long sets of moderately heavy overhead squats and then pullups, not to mention the 200 doubles and the mile run – and that’s only the first round.  There is still an entire SECOND ROUND to come!

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Breakdown: I get started and the first round goes ok. I start with a few long sets of doubles, trying to jump as low as possible and save my calves.  Into the OHS, my most hated part, and they are taking a lot out of me – and they are slow! Pull ups are next, and my arms are struggling from holding the bar overhead. I grind them out and finally, I’m onto the run.  Pounding outside along the footpath to the half-mile turnaround point, I’m asking myself why I do this?? I struggle come up with a good answer.  A familiar feeling starts to creep in during the run – my calves are beginning to cramp.  This is bad news with 200 doubles unders coming up next.  I’m back inside the gym, and round 1 is finally done. But progress is getting really tough.  I do much smaller sets and need far longer rests.  The second round is a absolute grind – especially those damn overhead squats, where I’m down to sets of 3 or 4.  Finally, onto the last run.  Both calf muscles are now cramping.  I trod along at a pace that can only be described as sloth-like, and yet I still need to stop at least a dozen times to stretch my calves during the last mile.  Finally, I’m back into the gym, finished! I check my time and find a spot in the corner to collapse and recover.  High fives are well earned by everyone.  There’s a rest day to follow. I’ll know I’ll need it!

Like any good Crossfit workout, Bull provides tremendous reward for efficiently of movement.  So be efficient, keep grinding through it, and enjoy the satisfaction (and soreness) of finishing!

My crappy time:  52:46 rx’d

Scale down the rep numbers and use lower weight on the OHS if necessary.

Stefan  Gehrig Ph.D


*Consult a physician before attempting this or any other exercise program