25 CrossFit Workouts With Thrusters

(Last Updated On: May 1, 2021)

Thrusters, most people have a love/hate relationship with them.

People love them because they are a great full-body exercise, but they also hate them because they really suck to do.

They are basically in the same category as burpees. when you see them in your upcoming workout you know it’s gonna be tough.

In this article, we are going to give you more thruster workouts than most people would like to attempt.

Let’s get started.crossfit girl thruster


Related: 15 Brutal CrossFit Deadlift Workouts


What is a Thruster?

If you haven’t been around CrossFit much you might not know what a thruster is, even if you exercise regularly.

A Thruster is basically a front squat and a shoulder press combined into one movement.

Thrusters are a great whole-body exercise, but they are brutal. Many crossfitters put them in the same category as burpees as far as how much they suck to do. Not only are thrusters a good muscle-building exercise, they are also good cardio.

Instead of just going by a picture of someone doing a thruster or the description, below is a video of how to do a thruster which will show you exactly how to do a thruster.


25 CrossFit Workouts With Thrusters

Let the pain begin, here are 25 brutal CrossFit Thruster workouts that will have you on your knees.

#1 The Seven

7 Rounds for time of:

  • 7 Handstand Push-Ups
  • 7 Thrusters (135/95 lb)
  • 7 Knees-to-Elbows
  • 7 Deadlifts (245/165 lb)
  • 7 Burpees
  • 7 Kettlebell Swings (2/1.5 pood)
  • 7 Pull-Ups

We are going to kick this list off with one of my favorite CrossFit workouts. The Seven is no joke. Heavy thrusters, heavy deadlifts, heavy kettlebell swing and burpees make this workout just brutal. This WOD is hell to go through but you will feel like a god when it is over.


#2 Dumbbell Run

For time

  • Run 400 Meters
  • 20 Dumbbell Burpees and Presses (2×50/35 lb)
  • Run 400 Meters
  • 20 Dumbbell Thrusters (2×50/35 lb)
  • Run 400 Meters
  • 20 Dumbbell Clean-and-Presses (2×50/35 lb)
  • Run 400 Meters

This workout isn’t as heavy-duty as The Seven but it is some nice cardio to help you build a better engine.


#3 Omar

For Time

  • 10 Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • 15 Bar-Facing Burpees
  • 20 Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • 25 Bar-Facing Burpees
  • 30 Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • 35 Bar-Facing Burpees

Omar is a Hero WOD done to honor U.S. Army First Lieutenant Omar Vazquez, 25, he died from injuries suffered April 22, 2011, when insurgents in Numaniyah, Iraq, attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

Thrusters and burpees together, you know this one is going to be brutal. Don’t forget to have a barf bucket nearby.


#4 Fran

21-15-9 Reps For Time

  • Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • Pull-Ups

There is no way we could do this list and not include Fran. Fran is likely the most well known WOD there is in CrossFit. It is a shorter WOD, many advanced crosffitters can do this workout in 3 minutes or less, That doesn’t mean it is any less brutal though. Fran is one of those workouts that will have you thinking  “why in the hell am I doing this?”


#5 Ultimate Warrior

21-15-9 Reps For Time

  • Thrusters (135/95 lb)
  • Bar Muscle-Ups

Obviously, this workout featuring heavy thrusters and bar muscle-ups is for more advanced lifters. It is a benchmark WOD at CtossFit New England, it’s a box that has been a training ground for many CrossFit champs.

If you don’t think you can do this then you probably can’t, no shame.


Related: 25 Brutal EMOM Workouts That Will Crush You


#6 Andrew Desperito

For time

  • 2000 meter Row
  • 50 Thrusters (135/95 lb)
  • 2000 meter Row

This Hero WOD is named after Andrew Desperito, a New York City firefighter who was killed on September 11, 2001.

Here is another thruster WOD that looks totally brutal. 50 heavy thrusters and 4ooo meters of rowing. Scale back on the weight for the thrusters if necessary.

Thrusters girl

#7 Coe

10 Rounds For Time

  • 10 Thrusters (95 lbs)
  • 10 Ring Push-Ups

This Hero WOD is done in honor of US Army Sgt. Keith Adam Coe, 30, of Auburndale, FL, who died April 27th, 2010, in Khalis, Iraq, of injuries sustained when enemy forces attacked his unit with an explosive device.

This is another more for intermediate to advanced lifters. Many people out there can’t do ring push-ups, let alone 10 reps for 10 rounds. Substitute regular push-ups if needed.


#8 Jackie

For time:

  • 1,000 Meter Row
  • 50 Thrusters (45/35 lb bar)
  • 30 Pull-Ups

Jackie is another one of the girls” workouts that are so infamous in CrossFit.

The thrusters are light with this workout, the most difficult part of this workout for some may be the pull-ups.


#9 Dae Han

3 Rounds for time

  • 800 meter Weighted Run (45/35 lb barbell)
  • 3 Rope Climbs (15 ft)
  • 12 Thrusters (135/95 lb

This Hero WOD is done to honor U.S. Army Sergeant Dae Han Park, 36, of Watertown, CT, who died on March 12, 2011 in Wardak province, Afghanistan, from injuries suffered when enemy forces attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device.

The thrusters on this one are pretty heavy, especially after 3 rope climbs. Don’t let the fact that this WOD is only 3 rounds trick you into thinking it is easy, it’s not.


#10 Brian McAleese

For time

  • 75 Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • At the top of each minute perform:
  • 20 Double-Unders

This Hero WOD is done to honor Brian McAleesewho worked for FDNY who was killed on September 11, 2001.

This workout is another tough one, as is every Hero WOD. If you can’t do double under just go with 50 regular rope jumps also scale back the weight if necessary.


#11 Mark Whitford

4 Rounds for Time

  • 15 Dumbbell Thrusters (2×40/20 lb)
  • 50-meter Dumbbell Overhead Walking Lunges (2×40/20 lb)

This Hero WOD is done to honor Mark Whitford, FDNY, Engine 23, who was killed on September 11, 2001.

This WOD will blast your legs like nothing else. Be ready to have jelly legs when you are done with this bad boy.

thrusters workouts

#12 Crossfit Open 20.2

20-minute AMRAP

  • 4 Dumbbell thrusters (30/35 lb)
  • 6 Toes to bar
  • 24 double-unders – (50 singles if you can’t do double-unders)

While this workout doesn’t look easy, it is one of the easier ones on the list. Consider starting with this one if you are a beginner.


Related: 21 Brutal AMRAP Workouts


#13 CrossFit Open 18.5

7 minute AMRAP

  • 3 Thrusters (100/65 lb)
  • 3 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
  • 6 Thrusters (100/65 lb)
  • 6 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
  • 9 Thrusters (100/65 lb)
  • 9 Chest-to-Bar Pull-Ups
  • If you complete the round of 9, complete a round of 12, then go on to 15, etc.

This WOD is on the shorter side so try not to pace yourself too much or you won’t do as well as you could.


#14 T.J.

For time:
185-lb. bench presses, 10 reps
10 strict pull-ups
135-lb. thrusters, max set

Repeat until you have completed 100 Thrusters.

This workout is no joke which is why we have it on our list of the 20 most brutal CrossFit workouts on the planet. TJ is a workout that many people won’t finish without scaling it back.


#15 Tommy V

For Time

  • 21 Thrusters (115/75 lb)
  • 12 Rope Climbs (15 ft)
  • 15 Thrusters (115/75 lb)
  • 9 Rope Climbs (15 ft)
  • 9 Thrusters (115/75 lb)
  • 6 Rope Climbs (15 ft)


This Hero WOD is done to honor Senior Chief Petty Officer Thomas J. Valentine who was killed in a training accident in Arizona.

Moderately heavy thrusters and some serious rope climbing make this workout pretty challenging. Elite crossfitters can do this workout in about 8 minutes or so,  Beginners are looking at about 20 minutes or more, everyone else should finish somewhere in between.

Dumbbell thruster guy

#16 Stephen Harrell

7 Rounds for Time

  • 5 Overhead Squats (95/65 lb)
  • Max Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • 2-minute Rest

This Hero WOD is done to honor Stephen Harrell, FDNY who was killed in the World Trade Center attack on September 11, 2001.

If you are looking for a workout that will absolutely crush your legs and shoulders then this would be the one for you.


#17 Top Gun

  • 20 Thrusters (135/95 lb)
  • 20 Sumo Deadlift High-Pulls (135/95 lb)
  • 20 Push Jerks (135/95 lb)
  • 20 Overhead Squats (135/95 lb)
  • 20 Front Squats (135/95 lb)

Perform 4 Burpees to start, and every minute on the minute.

Top Gun is easily one of the most brutal WODs on the list. It reminds me a bit of Kaslu, which will be talking about at number 25.


#18 Thomas W Kelly

15-12-9 Reps for Time

  • Thrusters (155/105 lb)
  • Weighted Strict Pull-Ups (45/25 lb)

This Hero WOD is done to honor  Thomas Kelly, FDNY, Ladder 105, who was killed on September 11, 2001.

If you like heavy thrusters then this is the workout for you, this WOD features the heaviest thrusters on the list.


#19 Daniel

For Time

  • 50 Pull-Ups
  • 400 meter Run
  • 21 Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • 800 meter Run
  • 21 Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • 400 meter Run
  • 50 Pull-Ups

This Hero WOD is done to honor Army Sgt 1st Class Daniel Crabtree who was killed in Al Kut, Iraq on Thursday, June 8th, 2006.

Wnat a better engine? this WOD will help to build it.


#20 Holbrook

10 Rounds For Time

  • 5 Thrusters (115/85 lb)
  • 10 Pull-Ups
  • 100-meter Sprint
  • 1-minute Rest

This Hero WOD is done to honor US Army Captain Jason Holbrook, who was killed on July 29th, 2010 in Tsagay, Afghanistan when insurgents attacked his vehicle with an improvised explosive device.

It’s always nice to see a wood that has a 1-minute rest at the end of the round. Too bad the minute feels more like 15 seconds but it’s still nice,


#21 Legion of Doom

10-minute AMRAP

  • 2 Thrusters (95/65 lb)
  • 4 Burpees

Add two reps after each round.

Be happy that this one is only 10 minutes long because it is brutal, as all workouts that feature burpees and thrusters generally do.

thrusters meme

#22 Tom

25-minute AMRAP

  • 7 Muscle-Ups
  • 11 Thrusters (155/105 lb)
  • 14 Toes-to-Bar

This Hero WOD is done to honor U.S. Army First Lieutenant Thomas M. Martin who was killed on October 14, 2007 in Al Busayifi, Iraq, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.

155 lb thrusters, muscle-ups and toes-to-bar for 25 minutes. OUCH!


#23 Fast and Heavy

For time

  • 21 Dumbbell Thrusters
  • 400 meter Run
  • 18 Dumbbell Thrusters
  • 400 meter Run
  • 15 Dumbbell Thrusters
  • 400 meter Run

For this workout, you should choose dumbbells that are heavy but that you can still move fast, as the name of the workout implies.


#24 Swink

For Time

  • 1 mile Run
  • 27 Bench Presses (70%)
  • 27 Handstand Push-Ups
  • 27 Dumbbell Thrusters (2 x 50/35 lb)
  • 27 Knees-to-Elbows
  • 27 Deadlift (155/105 lb)
  • 1 mile Run

This Hero WOD is done to honor Navy Hospital Corpsman 3rd Class James M. Swink Died who died August 27, 2010, while serving during Operation Enduring Freedom 20, of Yucca Valley, California.

This WOD has some nice variety to it to keep it from getting monotonous, your upper body should be pretty fried once you finish this bad boy, especially your shoulders.


#25 Kalsu

Every minute on the minute

  • 5 burpees
  • Max rep thrusters  135/95 lbs

Continue until you reach 100 thrusters.

This Hero WOD is done to honor  1st Lt. James Robert Kalsu, U.S. Army, who was killed in action on July 21, 1970 in the A Shau Valley, Vietnam.

Kalsu was originally a CrossFit Football workout. CrossFit Football doesn’t exist anymore but the workout lives on.

This is easily one of the hardest if not the hardest WOD in all of CrossFit.

The best way to tackle this beast is to have a set number of thrusters you want to complete each round and stick to it. If you do just 5 thrusters per minute you can finish in 20 minutes. That’s easier said than done though, it will be easy to get 5 thrusters for the 5 minutes or so, after that it’s gonna be tough.

Scale back this one if you need to which many of you will. Scale back option:

  • EMOM
  • 5 burpees
  • Max rep thrusters  95/65 lbs

Continue until you reach 100 thrusters

Still too hard? Scale back to 3 burpees per minute or drop the weight even further.



Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments