Every once in a while (okay fairly often) a workout comes along and I think – What dark lord came up with THIS?  Like 21-15-9.  Who thought this was a good rep scheme and dear god, why? 

Turns out, that dark lord is none other than the man himself, CrossFit founder Greg Glassman.  He first came up with the rep scheme in the workout Fran in the 1970’s. Origin story below. 

It’s a great video. In short – he wanted to simulate a workout with weights that was as hard as a 2 minute gymnastics routine. 

Cool story, but still, why 21 reps, 15 reps and then 9?

The best Internet philosopher reasoning I’ve read is that it has to do with “decay rate”.  Which basically says that as the rounds increase you will tire, therefore the decrease in reps will still feel about the same amount of exertion.  In practical terms – the 15 set should feel as tough as the set of 21 felt.  And the last 9 should feel as tough as the 15, and before it the 21.  

The other nice-to-know about this rep scheme is you can break them down evenly into three sets per round:

21 = 7-7-7
15 = 5-5-5
9 = 3-3-3 

Good luck out there!

Workout of the Day 12/6/2016 – Tuesday


A. Maintenance
Push Jerk 5 x 2

B. Met-Con
3 Rounds:
5 Squat Cleans (155#/105#)
5 Push Jerks
10 Box Jumps (30″/24″)

Rest 3 minutes, then…

C. Met-Con
3 Rounds:
5 C2B Pull-Ups
5 Power Snatches (135#/95#)
10 Alternating Pistols

CrossFit Lite

A. Met-Con
400m Run
30 Goblet Squats (1.5 pd/1 pd)
60′ Walking Lunge

CrossFit 101

Deadlift 4-4-4-4-4

10 Deadlifts
10 V-Ups
10 Ring Rows