2017 CrossFit Fitness Report

2018 is finally here, we made it! As we reflect back on everything that’s happened, one thing is for sure- there’s been a whole lot of fitness! The #BTWB Community has been busy chasing gains, settings PR’s and working towards being the best they can be. With a ton of fitness comes a ton of data and we’ve got a lot to share! Let’s see what the community has been up to this year.

Top 50 Movements

1. Snatch (inc. Squat and Power) 26. AbMat Sit-up
2. Back Squat 27. Hang Power Clean
3. Deadlift 28. Shoulder Press
4. Clean (inc. Squat and Power) 29. Assault Bike Calories
5. Row 30. Burpee Box Jump Over
6. Front Squat 31. Dumbbell Snatch
7. Run 32. Muscle-Up
8. Pull-Up (Strict & Kipping) 33. Bar Facing Burpee
9. Jump Rope (Double & Single Unders) 34. Rope Climb
10. Bench Press 35. GHD Sit-Up
11. Clean & Jerk 36. Hang Power Snatch
12. Wall Ball 37. Ring Dip
13. Shoulder Press 38. Dumbbell Power Clean
14. Push Press 39. Dumbbell Front Rack Walking Lunge
15. Jerk 40. Bar Muscle-Up
16. Thruster 41. Shoulder-to-Overhead
17. Overhead Squat 42. Hang Squat Clean
18. Toes-to-bar 43. Box Jump Over
19. Burpee 44. Sumo Deadlift
20. Handstand Push-up (Strict & Kipping) 45. Snatch Pull
21. Push-Up 46. Snatch Balance
22. Box Jump 47. Sumo Deadlift High-Pull
23. Kettlebell Swing 48. Clean Pull
24. Chest-to-bar Pull-up 49. Ring Row
25. Air Squat 50. Bent Over Barbell Row

The top movement list entrenches that 2017 was the “Year of the Snatch.”  While 2016 had Back Squats, and 2015 had Pull-Ups in the #1 spot, snatches became the most logged movement on btwb world wide this year. Not only is Snatch at the top, but hang variations of the movement as well as accessory lifts (Snatch Pull, Snatch Balance etc.) are also in the top 50. We all know CrossFitters love to lift, but they made 2017 the year to dial in their Snatching.

Lifting has been at the top of the list for a handful of these past years, but back in 2012, Run was #1. Will a monostructural movement be at the top again some day?

Of the Top 50 Movements, 54% are Weightlifting, 38% are Gymnastics, and only 8% are Monostructural. Granted, there are much fewer unique Monostrutural movements compared to the other two.

The top 10 movements can all be done with just a barbell, jump-rope, and yourself. You don’t need all this elaborate, complicated equipment to be insanely fit. Often times people forget that keeping it simple is the best recipe for success. Even a workout like “Bottom-to-Bottom Tabata Air Squats” is a grueling leg suck-fest. For those unfamiliar, Tabata Intervals are 20 seconds on, 10 seconds off, for 8 intervals (4 minutes total). The “Bottom-to-Bottom” part is a twist that means your Air Squats start and end at the bottom position of your Squat. So instead of resting easily during the 10 second break between intervals, you’re actively holding the bottom of your squat. Give it a whirl to work off those extra holiday treats!

Top 20 MetCons

1. CrossFit Games Open 17.1 11. CrossFit Games Open 17.3
2. Fran 12. Murph
3. Annie 13. Diane
4. Helen 14. DT
5. CrossFit Games Open 16.4 / 17.4 15. Isabel
6. Grace 16. Fight Gone Bad
7. CrossFit Games Open 17.2 17. Karen
8. Jackie 18. Nancy
9. CrossFit Games Open 17.5 19. The Chief
10. Cindy 20. Kelly

Benchmark workouts are a staple in CrossFit. We ask someone “What’s your Fran?” to size them up in the gym. We regularly test and retest workouts to get a quantifiable look at how much we’ve improved. It’s a great feeling when you collapse at the end of your workout and glance up at the clock to see you’ve shaved 2:00 off your Grace. All that hard work comes to fruition. Success.

Of the top 20 workouts, 40% of them were Girl benchmarks. All 5 of the 2017 CrossFit Games Open workouts landed in the top as well, making up 25%.

The order of Open workouts in the top 20 are interesting. These numbers are based off the Prescribed variation of the workouts. 17.1 was very “new-to-CrossFit” friendly and is the top workout of the year, where as 17.2 brought out the muscle-ups right away, which may have led people to favor a Scaled version of the workout instead, putting it at 7th, with even 17.4 ahead of it in 5th.

What kind of workout is everyone favoring? The characteristics of the Top 20 Workouts point to a:

  • Timed
  • High Rep
  • Medium Duration
  • Medium Load
  • Gymnastics & Weightlifting
  • Couplet

Couplets (workouts consisting of just 2 movements) are a staple in CrossFit so there’s no surprise here. The classic “Fran” Girl Benchmark consists of Thrusters and Pull-Ups; a simple combination that allows for the high intensity red-lining suck-fest that got us hooked to CrossFit in the first place.

There is plenty of time within an hour session to warm up, practice a basic
movement or skill or pursue a new PR or max lift, discuss and critique the
athletes’ efforts, and then pound out a tight little couplet or triplet…
Greg Glassman, CrossFit Journal

It’s also a no-brainer that Murph made the list. Murph is one of the most well known Hero workouts from CrossFit and was even the most Googled workout of all of 2017.

CrossFit as a whole is constantly changing and evolving. From the beginning Coach Glassman has said it’s about “constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains”. We should be seeing a change in popular workouts and movements from year to year, and we are. We might look like we’ve done a lot of weightlifting, but we’ve done a whole lot of everything else. From pushing to the limit on those AMRAPs to squeezing out every last pound on our snatch.

What’s on your list of goals for the new year in 2018?

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Filed under: Beyond The Whiteboard, CF Community, CrossFit

About the Author

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I've been CrossFitting since 2007, originating from a small garage gym in Southern California called CrossFit Kinnick. Relocated to Brooklyn and now a member of Brick CrossFit. Obsessed with fitness, health, science, and all things related.