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The Truth About Partner WODs

By Coach Rachelle

I have a confession: When I first started CrossFit, I would 100% avoid partner WODs. You could have put all the things I love about CrossFit into one beautifully programmed WOD but add the phrase “With a partner” to the description and NOPE! Not going!!

What gives!?! Am I antisocial? Nope. Do I dislike people? Not at all. Do I think I am better than others and therefore refuse to work with anyone? Abso-freakin-lutely NOT!! Unfortunately, I used to suffer from terrible self-esteem. Which, in my early days of CrossFit, meant I was extremely self-conscious about my abilities and skill set as an athlete. I was afraid I would hold a partner back. I was afraid I’d embarrass myself. I was afraid that by being partnered up with someone, my weaknesses would be even more obvious.

But here’s the thing - CrossFit is a no judgment zone. That’s one of the many things that makes it so amazing! We are all here to make ourselves #everydaybetter. And CrossFitters continue to be CrossFitters because we thrive in a community that is supportive and encouraging. Not one that is judgmental and makes you feel inferior.

My dislike for partner WODs was entirely stemming from the negative self-talk in my head and I really needed to change my mentality. Instead of worrying so much about what others may have been thinking of me, I should have been focused on all the benefits of a partner WOD. For starters, partner WODs provide you with the opportunity to do something fun with another human being. It’s an incredible opportunity to get to know other members of the gym better by pushing through a grueling workout together. You might find yourself more motivated being part of a team. You might find that having a partner holds you more accountable to making sure you fully meet movement standards or exhibit proper form. You might find that your partner’s encouragement during a workout can help you push yourself a little bit harder than you might otherwise do on your own. You might even learn something from your partner - It could be how they pace themselves, something noteworthy about their form, or a tip they have for a particular gymnastics skill. 

As soon as I got over my unnecessary fear of judgment, I started appreciating all these things that I stood to gain from working out with a partner. 

My current feelings about partner WODs? Well, assuming there’s no running, they are pretty awesome!