Create Your Own CrossFit Games—in Your Backyard

Create Your Own CrossFit Games—in Your Backyard

You don’t need to travel to Badger-land to make like an elite CrossFitter. All you need is some open space, some eager friends, and a few things around your house to hold your own CrossFit Games.

“With a little creativity, you can collect enough gear to have a Games-like competition in your backyard,” says Carl Chu, NASM, a CrossFit Level 2 trainer at Shoreline CrossFit in Branford, Connecticut. Check out his suggestions to craft an awesome event this weekend.

Bodyweight & Plyometrics

Bodyweight moves are always challenging no matter how seasoned an athlete you are, as anyone who’s had to grind out 30 burpees for missing the damn spear throw knows. Fortunately, things like burpees, air squats, lunges, dips, and pushups can be done anywhere.

“For pullups, you can use the ledge of a raised deck, or a sturdy tree branch,” suggests Chu. “And anything solid and stable you can jump onto—a chair, a flat rock, a tailgate—will mimic a box jump.”

Obviously, if you have a barbell and some bumper plates, incorporate those, since in every Games there is a barbell component. But if you don’t own any actual iron, Chu suggests sandbags or bags of soil for moves such as cleans, deadlifts, and shoulder-to-overhead motions. A gallon milk jug filled partway with water or sand can also make a good dumbbell or kettlebell.

Odd Objects & Strongman

“The Games have been doing a lot of strongman stuff lately, so look for anything around your house or yard that is heavy that you can carry or potentially flip over,” says Chu. “A picnic table you don’t care about, car pieces, big tires, logs, buckets filled with sand—all that works.”

You can also make your own odd objects. “This year at the Games they have something they call the cheese curd, a humongous wooden block with a handle,” says Chu. Try filling a tarp filled with rocks, or rigging up an old flying saucer sled with a rope or garden hose to make your own sled pull.

Sprinting & Endurance

Triathlon components have become a staple in the Games, so living close to a body of water will expand your DIY Games potential. “You can run from point A to point B, jump in a lake and swim, then hop on a bicycle and ride back to the start,” says Chu. If you have a boat, canoe, or paddleboard you could even have a shore-to-shore or buoy-to-buoy paddling race.

And as a Spartan racer you could have an advantage in 2017. “This year there is an actual obstacle course at the Games with things like cargo nets, hurdles, wall hops, monkey bars, log carries, and army crawls underneath a mesh of rope,” says Chu. Scope out the course potential in your yard and devise a mini-course your competitors must run through for time. Make it fun, silly, or straight up hard—the design is up to you. Feeling evil? Turn on the hose for a while to saturate the earth and create optimal mud-like conditions.

Let the Games Begin!

Here are some event ideas to check out. Take these WODs and run with them, or use them as a template to create your own challenges. But remember: If you still want to have friends when your Games are over, scale the weight and the movements to suit your competitive field.


6-Minute Death by Burpee

Do the max number of full burpees as possible in six minutes.


Santa’s Sled

3 rounds for time: - 800-meter run - 20-meter sled pull - 20-meter sled push

After they run, competitors will first pull the sled 20 meters hand-over-hand toward them to cross a line, then push it back to the start. Complete three rounds as fast as possible for time.


Woody’s 12-minute AMRAP

  • 200-meter log carry
  • 20 overhead log squats
  • 10 burpees over log

Competitors can carry the log however they want—overhead, on one shoulder, in front of them—for 100 meters down and back. Use the same log to do the overhead squats and burpees. Complete as many rounds as possible in 12 minutes.


Obstacle Course

Run once for time:

  • Sprint 50 yards
  • Jump over a series of trash cans
  • Climb up and down a 12-foot ladder
  • Do 30 seconds of dizzy bat (see below)
  • Carry a heavy bucket up a hill or stairs, then back down to the start
  • Army crawl under a series of pool noodle arches
  • Walk on a narrow plank over mud
  • Run through a tire grid
  • Sprint to the finish

Dizzy bat: Place your forehead on top of a bat with the other end on the ground, then run in a circle around the bat.


Madison Triplet (an actual event of the 2017 Games on Sunday, August 6)

5 rounds for time:

  • Run 450 meters
  • 11 hay-bale (or sandbag) clean burpees