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12 Days Of Christmas Wod

History and Origin of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

The Tradition of the “12 Days of Christmas”

The “12 Days of Christmas” is a popular holiday song that originated in Western Europe during the 16th century. This song, also known as “Twelve Days of Christmas,” describes a series of gifts given from one person to another over the course of twelve days. While the true meaning and origins of the song are often debated, it has become a well-known holiday tradition in many countries.

The Evolution into a CrossFit WOD

In recent years, the concept of the “12 Days of Christmas” has been adopted by the CrossFit community as a challenging workout of the day (WOD). This workout is typically performed during the holiday season and features a series of exercises performed in a specific order, mirroring the structure of the song.

CrossFit’s Connection to the WOD

CrossFit is a high-intensity fitness program that combines elements of weightlifting, cardio, and gymnastics. One of the hallmarks of CrossFit is the variety of workouts offered, known as WODs. These workouts are designed to challenge participants physically and mentally, pushing them to their limits.

The Inspiration behind the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is a unique twist on traditional CrossFit workouts. It was created to add a festive element to training during the holiday season while still maintaining the intensity and challenge that CrossFit is known for. By incorporating the structure of the song, athletes are able to complete a series of exercises in a fun and engaging way.

Popularity and Spread of the WOD

Over the years, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD has gained popularity among CrossFit enthusiasts worldwide. It is often programmed in CrossFit gyms during the holiday season, providing participants with an exciting and challenging workout experience. Additionally, the WOD has been embraced by fitness enthusiasts outside of the CrossFit community, further contributing to its growing popularity.

Maintaining the Holiday Spirit

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD not only offers a physical challenge but also allows athletes to embrace the holiday spirit. By incorporating exercises and movements that are characteristic of the season, such as burpees representing jumping jacks and sit-ups representing jingle bells, the WOD adds a festive twist to the workout.

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is a creative and challenging workout that combines the holiday spirit with the intensity of CrossFit training. It has become a beloved tradition among fitness enthusiasts, providing a unique and festive way to stay active during the holiday season. Whether you’re a CrossFit enthusiast or simply looking for a fun and challenging workout, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD offers a great way to get into the holiday spirit while pushing your physical limits.

Workouts and Exercises Included in the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

Overview of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD (Workout of the Day) is a popular holiday-themed workout that combines a variety of exercises to challenge and test an individual’s fitness levels. It is a time-based workout that follows the structure of the traditional song, with the number of repetitions increasing with each round.

Structure and Progression

The workout is performed in a sequence similar to the song’s lyrics, starting with the first day and adding an additional exercise each day until the twelfth day. Each day of the workout is completed in ascending order, with the first day consisting of one exercise and the twelfth day including twelve exercises.

Sample Exercises

  1. One Thruster: The first exercise of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is typically a thruster. This compound movement targets multiple muscle groups, including the legs, shoulders, and core. It involves performing a squat followed by an overhead press using a barbell or dumbbells.
  2. Two Box Jumps: The second exercise is box jumps, which focus on explosive leg power and coordination. Participants jump onto a sturdy box or platform, ensuring proper form and landing.
  3. Three Handstand Push-ups: Handstand push-ups challenge the upper body, specifically the shoulders and triceps. Participants kick up into a handstand against a wall and lower their head to the ground, then press back up to the starting position.
  4. Four Burpees: Burpees are a full-body exercise that combines a squat, push-up, and jump. Participants start in a standing position, squat down, kick their feet back into a plank position, perform a push-up, jump their feet forward, and explode up into a jump.

Exercises Progression

As the days progress, participants repeat the exercises from the previous days before moving on to the new ones. For example, on the fourth day, participants would perform four burpees, three handstand push-ups, two box jumps, and one thruster. The workout continues to build up until the twelfth day, which includes twelve exercises performed in sequence.

Benefits of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD offers several benefits, including:

  1. Full-Body Workout: The workout targets various muscle groups, providing participants with a comprehensive full-body workout.
  2. Cardiovascular Endurance: The fast-paced nature of the workout promotes cardiovascular endurance and helps improve overall heart health.
  3. Strength and Power: The combination of compound movements and bodyweight exercises helps develop strength and power in the muscles.
  4. Mental Toughness: Completing this challenging workout requires mental resilience and perseverance, fostering mental toughness.

Challenges of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

While the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD offers many benefits, it also poses some challenges:

  1. Intensity: The workout can be physically demanding, particularly for beginners or individuals who are not accustomed to high-intensity exercises.
  2. Increased Fatigue: With each passing day, the number of repetitions and exercises increases, which adds to the fatigue experienced during the workout.
  3. Proper Form: Maintaining proper form throughout the workout is crucial to prevent injuries. Fatigue can sometimes lead to compromised form, increasing the risk of accidents.

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is a challenging and rewarding holiday-themed workout that incorporates various exercises to improve strength, endurance, and mental resilience. Incorporating this WOD into your fitness routine can add a festive twist to your workouts and help you stay on track during the holiday season.

Benefits and Challenges of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

Benefits of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD offers numerous benefits for athletes of all fitness levels. Here are some of the advantages it provides:

1. Full-body workout

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is a comprehensive workout that targets different muscle groups in your body. Each exercise in the workout engages multiple muscle groups, helping you achieve an overall body workout.

2. Cardiovascular endurance

The continuous nature of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD, which involves performing multiple exercises back-to-back, helps improve cardiovascular endurance. This workout challenges your heart and lungs, allowing you to build stamina and improve your aerobic capacity.

3. Mental toughness

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is not only physically demanding but also mentally challenging. Pushing through the workout tests your mental fortitude and helps you develop mental toughness. This mental resilience can translate to other areas of your life, boosting your confidence and determination.

4. Time-efficient

Despite its intensity, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is a time-efficient workout. It combines multiple exercises into a single session, saving you time in your training routine. This makes it ideal for those with busy schedules who still want to reap the benefits of a challenging workout.

5. Variation and fun

One of the key advantages of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is the variety it offers. With twelve different exercises, you can experience a wide range of movements and work different muscle groups. The repetitive nature of the workout also adds an element of fun and excitement, keeping you motivated and engaged throughout.

Challenges of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

While the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD has numerous benefits, it also presents some challenges that athletes should be aware of:

1. High intensity

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is a high-intensity workout that requires a certain level of fitness and conditioning. It is not recommended for beginners or individuals who are new to exercise. It is important to have a solid foundation of strength and endurance before attempting this workout.

2. Risk of overexertion

Due to the high-intensity nature of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD, there is a risk of overexertion and injury, especially if proper form and technique are not maintained throughout. It is crucial to listen to your body, rest when needed, and consult with a coach or trainer if you are unsure about the exercises or your fitness level.

3. Muscle soreness and fatigue

Engaging in the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD can lead to muscle soreness and fatigue, especially if you are not accustomed to intense workouts. It is important to allow sufficient rest and recovery days to avoid overtraining and promote muscle repair and growth.

4. Mental endurance

As mentioned earlier, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD not only challenges you physically but also mentally. The mental endurance required to complete this workout can be demanding, especially as the fatigue sets in. Mental preparation and positive self-talk can help overcome the mental hurdles and push through to the finish.

5. Individual fitness levels

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD can be modified to accommodate various fitness levels. Nevertheless, it may still be too challenging for some individuals, depending on their fitness background and personal limitations. It is important to listen to your body and scale or modify the workout as needed to avoid injury and ensure a safe yet challenging experience.

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD offers a range of benefits, including a full-body workout, improved cardiovascular endurance, mental toughness, time-efficiency, and variation. However, it also poses challenges such as high intensity, risk of overexertion, muscle soreness, mental endurance, and individual fitness levels. By understanding these benefits and challenges, athletes can make informed decisions when incorporating the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD into their training routine.

Variations and Modifications of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

Scaling Options

When it comes to the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD, there are various scaling options available to accommodate different fitness levels and abilities. Here are some common modifications that can be made to the workout:

1. Decrease Repetitions

One simple way to modify the WOD is by decreasing the number of repetitions for each exercise. For example, instead of doing 12 thrusters, you can start with a lower number like 6 or 8. This allows beginners or those with limited strength or endurance to still participate in the workout.

2. Modify Intensity

For individuals who are not yet comfortable with the prescribed weights or movements, reducing the intensity can be a suitable modification. This can be achieved by using lighter weights, performing scaled versions of the exercises, or substituting certain movements altogether.

3. Time Cap

To ensure that the workout remains challenging yet manageable, a time cap can be imposed. This means that participants will have a designated time limit within which to complete as many rounds as possible. For instance, a 30-minute time cap can be set, and individuals strive to complete as many rounds as possible within that time frame.

4. Partner or Team Version

To add a sense of camaraderie and encouragement, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD can be performed with a partner or in a team format. In this variation, each person takes turns completing one exercise before moving onto the next. This allows for rest and recovery between exercises and can help distribute the workload.

Equipment Modifications

While the traditional “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is typically done with certain equipment, there are alternative options available for those without access to specific gear. Here are some equipment modifications that can be made:

1. Dumbbells or Kettlebells

If you don’t have access to a barbell or a specific piece of equipment, dumbbells or kettlebells can be used as substitutes. For example, instead of barbell thrusters, you can perform dumbbell thrusters or kettlebell squats.

2. Bodyweight Exercises

No equipment? No problem! The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD can be adapted to include bodyweight exercises. Push-ups, air squats, lunges, burpees, and sit-ups can all be incorporated into the workout, making it accessible to anyone, anywhere.

Theme-Based Variations

To add a fun twist to the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD, some gyms or fitness communities create theme-based versions. These variations infuse creativity and excitement into the workout, making it more entertaining. Here are a few examples:

1. Holiday-Themed Movements

In this variation, the exercises are modified to align with the holiday season. Instead of, or in addition to, traditional CrossFit movements, participants can perform exercises like reindeer jumps, present slams, or Santa squats. This adds a festive touch to the workout and enhances the holiday spirit.

2. Song-Inspired Modifications

Another way to make the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD more engaging is to create exercises corresponding to each verse of the song. For example, on the first day, participants could perform one minute of plank holds. On the second day, it could be two minutes of jump squats, and so on. This variation adds a musical element and helps individuals remember which exercise to perform on each day.

Customized Challenges

Some individuals and gyms take the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD to the next level by creating their own custom challenges. These challenges may include additional exercises, longer time frames, or specific rep schemes. This allows for personalization and keeps participants motivated to push their limits.

By offering a range of variations and modifications, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD becomes accessible to a wider audience, empowering individuals of all fitness levels to participate and experience the benefits of this challenging workout. Remember to consult with a fitness professional or coach to determine the most suitable modifications based on your abilities and goals.

Tips and Strategies for Successfully Completing the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD

1. Plan and Pace Yourself

When tackling the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD, it’s crucial to have a game plan in place. Before starting the workout, take a moment to break down the movements, reps, and rounds. Decide on a strategy for each exercise and how you will pace yourself throughout the workout. This will help you stay focused and prevent burnout early on.

2. Warm-Up Properly

To ensure optimal performance and reduce the risk of injury, it’s essential to warm up properly before diving into the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD. Start with some dynamic stretches to loosen up your muscles and increase your heart rate. Incorporate movements that mimic the exercises you will be performing, gradually increasing the intensity. A well-rounded warm-up will prepare your body for the demanding workout ahead.

3. Break Up Reps Strategically

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD can be mentally and physically challenging, especially as the number of reps increases with each round. To prevent fatigue, consider breaking up the reps strategically. For example, if the workout calls for 12 reps of each exercise, you could break it down into sets of four or six. Experiment with different rep schemes to find what works best for you. Remember, it’s okay to take short breaks between sets to catch your breath and recover.

4. Maintain Proper Form

As fatigue sets in during the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD, it can be tempting to sacrifice form to complete the exercises more quickly. However, maintaining proper form is crucial for both safety and effectiveness. Focus on performing each movement with the correct technique and range of motion. If you find your form deteriorating, take a moment to reset and regain control before continuing.

5. Hydrate and Fuel Your Body

During a challenging workout like the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD, it’s important to stay hydrated and fuel your body appropriately. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after the workout to replenish fluids lost through sweat. Fuel up with a balanced pre-workout meal or snack to provide your body with the necessary energy. Consider incorporating complex carbohydrates and lean protein to support endurance and muscle recovery.

6. Use Efficient Transitions

Efficient transitions between exercises can make a significant difference in your overall time and performance during the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD. Minimize downtime by planning out your transitions in advance. For example, if the workout involves moving from a barbell exercise to a bodyweight movement, position yourself near the equipment you’ll need next. Practice seamless transitions during your training to improve your efficiency on the day of the workout.

7. Embrace the Festive Spirit

The “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is often done during the holiday season, adding an extra element of fun and camaraderie. Embrace the festive spirit and use it as motivation to push through the workout. Encourage and cheer on your fellow participants, and consider dressing up in holiday-themed workout attire. The positive and supportive atmosphere can help you stay motivated and push harder during the workout.

8. Track Your Progress

To measure your progress and evaluate your performance, track your results each time you do the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD. Record your time, rounds completed, and any modifications you made. By tracking your progress, you can identify areas for improvement and set goals for future workouts. Additionally, seeing your progress over time can provide a sense of accomplishment and motivation to keep pushing yourself.

Remember, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is a challenging workout that requires mental resilience and physical stamina. With proper planning, strategy, and execution, you can conquer this WOD and reap the rewards of improved strength, endurance, and overall fitness. Stay focused, listen to your body, and have fun with this festive workout tradition!


In conclusion, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is a challenging but rewarding workout that has gained popularity in the fitness community. With its origins rooted in the Christmas carol, this workout combines various exercises to create a unique and fun fitness experience.

The history and origin of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD date back to the popular Christmas carol of the same name. Originally, this workout was designed to be performed over the course of 12 consecutive days, with the number of repetitions for each exercise increasing each day. It was a way to keep athletes engaged and motivated during the holiday season, while also incorporating a festive theme into their fitness routine.

The workouts and exercises included in the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD are diverse and challenging. The exercises can vary depending on the specific version of the WOD, but common examples include burpees, kettlebell swings, pull-ups, lunges, and wall balls. These exercises target different muscle groups and provide a full-body workout, ensuring that participants get a comprehensive and effective training session.

Participating in the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD comes with many benefits, including improved strength, endurance, and cardiovascular health. The high-intensity nature of the workout helps to burn calories and increase overall fitness levels. Additionally, the festive aspect of the workout adds an element of fun and excitement, making it an enjoyable and memorable experience for participants.

However, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD also presents its fair share of challenges. The increasing number of repetitions for each exercise can be physically demanding and mentally taxing. Participants may experience muscle fatigue and exhaustion as they progress through the workout. It requires determination, mental strength, and proper pacing to successfully complete the WOD.

There are also variations and modifications of the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD to accommodate different fitness levels and individual preferences. Some variations may include scaling down the number of exercises, reducing the repetitions, or using lighter weights. These modifications allow beginners and individuals with specific limitations to participate and reap the benefits of the workout while avoiding unnecessary strain or injury.

To successfully complete the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD, it is important to have a solid strategy and follow some key tips. This includes pacing oneself, focusing on proper form and technique, and listening to one’s body. Starting with a realistic and manageable approach is crucial, as it enables participants to maintain consistency and reduce the risk of burnout or injury. Staying hydrated, warming up adequately, and allowing enough recovery time between workouts are also vital for optimal performance and overall wellbeing.

In conclusion, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is a challenging and festive workout that offers a unique fitness experience. Its history, exercises, benefits, challenges, variations, and tips all contribute to its appeal and popularity among fitness enthusiasts. Whether you are looking to spice up your holiday workout routine, improve your fitness levels, or simply have fun, the “12 Days of Christmas” WOD is worth considering. Embrace the challenge, enjoy the festivities, and get ready to sweat your way into the holiday season.