Team Workout

A selection of tough WODs (workout of the day) based on functional fitness principles.

What is functional fitness?

The hardest workouts aren’t always the ones with the heaviest weights. Functional fitness, which combines strength training and full-body movements, can be tough. Functional fitness is at the core of several training styles you’ll recognise, from callisthenics to CrossFit. The term “functional” tells us what this type of training is about – working the whole body as a unit, through natural movements, to prepare it for everyday tasks.

Why do we call them WODs?

The term WOD comes from CrossFit, referring to the Workout of the Day that you’ll find on the coaching whiteboard in every CrossFit gym in the world. CrossFit is perhaps the most well-known example of functional fitness training for strength, conditioning, and general fitness.

Big benefits of functional fitness workouts

  • Builds strength without a heavy load
  • Improves cardiovascular health
  • Increases mobility and range of motion
  • Burns serious calories for conditioning
  • Encourages proper movement and proprioception
  • Challenges speed and agility
  • Builds mental toughness

7 tough WODs using effective function fitness

1. 20 minutes to hell

Every 4 minutes, complete:

  • 200m run
  • 21 burpees
  • 15 kettlebell swings
  • 9 press ups

Starting at 0:00, complete one round every 4 minutes. Repeat 5 times for a 20 minute workout. If you can’t finish the run, burpees, kettlebell swings and press ups within 4 minutes (ideally you want 15-20 seconds rest) then scale the reps down. This one should really challenge your lungs and mental strength. Remember, it’s only 5 rounds!


2. 5 rounds with a kettlebell

This deceptively simple functional workout uses just one piece of kit – a kettlebell. Use a heavy weight that you can keep moving with, perhaps a 10-12kg for beginners and 16-24kg for stronger people or those with more experience. Set the clock when you start and record your time for all 5 rounds.

For time, 5 rounds of:

  • 20 kettlebell high swings (American swing) – using hip drive, swing the kettlebell overhead and lock out momentarily
  • 15 taters – combining a regular Russian kettlebell swing and a goblet squat
  • 10 alternating single arm snatch
  • 50m front rack carry – hold the kettlebell in front rack position, alternate sides each round
KEttlebell swing

3. DT

This WOD takes the classic CrossFit WOD “DT”. Choose a barbell you can keep moving with for the weakest movement (probably the push jerk). Classic DT is done at 70kgs for men and 45kgs for women, but you must choose a weight you can work with safely. Set a timer and record your time for the 5 rounds of DT plus the skipping finisher.

5 rounds of:

  • 12 deadlifts
  • 9 hang power cleans
  • 6 push jerks

Then complete 100 skips (single skips or double unders if you can do them)

4. Unlucky for some

Set a clock for 13 minutes and record your rounds and reps. This is a fast moving but pretty heavy workout which will challenge your heart and legs.

  • 13 minute AMRAP (do as many rounds and reps as possible)
  • 10 weighted box overs – hold one or two dumbbells and step up and over a box
  • 3 barbell hang cleans – use a barbell weight you can complete the workout with
  • 1 barbell front squat – combine this with the 3rd clean for a fluid movement

5. Partner workout

Grab your training partner to tackle this workout together. Get through the movements a pair (one person working, one person resting at all times) and break it up as you wish.

  • 1031m row


  • 150 box jumps
  • 120 air squats
  • 90 barbell cleans
  • 60 barbell shoulder to overhead
  • 30 barbell back squats
  • 10 pull ups or ring rows

6. 31

Just work your way through the exercises and record your time at the end. There is one plus side (honest), you only have to do each exercise once. Unless you do this workout again next session.

  • 31 burpees
  • 31 air squats
  • 31 pull ups or ring rows
  • 31 press ups
  • 31 lunges
  • 31 plate ground to overhead
  • 31 hanging knee raises
  • 31 calories on equipment of choice

7. The Leg Shaker

Yes, you read that right, this workout has 60 burpees! Thank goodness they’re broken up by a selection of functional fitness classics that will work your entire body from legs to shoulders. Set a timer and record your total time.

  • 10 burpees
  • 31 box jumps or step ups
  • 10 burpees
  • 31 air squats
  • 10 burpees
  • 31 wall balls
  • 10 burpees
  • 31 press ups
  • 10 burpees
  • 31 pull ups or ring rows
  • 10 burpees
  • 31 calories on equipment of choice

Let us know who you get on with these tough WODs!!! Don’t forget to fuel yourself Pre, Intra and Post-workout – You can grab yourself all your workout must-haves here.  Make sure to let us know how you get on with your training program and tag us in your workouts on InstagramFacebook, and Twitter – @phdnutrition.

We love seeing your workouts, recipes, and having you as part of our community. If you want to make sure to check out more of our amazing blogs here or grab yourself some of our other Smart Whey Protein to fuel your workouts even further.