CrossFit workouts are meant to be 1) constantly varied, 2) performed at high intensity, and 3) comprised of functional movements. One way we achieve the “constantly varied” component of this formula is by changing up the format of the workout. A format that is commonly used is the “chipper”-style WOD. But what is a CrossFit chipper? In this blog, we’ll chip away any confusion about what chippers are by explaining how they work and why they’re a valuable addition to your training arsenal.
Understanding the CrossFit Chipper
A CrossFit chipper is a type of workout with a set number of repetitions that are completed for time. Typically, it consists of one round of multiple exercises performed in succession. This means all reps of one movement must be completed before starting the next. The name “chipper” hints at the goal of chipping away at the reps. The workout is over when you finish one round of all the prescribed movements. This differs from other WOD formats, such as “AMRAPs,” where you have a set amount of time to complete As Many Rounds (or Reps) As Possible (AMRAP) of the prescribed movements. With their high repetitions and lack of built-in rest periods, chippers aim to challenge your endurance, strength, and mental toughness.
Sample Chipper Workout
“Filthy Fifty” is a classic chipper-style workout well-known by the CrossFit community. It consists of 10 different movements, each performed for 50 reps. All reps of one movement must be completed before proceeding to the next movement. The workout is done for time and programmed as follows:
- 50 Box Jumps
- 50 Jumping Pull-Ups
- 50 Kettlebell Swings
- 50 Walking Lunges
- 50 Knees to Elbow
- 50 Push Presses
- 50 Back Extensions
- 50 Wall Ball Shots
- 50 Burpees
- 50 Double Unders
“Filthy Fifty” is just one example. A chipper could consist of any combination of exercises for any number of repetitions. The underlying principles remain the same: only one round of the workout is performed, and each exercise is completed in the prescribed sequence. Try clicking on the circular grey “WODs” button on the bottom left corner of the page to see all the chippers (and other types of workouts) that CrossFit LPF programs!
Benefits of CrossFit Chippers
Chippers are excellent for building both muscular and cardiovascular endurance. The high-repetition, non-stop nature of these WODs pushes your body to the limit, helping you develop better stamina.
Any movement can be programmed into a chipper, and they all can help increase your strength! Furthermore, chippers generally feature multiple movements, thereby targeting multiple muscle groups to promote total body strengthening. This also offers the variety of stimuli necessary to constantly challenge your body, reducing the likelihood of hitting training plateaus.
Completing a chipper can be mentally challenging. As fatigue sets in, you’ll need to dig deep to motivate yourself to finish. The mental toughness this builds is invaluable and can carry over into other aspects of your life. If you can chip away at 75 snatches, you can DEFINITELY chip away at that pile of dirty laundry!
CrossFit chippers are known for providing a full-body workout in a relatively short amount of time. If you have a busy schedule, they can be an efficient way to stay fit.
Tips for Tackling a Chipper
Chippers can be long and intense, therefore pacing is crucial. Start and stay at a sustainable pace to ensure you can make it through the whole workout. Break up high-volume repetitions into smaller, more manageable sets and rest as needed.
Focus on Technique
Maintain proper form to reduce the risk of injury, especially as you get tired. It’s better to perform movements correctly at a slightly slower pace than to rush through with poor form. ALWAYS choose to listen to your body over your ego!
Proper hydration is essential for endurance workouts like chippers. Drink water before and during the workout to avoid dehydration.
Set Realistic Goals
If you’re new to chippers, facing a really challenging set of movements, or having an off day, keep that in mind when setting your goals for the workout. Focus on completing the WOD in a manner that is safe and appropriate for where you’re at in that moment. Maybe that means you won’t be the fastest in the class. However, focusing on moving well today can put you in a better position to try to be the fastest tomorrow! Read more about training with goals in mind here.
Final Thoughts About Chipper WODs
In the world of CrossFit, a chipper is a challenging yet rewarding workout that can push your physical and mental limits. It combines multiple movements, high repetitions, and constant activity to provide a comprehensive fitness experience. So, if you’ve now switched from asking “what is a CrossFit chipper” to “where can I try a CrossFit chipper,” come visit CrossFit LPF! We’d love to lead you through your first (or fiftieth) chipper any time.