12 Days of CrossFit Christmas

Last week, I spent an entire day listening to Christmas music at work. I’m officially in the spirit! I lean more toward Brian Setzer Orchestra or the wackadoodle covers of WHAM’s “Last Christmas” than traditional carols, but I’ve always found “The Twelve Days of Christmas” hard to resist: Lords a-leaping! Ladies dancing! Maids a-milking (sounds naughty)! And those five gooooooooolden rings…

Image by artist Dean Perry

The song was first published in England, but some scholars believe its origin was in France. The French version is known as “La foi de la loi,” and you can forget about the pear tree. Instead, the true love receives:

  • a good stuffing without bones
  • two breasts of veal
  • three joints of beef
  • four pigs’ trotters
  • five legs of mutton
  • six partridges with cabbage
  • seven spitted rabbits
  • eight plates of salad
  • nine dishes for a chapter of canons
  • ten full casks
  • eleven beautiful full-breasted maidens
  • twelve musketeers with their swords

The first half of the song is practically a dino-chow feast!

Lots of others have customized the lyrics to suit their needs. On a serious note, the Scottish Poet Laureate recently published a timely version that addresses news-worthy topics like war and greedy bankers. For a silly re-write, consider Bob & Doug McKenzie‘s version that included comic books, packs of smokes, and six packs. In 1990, the cast of Twin Peaks sang verses about popular items and people related to the show, including jelly donuts, cherry pies, Laura Palmer’s secret diary, and the one-armed man. Hear it here.

It all got me thinking: What would 12 days of CrossFit gifts look like? Maybe something like this.

On the twelfth day of Christmas, my CrossFit gifts will be…

12 jumping squats
11 kettlebell swings
10 Russian twists
9 supermans
8 wall ball shots
7 power snatches
6 man-makers
5 burpee box jumps
400 meter run
3 handstand pushups
2-minute plank
… and a dead-hang pullup, no band

Jumping squats

KB Swing

Russian Twist


Wall Ball Shots



Burpee Box Jump

400m Run

Handstand Pushup


Ho! Ho! Ho! and Merry, merry! Hope you receive (and give!) some badass CrossFit gifts this year.

hey, Austinites! We’ll be doing this workout Saturday, December 19th in our backyard. Email me if you want to join us!

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  • jencereghino says:

    Awesome post! We will definitely be incorporating this WOD into our holiday workout mix!

    And, the dead hand pull up…sooo close!!! I've got the kip, but want to be able to dead-hang…in case the opportunity arises at my next holiday gathering… http://www.urbangetsdiesel.com/2009/03/got-pull-up.html (LOVE it!).

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hey, Jen! If you do the workout, be sure to write and let me know what you think of it. I'm curious to see what the experience of doing it is like. I think I'm going to insist we sing throughout!

    I have ZERO kip, which is why the deadhang pullup showed in this workout. Dang that kip!

  • Dallas says:

    Mel, that looks like a spectacular workout… to do once a year 😉 (You know how we feel about chippers…) Sub 5 BW deadlifts for burpee box jumps? 😉

    And Jen… Melissa Urban is my business partner (and #1 Trainee!), so I get to hang out with her at the gym a bunch. Keep up the hard work, and your dead hang will come. We'd LOVE to see video of your rockin' DH pullup(s), so record your efforts for us! Pull hard…


  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Dear Scrooge… I mean, Dallas… Yes! Your disdain for chippers is well-documented. And now, I will not sub DLS for burpee box jumps because I LIKE burpee box jumps and this is MY fantasy Christmas workout. I put freaking handstand pushups in there; that should count for something 😉

    Just as I only eat my eye-rollingly delicious Russian teacakes once a year, I promise to only do silly workouts like this on special occasions. Like Christmas. So… neener.

    Merry, merry and bah, humbug. When I talk to Santa, I'll tell him you've mostly been nice.

  • Robbie C says:

    What's the weight for the snatches? Think I'll give this one a go on Christmas morning or Christmas eve.

  • Melissa 'Melicious' Joulwan says:

    Hey, Robbie.

    That's a good question! 😉

    I only have dumbbells at home, so I'll be doing the snatches one-armed, 20-lbs. Have you even done snatches in a met-con before? That should give you a guide for the weight.

    CrossFit HQ had a workout with 1-arm snatches back in August (http://www.crossfit.com/mt-archive2/000131.html) and the weight was a 35-, 55-, or 70-lb. DB.