Who writes these?
GWODs are programmed by Dan Trink, Head Trainer at Peak Performance in NYC, and Tony Gentilcore, co-founder of Cressey Performance in Hudson, MA. Dan and Tony each bring years of training experience with multiple certifications and client lists among the best in the industry. They also happen to be two of the most caring, compassionate trainers out there, which shows in their dedication to quality and each detail. They both have shaved heads, which, beyond leaving them streamlined for performance, is a complete coincidence.
In addition to Tony and Dan, we’ve got a killer team of fitness advisors, consultants, and specialists to provide their expert input on the programming. They’ll also occasionally weigh in with pro tips on everything from lifting to nutrition, so look forward to their nuggets of wisdom published alongside the daily workouts.
Which GWOD (2x, 3x, or 4x per week) should I do?
GWODs are split into three categories: 2, 3, and 4 day per week programs. For those new to strength training, we recommend starting with the 2 or 3 day per week programs depending on your schedule and personal preferences. The 4 day program is intended for those with a strength and conditioning background and is our more “advanced” template.
Do I need to start on a certain day?
All three GWOD programs start on Monday of each week, but feel free to work around your schedule. What’s important is keeping the rest days consistent. For the 2 day program, make sure you have two days in between workouts. For the three day program, leave at least a day between workouts. For the 4 day program, perform the first two workouts on consecutive days, take a rest day, then perform the week’s final two workouts on consecutive days.
Again, GWOD programming isn’t random. Stick with the template as close as possible to reap the maximum benefit.
Who are GWODs for?
Everyone! Men, women, young, old, big, small, short, and tall. GWODs are designed to promote general physical fitness across genders, age groups, and experience levels. Already a gym veteran? Because GWODs are designed to help correct muscle imbalances and improve movement patterns, we promise you’ll still get a ton of benefit from the programs.
Do I need to warm up?
Yes, yes, and yes! We list a “lite” version of a warm-up with each GWOD, though we recommend doing the full, official GWOD warm-up before each workout. A proper warm-up is just as important as the workout itself to prevent injury and promote flexibility, strength, recovery. Unfortunately, it’s also one of the most quickly discarded parts of any fitness routine. The general flow of any safe, effective GWOD session should go 1) Foam Rolling 2) Dynamic Warm-up 3) Resistance Training/Cardio
Here’s the full, official GWOD warm-up:
Start by foam rolling the hip flexors, IT band, hamstrings, glutes, calves, upper back, lats, and chest. (New to foam rolling? We’ve got a guide for you!) For any particularly tight spots (bottom of the foot, hip flexors, and pecs in particular) a tennis or lacrosse ball can provide more triggered release.
Follow that with:
Wall Ankle Mobilization: 8 reps per leg
Wall Hip Flexor Mobilization: 8 reps per leg
Scapular Wall Slides: 10 reps
Split Stance Adductor Mobilization: 8 reps per leg
Quadruped Extension-Rotation: 8 reps per side
Supine Bridge: 10 reps
Pullback Buttkicks: 5 reps per leg
High Knee Walk: 5 reps per leg
Speaking of must-dos, that brings us to the next point...
The Golden Rules
The GWOD Team is a friendly bunch, but that doesn’t mean we can’t dish out some tough love. Below are some basic rules and guidelines to make your workouts as safe, effective, and fun as humanly possible (and we’re always trying to push the “fun” aspect as far as it’ll go).
Write down your weights. This is key to making progress and seeing how you improve over the weeks, months, and (eventually) years.
Put your weights away when finished! And on that note…
Be courteous in the gym. We all have to use it.
QUALITY over QUANTITY. Don’t feel like you have to set world records your first time in the weight room. Performing quality reps and focusing on form is crucial to making progress. Work on form, and we promise you’ll get stronger. A lot of exercises in the GWOD programming aren’t meant to be done with huge weights.
Safety first. Benching? Use a spotter. And common sense.
Progressive overload. This goes back to writing down the weights you use. Strength comes gradually, and your muscles will eventually adapt to weights and get stronger. That means you’ve got to gradually increase the weight you use in order to keep getting stronger. That doesn’t mean adding 100 pounds between workouts, but it does mean staying conscious of what you can comfortably do and occasionally pushing yourself.
How long do GWODs take?
Typically, each session is designed to take around 45 minutes (including warm-up). Maybe slightly more depending on how crowded the gym is, equipment availability, whether or not they're spending more time staring at the hot personal trainer rather than training (it happens).
I see a lot of “A1, A2” sets listed. What does that mean?
Those are supersets, which means doing two different exercises in back-to-back sets with minimal rest. Perform the paired exercises as supersets. For example, perform 1 set of A1, then casually walk to the station for A2, perform that set, then rest 60-90 seconds before repeating.
I’m following a GWOD program. Do I need to do anything else?
GWODs are well-rounded and complete strength and conditioning exercise programs. That said, eating right and giving the body proper rest (aka sleep!) are vital components to any training program.
Will these make me really bulky?
Nope. They will likely put on some muscle, but nothing that’s going to make people say you look like a bodybuilder. Following GWOD programming will boost strength gains and fat loss, so that’s definitely a bonus!
But what if I’m a woman?
While any form of exercise is to be commended, strength training will not only help you build muscle, but also help to MAINTAIN muscle, which is what gives the body its shape, contour, and curves. Muscle is also more dense than fat. Meaning, one pound of muscle takes up less space than one pound of fat. Excess fat is what makes people "bulky," not muscle.
So, no, this won't make you bulky.
Will I need any extra equipment?
GWODs are designed to be performed in a standard gym. We do recommend getting your own foam roller if the local gym doesn’t have extras handy.
Do I need to do extra cardio?
We program GWODs in three-month cycles, meaning sometimes there’s a greater emphasis on strength, whereas other times there’s more of a conditioning element. You’ll get both in every cycle, however, so there’s not really any extra work needed. Though we won’t discourage you from getting in some extracurricular fun outdoors (Frisbee, anyone?).
What about abs? I NEED ABS.
See those full-body movements in our program? All that core and rotational work? Trust us, that’ll get the job done. Plus, are abs really what you want?
What happens if I miss a day?
Missing workouts happens to everyone from time to time, so just pick up where you left off. Don't stress out to much about it. The key is just to get back into the swing of things!
When do you publish the next day's GWODs?
We'll publish the next day's workouts at 8pm EST. So Tuesday's workouts will go up on the site at 8pm Monday.
What if I can’t do one of the exercises listed?
We do our best to provide scaling options to make sure there’s a version suitable for everyone. Feel free to contact us if you’re completely stumped, or leave a question in the comments section of that particular workout. We’ll get back to you shortly.
I’m confused about ________. Is there someone I can talk to?
Yep, and we love hearing from people! Drop us a line at gwod [at] greatist.com.