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My First Filthy Fifty + A Paleo Potluck

One of our CrossFit coaches is turning 50 this week and he said the only thing he wanted for his birthday was for everyone to do a WOD with him and have a potluck after. It only made sense that we do the Filthy Fifty in honor of his 50 years.


The Filthy Fifty is a CrossFit benchmark WOD that consists of 50 reps of 10 exercises for a total of 500 reps. The idea behind benchmark WODs is that they give you a measure for your progress over time.


We announced that our Sunday 12:30 p.m. CrossFit class would be Coach Jack’s birthday celebration WOD and asked everyone to bring a dish to share for the potluck after. I showed up hoping to participate in class but found that the gym was packed and we had almost 40 athletes getting ready to do the WOD. I decided to play official photographer and cheer everyone on instead.


How amazing does Jack look for 50? He’s a true testament that eating well, staying active and treating your body right translates to longevity and good health. Jack is a phenomenal athlete and crushes us all in workouts on a regular basis.


He especially loved the walker and cane gag gifts. Luckily, he won’t be needing these things for a long time!


Love our Metro CrossFit community! 🙂

(Side note: you can view the whole album of photos I took from the day on Facebook if you are interested!)


After the workout it was time to eat! We had so many yummy Paleo (and some not so Paleo) dishes to choose from. I loaded up my plate with a little taste of many things.


I also took a couple trips around the dessert table.


And enjoyed some of this amazing Paleo chocolate birthday cake that Jack’s girlfriend baked. It was so chocolatey and delicious!

I was so bummed that I didn’t get to workout with everyone. I had been looking forward to tackling this WOD for days. I decided to go back to the gym later that afternoon to knock it out on my own. I warmed up with a three mile run on the treadmill and then got busy. Here’s the blow by blow…

Box Jumps
I started with the box jumps and knocked out all 50 unbroken. I find it pretty easy to pace myself on box jumps and can usually maintain a steady rhythm with them without getting to winded.

Jumping Pullups
I was so grateful not to have to kip. I feel like I’ve done so many pullups lately and they make me so sore. Jumping pullups were challenging in a different way. They burned out my shoulders and forearms more.

Kettlebell Swings
It was tough to go straight to kettlebell swings after the pullups because I felt like I was losing grip strength but I powered through. This was the first time I felt like my heart rate got really high during the workout.

Walking Lunges
While the walking lunges did burn my legs towards the end, they mostly felt like active recovery and gave me a chance to regain composure after the swings.

Knees to Elbows
From watching everyone earlier in the day, I thought the K2E were going to be super tough and take forever but this is a movement that I can power through for some reason. I’ve really gotten the hang of stringing them together (wish I could say the same thing for toes to bar!) so I did them in 5 sets of 10. It got really tough to hang onto the bar in the late reps but I grunted through!

Push Press
The RX weight is so light for push press in this workout (35# for ladies) that I also felt like these provided a lot of active recovery. I was worried they would burn my shoulders out for wall balls but that wasn’t the case.

Back Extensions
I thought these would be a breeze. I was so wrong. OMG…my hamstrings. I tried to start with sets of 10 and had to rest after 5 once I got past 20. My legs felt like complete jello when I got off the GHD.

Wall Balls
The wall balls were no joke especially coming off of the back extensions. My first set was 15 and I stopped every 10 after that. Wall balls will forever be one of the exercises I love to hate!

I had no illusions that the burpees would be easy. And I knew that going straight to them from wall balls would be extra brutal. They were every bit as terrible as I expected. I am always shocked by how high burpees can drive my heart rate. I did these in 5 sets of 10.

Double Unders
The grand finale was double unders and after RXing my first WOD with them this week I was determined to do it again. It took me a few minutes and there were times that I thought my heart would beat out of my chest but I got them done!

And then I promptly collapsed on the floor. Such a good, fun and diverse workout! It took me 35:33 and I was able to RX so that was exciting. I definitely think I could have moved a little quicker with the energy of a crowd but I was pleased with my solo performance. I had that all over mush feeling as I was sitting on the couch last night. Love it!


Post-workout recovery dinner was a salad with mixed greens, figs, goat cheese, pecans, dried cranberries and lemon pepper wild caught salmon. Yummy.

Have you ever done the Filthy Fifty? 

{ 24 comments… add one }
  • 1
    Shashi @ http://runninsrilankan.com August 19, 2013, 1:56 pm

    Nope – I have never done a “filthy fifty” – Jack does look great at 50!
    When I grow up (hoping I achieve that by 50) I wanna be like him 🙂
    Great looking eats – is there any way you could post that paleo chocolate cake recipe?
    Thanks & Cheers

    • 2
      Jen August 20, 2013, 7:24 am

      yes, the girl who made it sent it to me. i’ll email it to you!

  • 3
    Lisa August 19, 2013, 2:09 pm

    Filthy fifty is dang hard. I did it once and thought I was going to die a little bit afterwards.
    Oh my gosh, all the eats you had this weekend look quite amazing.
    That paleo chocolate cake looks totally delicious.
    So does that green salad though. You can’t go wrong with greens.

    • 4
      Jen August 20, 2013, 7:24 am

      cake + salad = perfect balance! 🙂

  • 5
    Melissa August 19, 2013, 3:15 pm

    I have done the Filthy 50 before and it is a nasty one for sure. But it is in such a good way, that horrible you think you are going to die feeling is also such a good feeling too.

    Your salad with the figs looks delicious. I really need to use figs!

    • 6
      Jen August 20, 2013, 7:25 am

      yes, i occasionally like to do workouts that push you to that point. it’s a great feeling of accomplishment after you recover from feeling like you’re going to die! 🙂

  • 7
    allie@sweetpotatobites August 19, 2013, 3:28 pm

    I just did the filthy fifty for the first time on Friday and it was so hard! No where near RXing the workout, but it was definitely a challenge. Can’t wait to try it again in a few months and see if I improve!

    • 8
      Jen August 20, 2013, 7:25 am

      that’s awesome allie! congrats on getting through it.

  • 9
    Jo @ Living Mint Green August 19, 2013, 3:40 pm

    Whoa that chocolate cake looks crazy good. YUM! I would love to go to a Paleo potluck sometime. 😀
    I’ve been doing your most recent bodyweight burner 1-2x week, and it’s really been helping open up/strengthen my hips, glutes & legs. (I’m a runner)

    • 10
      Jen August 20, 2013, 7:27 am

      i am SO happy to hear that one of my workouts is working for you. thanks so much for trying it and i’m glad you’re enjoying (well, if you can call it enjoying…glad it’s effective i should say!).

  • 11
    Nicki August 19, 2013, 3:46 pm

    Looks like an awesome Sunday! That cake looks amazing…bakers in general are my idols as it’s not my forte in any way/shape/form. Amazing job on Filthy Fifty! I’ve only done it once, about 5 months ago – I actually did it bottom to top as we had a lot of athletes so half in our class started at the top and half started at the bottom of the movements. I was SO glad to get the wall balls and burpees out of the way early! (And now I want to do it again and see how I’ve improved, hah!)

    • 12
      Jen August 20, 2013, 7:28 am

      nicki, bottom up would be a challenge in a totally different way. that’s awesome! i love benchmark workouts like this where you can compare your times.

  • 13
    She Rocks Fitness August 19, 2013, 4:06 pm

    Get after it WOMAN! That sounds insanely ridiculous, but awesome too and glad that you were able to get this in later in the day. I too would have collapse on the floor after completion. The thought of 50 burpees makes me gang. Happy Monday! XOXO

    • 14
      Jen August 20, 2013, 7:28 am

      you would love this workout! 🙂

  • 15
    Kristen August 19, 2013, 7:16 pm

    So I gave that workout you posted a try and it kicked my butt!! Wow- and I did not complete all the pull-ups or K2E. That is awesome that you completed that! Does your gym sell your metro crossfit tshirts? I would love to order one if so!

    • 16
      Jen August 20, 2013, 7:29 am

      we do! i can send you one. e-mail me!

  • 17
    Rachel August 19, 2013, 9:01 pm

    I’ve been meaning to try the Filthy Fifty for months now and just keep putting it off haha, you’ve inspired me to actually do it this week! I would LOVE the recipe for that paleo cake…

    • 18
      Jen August 20, 2013, 7:29 am

      do it! it’s hard but feel so good to get through it!

      i will send you the cake recipe!

      • 19
        Rachel August 23, 2013, 3:02 am

        That would be awesome, thank-you!

  • 20
    Courtney G. August 19, 2013, 10:04 pm

    I did the filthy fifty the other day. it was a rough one. So proud to finish it. You did a great job!

    • 21
      Jen August 20, 2013, 7:30 am

      i was so proud to finish too! especially given that i did it solo. congrats to you too!

  • 22
    meghan @ struggle muffins August 20, 2013, 10:30 am

    Congrats! That’s one hefty workout. Especially if done solo. Especially especially after a paleo feast.

  • 23
    Andrea R. @ Morning Runner Girl August 21, 2013, 7:50 am

    No, I have never done the Filthy Fifty, but it is DEFINITELY on my to-do list!!! I am so excited to do it one of these days!! love love love WODs like these!! 🙂

    I love pitch-ins… that table looked delicious!!

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