Badger WOD —Save Your Hands, Drop Your Cleans

The Badger WOD uses one of CrossFit’s favorite movement pairings (squat cleans and pull-ups) to tax your shoulders, arms, and grip before sending you out for a half mile run.

Even for the super fit, this workout will take more than twenty minutes.

There are a few things you must do to get a good score on this workout. Like all hero workouts, you’ll lose in the later rounds if you try to be a hero and crush the first round of the workout.

Save your grip for the later rounds when you’ve already got 60 squat cleans and pull-ups in the books.

Here’s the Badger WOD, strategies for getting a good score, how to warm-up for the workout, and how to scale if you need to.

What Is The Badger WOD?

3 Rounds For Time:

  • 30 Squat Cleans (95/65 lb)
  • 30 Pull-Ups
  • 800m Run

Here is a sample video of CrossFit athletes doing the Badger WOD.

The Badger WOD Strategy

Like most Hero workouts, Badger is designed to be long and grueling, and meant to test you you mentally and physically.

Still, there are some little things you can do to get a good score.

95 lbs is not a heavy squat clean, but 90 of them back-to-back with pull-ups is going to wear down your grip.

It will feel slower, but drop each squat clean from the front rack.

squat clean

The difference between dropping and linking together 90 squat cleans may be 1 or 2 minutes, but that’s much less time than if you can’t grip the pull-up bar in the last round.

Also wear grips to save your hands.

Break your pull-up sets into manageable chunks. Three sets of ten or four sets of 8 and 7 are good. Don’t go 20 and 10 on round one and fry your grip for later rounds.

Play for the final round.

Finally, use the run in the first round to experiment with pace. The first 400m should be light and focused on bringing your heart rate down.

If you can go a little faster and still recover, go for it. Under no circumstances should you run 800m so hard that you can’t go directly into squat cleans when you get back. Use that nugget to determine your pace.

Run with your arms loose and down by your side. Shake your shoulders and hands out while you run and take big breaths.



Take your time warming up the shoulders, biceps, forearms, and legs before starting Badger.

Do two or three minutes of light cardio (but no more) followed by some front rack mobility drills and squat clean and pull-up practice.

Generally speaking Hero WODs shouldn’t have long warm-ups since you’ll be working for thirty or more minutes during the workout.

The Badger Wod Scoring

run wod

This workout is for-time, meaning that once you complete 90 squat cleans, 90 pull-ups, and 1.5 miles worth of running you are done.

You might do this hero workout once a year, so be sure to log your score to compare to next time.

The Badger WOD Scaled

95/65 lbs on the squat cleans is a manageable weight for most. Stick with it if you can, but if you need to scale to 65 and 45 lbs, do it. You could also do dumbbell cleans if you lack equipment.

Pull-ups can be subbed one-for-one with ring rows or banded strict pull-ups.

Who Was Mark Carter?

mark carter badger WOD

Taken from’s main page:

“In honor of Navy Chief Petty Officer Mark Carter, 27, of Virginia Beach, VA who was killed in Iraq on 11 December 2007.”

This workout first appeared on main site just a week after Badger’s passing, on December 19, 2007.

Badger WOD—Wrapping Up

You’ll get a good score on the Badger WOD if you play for the later rounds and save your grip early on by dropping the squat cleans.

Even CrossFit Games athletes drop the bar on lower weight squat cleans to save their grip for other movements.

Badger will test you mentally and physically. Remember this is a hero workout and give it your all for the sacrifice he made to our country.

Check out more hero workout guides on the blog for strategies to PR, warm-up advice and more.