Since her first appearance on the main page programming in 2004, Diane has been rocking shoulders and tiring out posterior chains for years.
Like Elizabeth and Fran, “Diane” is one of six original CrossFit workouts. It is a couplet wod mixed with handstand push-ups and high rep deadlifts.
In this article, we’ll look at the Diane WOD, strategies for getting a good score, and how to scale the WOD if you are a beginner.
What Is the Diane Wod?
- Deadlifts: 225lbs
- Handstand Push-ups
The Diane WOD Strategy
The goal of Diane is to finish off 45 reps of each exercise as quickly as possible.
What most athletes find out quickly about Diane is that deadlifts and handstand push-ups are a nasty combo. Both exercises makes the other a little harder.
Diane is the type of workout that deserves a long, calculated warm-up.
Right from 3-2-1 go you’ll be all-in, so make sure your muscles and lungs are ready.
Prioritize the shoulders, lower back, hamstrings, and forearms. A little glute activation won’t hurt, either. Your posterior chain really gets taken to town in this workout,
Also do a few minutes of light cardio before starting. At the end of your cardio session, do one quick sprint on the bike or whatever equipment you’re using.
The goal is to spike your heart rate so all systems are ready to go.
There are 90 reps in the Diane WOD. The clock stops once you’ve completed the final handstand push-ups in the 9 round.
CrossFit games athletes might finish this work out in approximately 3 to 5 minutes. That’s a blisteringly fast time.
If you are new to CrossFit don’t feel bad if this workout takes you over 10 minutes. Far beyond 10 minutes, though, and you might want to scale.
How To Perform The Diane WOD
Set your barbell up next to a wall so that you save a second or two on transitions.
Keep chalk close by and make sure your ab-mat or soft cushion for your head (that you’ll use during handstand push-ups) is in the right position.
Test with a handstand push-up before you start the clock.
Also consider the following:
Drop Your Deadlifts
As we’ve seen with many CrossFit games and open workouts, dropping deadlifts from the top of each rep does not add much time to your score. It does save your grip and allow you to control your breathing better.
This is a good strategy for Diane.
Stay Efficient On HSPU
If you are strong enough to do strict HSPU in this WOD, make sure you don’t get sloppy with your kipping, especially in the 21 round.
That extra stress from “kind of” strict HSPU—kicking but having to grind the last few inches to a lock out—unnecessarily tax your shoulders and set you up for failure in the later rounds.
The break between handstand push-ups isn’t as long as it seems because your shoulders must stay tense for each deadlift.
This workout is won and lost on failing reps late in the 15 and 9 rounds of HSPU.
The Diane WOD Scaled
When scaling this work out, do your best to keep the workout at 90 total reps. Scaling movements, not reps, and you’ll get the intended stimulus of the session.
Scale deadlifts by weight. If you can’t do 10-15 solid reps at 225lbs, it’s probably too heavy. Consider dropping to 185, 155, or 135.
Scale handstand push-ups to the appropriate progression.
Pike push-ups, incline push-ups, or a mix handstand push-ups and regular push-ups all work, depending on your fitness level.
What’s important here is quality form on the movement you do pick.
Variant – Roaming Diane
A popular variation of Diane substitutes handstand push-ups for handstand walks. The workout looks like this:
Handstand walk (in meters)
This is a more advanced workout. To scale, use bear crawls or wall walks.
Play for the final 15 reps of handstand push-ups (the last round plus the final reps of the 15 round) to get a good score.
If you fail early, you’re in trouble. And drop your deadlifts to save your grip and keep your breath steady. Good luck!