There are literally hundreds of WODs in CrossFit, but some have a status that allows them to be remembered and taken into account by all CrossFit athletes.

Among these WODs always remembered are the benchmarks, that is, those that are usually used to measure performance either among athletes or for oneself. In other words, they are WODs that allow us to have a reference of how strong we are in that specific training.

This is the case with the Bear complex, a peculiar WOD for which you will need a fairly polished technique in weightlifting movements. In this article we explain what this “bear complex” consists of.

What is the WOD Bear complex?

The Bear complex is a benchmark, that is, one of those timeless WODs that serve as a reference for CrossFit athletes to check their performance against various types of challenges. Some of these benchmarks are the well-known Fran, Filthy fifty or The chief.

In this way, the Bear complex as WOD within the benchmark category is a challenge for lovers of weightlifting since It consists of the concatenation without releasing the bar of different basic movements of weightlifting.

Let’s see what it consists of:

  • 1 power clean
  • 1 front squat
  • 1 push press
  • 1 back squat
  • 1 push press

Performing uninterruptedly and without releasing the bar the above exercises is one repetition. The WOD consists of five rounds and each round comprises seven repetitionsIn other words, to complete a single round you must do the entire complex seven times without releasing the bar.

The only breaks allowed are between rounds. In addition, between one round and another you should try to raise the weight as much as you can, taking into account that the score obtained in this WOD depends on the maximum weight you have used in the last round.

It is not allowed to change the weight in the middle of a round, of course.

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According to the statistics, the most beginners will obtain a score of 34-25 kg depending on whether you are a man or a woman and the most expert of 102-70 kg.

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Once established what a strict Bear complex is, it must be said that certain licenses are allowed when executing the repetitions, especially when doing work more oriented to metabolic conditioning and not so much force, at least if the two can be separated in CrossFit. We mean that in a strict Bear complex each movement must be separated from the previous and the next one, while in a more flexible Bear complex it is allowed to chain one movement with another in such a way that the end of one movement is the beginning of the next.

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What to take into account to successfully overcome this WOD?


Be conservative

As we said, the score depends on the weight you lift in the last round so the idea is that you get to it with the maximum possible. In this way, it is important that you start with a conservative weight that allows you to continue climbing progressively until the last round.

If you choose an inappropriate weight you can spoil all the WOD.

Take a few deep breaths with each movement

If you do the Bear complex strictly, you must take into account that all movements have a vertical force vector, that is, the weight falls from top to bottom so there will be a constant compression force on your spine.

For this type of exercise it is convenient to breathe in deeply and keep the air in your abdomen during the movement. The air will act as a girdle to help cushion the weight and increase stability.

Work your grip strength

This is rather an advice that you should apply before performing the WOD and it is of no use that you know how to correctly execute all the movements if you are not able to hold the bar in your hands in each of the rounds. Trust me, it’s tough.

At Vitónica we have talked on other occasions about how to improve this grip strength.

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