The Chief is a benchmark CrossFit WOD with power cleans, push-ups and air squats.

The Workout

5 Rounds of a 3-minute AMRAP:
3 Power Cleans (135 lbs/95 lbs)
6 Push-Ups
9 Air Squats
Rest 1 minute

The Chief is five 3-minute AMRAPs. In each of the five rounds, you complete as many rounds and repetitions as possible in 3 minutes of three power cleans, six push-ups and nine air squats. You get one minute of rest in between each round. Your score is the number of rounds you completed in each of the five rounds.

The History

The Chief first appeared on the CrossFit main site in September 2008. It’s a Hero WOD, but rather than honoring one specific individual, it honors those who have been promoted to the rank of Chief Petty Officer in the US Navy. From CrossFit San Diego:

“Each year in the United States Navy, a highly qualified and elite cadre of Sailors are selected and promoted to the join the ranks of Chief Petty Officer. Since 1893, “The Chiefs” have been relied upon by subordinates and superiors alike for their personal example, technical expertise and above all, their unique leadership capabilities. As the induction process for newly selected Chief Petty Officers is now underway throughout the US Navy, we thought it appropriate to inaugurate “The Chief” in honor and recognition of all past and present CPOs. Thanks to them and their families for their self-sacrifice, ability to adapt, tireless dedication to mission and devotion to country.”

“The Chief,” CrossFit San Diego (from


  • Your goal should move quickly through the cleans, push-ups and squats. Try to complete each round unbroken and use the built-in rest to recover.
  • Once you complete your first round, aim to get a similar score in the remaining rounds.
  • This WOD has a lot of rounds and reps to keep track of. Make sure you have a good way to tally your score or a partner to help you count.


For the power cleans, the load should feel moderate. If you can’t move through this WOD quickly or perform the cleans unbroken, scale down the weight. Scale the push-ups if needed by dropping to the knees.

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