The origin story of “Fight Gone Bad” is about when the world-renowned UFC fighter B.J. Penn went to CrossFit founder Greg Glassman looking for a workout that would mimic the trials of a match in the Octagon, Glassman devised a devastating test: three five-minute rounds containing high- power compound exercises meant to work every muscle in the body and re-create the intensity of a real mixed martial arts battle.
When Penn was lying on the floor trying to catch his breath after the brutal workout, Glassman asked whether the new circuit felt anything like a fight. “It’s like a fight gone bad,” Penn replied, supplying the name for one of CrossFit’s most challenging—and notorious—workouts.
What makes Fight Gone Bad so…bad? Just like an MMA fight, the clock runs for five minutes each round with no stopping during those five minutes. F.G.B. was designed to match the time and domain of a UFC fight, while EXCEEDING its metabolic demands. Meaning, whatever the demands were in a UFC fight, F.G.B. exceeds them in terms of force (heavier), distance (longer ranges of motion), and time (work faster).
In the workout, you work for 5 minutes on 5 different stations and at the top of every minute, you immediately move to a new exercise: wall-ball shots (20 pounds to a 10-foot target) are followed by sumo-deadlift high pulls (75 pounds), box jumps (20 inches), push presses (75 pounds), and rowing. Athletes have only one minute of rest between rounds. During each exercise, you’ll wonder how 60 seconds could seem so endless; during the rest phase, you’ll wonder how 60 seconds could be so short.
The reasoning behind the 1-minute at each station then on to the next station, was because Coach Glassman didn’t want stamina to be a significant factor in the workout. Since localized muscle endurance limitations reduces the metabolic demands by cramping you up and forcing you to rest, in this workout right when localized muscle endurance is about to be a significant factor you move to the next movement. Thus, 1 minute was deliberately chosen because it is the time limit found at the crest of the glycolytic pathway (the middle metabolic pathway).
Get after it, work hard, and take pictures of sweat angles! #fightgonebad