How To Create Your Own WOD!

Posted in Announcements Blog Fitness Fitness & Wellness Corner News

By Christie Tippett, Assistant Director of Fitness
July Fitness & Wellness Corner

Written Workout of the Day

How have you been staying healthy and exercising during this pandemic? We have been booted out of our gyms and had to rely on self-motivation and discipline to show up for ourselves. While there are many different resources out there (see our Yates Outside the Gates), sometimes the best thing for us is to create a workout on our own time, choosing exercises that we personally love to do! This month, we will dive into how to create your own WOD, better known as the workout of the day. Below are some tips to help you create your own!

Decide on a goal
Will the focus today be cardio? Or maybe it will focus solely on the upper body or lower body versus your whole body. Decide what the main goal of the workout is, and then write it down. Below are some examples:

  • HIIT
  • Cardio
  • Strength
  • Upper Body
  • Lower Body
  • Unilateral

What type of WOD is this? How do you plan on executing it?
There are many different ways in which you can complete a workout. This includes plans based on number of repetitions, rounds, or for time. Once you choose your exercises, decide on how many rounds you will be completing.


  • AMRAP – as many rounds as possible in a given amount of time
  • Repetitions – complete ‘x’ number of repetitions per exercise
  • Chipper – you have a large overall number of repetitions that must be completed, but you ‘chip away’ at the number and take breaks as you need to in order to move forward chipping away.

What types of movement would you like to include?
Dive deeper into your goal, identifying what types of exercises you would like to complete. We have a number of videos showing exercises that require little or no equipment for your at-home workout. Check out our bodyweight exercises for ideas and references. If you would like to have a unilateral workout, you would only be completing exercises that incorporate unilateral (one side of the body) movement.

Examples of unilateral movements include:

  • Donkey Kicks
  • Fire Hydrants
  • Clam Shells
  • Step Ups
  • Side Lunges

Examples of at-home upper body exercises:

  • Prone Snow Angels
  • Renegade Rows
  • Pushup Variations (regular, wide, tricep, side-lying tricep, shoulder)
  • I’s, Y’s, and T’s
  • Planking Shoulder Breakdown
  • Reverse Fly
  • Tricep Dips
  • Bicep Curls
  • Shoulder Press
  • Lateral/Front Shoulder Raises

Examples of cardio exercises:

  • Jump Squats
  • Split Lunges
  • Burpees
  • High Knees
  • Tuck Jumps
  • Froggers
  • Mountain Climbers
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Abdominal Twist Hop
  • Knee Repeaters

Examples of lower body exercises:

  • Squats Variations (regular, sumo, narrow, plie)
  • Lunges Variations (forward, side, backward, curtsy)
  • Calf Raises
  • Glute Bridges

Work in proper rest throughout
No matter what type of WOD you choose (i.e. an AMRAP, timed, or chipper) you must be sure to incorporate proper rest in order to perform the exercises as they are intended to be performed. For example, should you choose a WOD that is an AMRAP, you take breaks as you need them along the way, whereas other types of WODs have them scheduled in, such as this one. Think about what your goal is (an anaerobic, aerobic, or HIIT workout) and create your rest period based off of that. Below is a chart that will assist you in deciding what the proper work-to-rest ratio (work:rest) should be given the type of workout:

Figure 1: How to Create an Effective Circuit Workout (Crockford, 2014)
Type of CircuitWork TimeRest/Active Recovery TimeWork:Rest RatioBest For
Aerobic1-5 Minutes1-5 Minutes1:1Cardiovascular Conditioning
Anaerobic (HIIT)15-45 Seconds30-120 Seconds1:2-3Metabolic Conditioning/EPOC
Tabata (Advanced)20 Seconds10 Seconds2:1Improve VO2max

While some of these rest periods may seem a little long, a true anaerobic workout requires an intensity in which one would actually need the 1:2-3 work:rest ratio; This is due to the maximal effort put forth during the work period in order to properly recover and perform the exercise once again!


  • Be realistic and set your expectations- make a workout that you know you are going to finish. Start what you finish.
  • If you are not creating a workout for a specific muscle group (ie upper body only), ensure that you are including exercises that will target every major muscle group in your body (ie. legs (quads, hamstrings, calves), arms (biceps and triceps), shoulders (deltoids), chest/back (pectorals and latissimus dorsi), and your abdominals).
  • Incorporate a few of your favorite exercises in there to further motivate you and make your workout that much more enjoyable!
  • Remember to warm-up and cool-down. The warm-up not only gradually increases your heart rate, but it also includes movement prep, preparing and ‘warming up’ your muscles for the upcoming higher intensity movements to come during the body of the workout. The cool-down gradually brings your heart rate back down, ensuring we are continuing to keep our feet moving and blood flowing, preventing blood pooling (which can potentially lead to fainting). Both are essential to your workout and help prevent injuries!

Visit our website for examples of written WODs! I hope the above was helpful, and we encourage you to let us know a few of your own written WODs for a chance to be featured on our social media channels!


  1. Figure 1: Crockford, J. (2014, September 24). How to Create an Effective Circuit Workout [Digital Image]. Retrieved June 10, 2020, from

This blog post was written to provide educational information only. This article should not be used as a substitute or a replacement for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have questions or concerns about your personal health, you should always consult with your physician. It is recommended that you consult with your physician or health care professional before beginning any fitness regimen to determine if it is suitable for your needs. The use of any information provided by this article is solely at your risk.