The Grace CrossFit Workout Guide: How To Scale It For Each Skill Level

Sometimes the biggest thrill of a workout is feeling absolutely torched afterward. When you work so hard that the thought of doing even one more rep could make you weep is when you know you nailed the workout. 

If you are on a mission to crush a hard workout in as little time as possible, then the Grace CrossFit workout is what you need to get after. 

Like some of the other benchmark CrossFit workouts, the Grace involves doing only one movement 30 times, and that movement happens to be one of the more difficult ones. 

With the CrossFit Grace workout, you will feel the fatigue accumulate in your brain and muscles as you work through the many reps. 

In this article, we will discuss all you need to know about the Grace CrossFit workout so you can nail it in your next session.

We will cover the following: 

  • What Is the Grace CrossFit Workout?
  • How to Do the Grace Workout CrossFit Workout
  • How to Scale the Grace CrossFit Workout for Each Fitness Level
  • How Long Does It Take to Do the Grace CrossFit Workout?

Let’s jump in!

A clean and jerk exercise.

What Is the Grace CrossFit Workout?

The Grace CrossFit workout not a complicated one as long as you know how to clean and jerk.

The clean and jerk is a complex movement, and while it may not be hard per se, it does require some training to do it properly and complete the movement smoothly.

The Grace CrossFit workout requires doing only clean and jerks. Over and over again. You must complete 30, mentally taxing, glute and hamstring burning, clean and jerks. 

Doing a clean and jerk requires leaning forward over a barbell and gripping the bar with an overhand grip shoulder width apart.

As you brace your core, you will lift up on the bar pulling it upwards in a smooth, fast motion as you squat down and receive the bar in a front-racked position at the shoulders. You then return to an upright standing position jerking the bar overhead with your arms fully extended. 

The weight used for the Grace should feel light, but the number of reps you will complete and the pace at which you attempt to do them will quickly build fatigue in your lower and upper body. 

If you truly push yourself to complete all the reps in the absolute fastest time possible, you will put your overall endurance and mental fortitude to the test. 

A clean and jerk exercise.

How to Do the Grace CrossFit Workout

To prepare for the CrossFit Grace workout, you need to set up a barbell and ensure you have enough space to move freely. You should prepare your workout station by gathering your barbell and bumper plates.

Men will need a total of 135 pounds, and women will need a total of 95 pounds. When using a standard 45-pound bar, you will only need two 45-pound plates or two 25-pound plates, depending on your sex.

You will need to adjust accordingly if using a lighter bar. Using whatever combination of plates you need is also acceptable as long as the total weight meets the workout standard. 

To get credit for each rep, you need to complete a standard power clean and jerk at the minimum. While You may squat it is not a requirement.

You also need to be sure to have your arms fully locked out overhead at the finish of each rep. 

Repeat the previously described series of movements 30 times at the fastest pace possible to score as high as possible. You can rest between reps if needed, but rest time will be accounted into your total time, lowering your score. 

A clean and jerk exercise.

Here is the exact format of “The Grace CrossFit Workout:”

  • 30 Clean and Jerks for Time 

Males: 135 lbs 

Females: 95 lbs

These movements should be made quickly and fluidly, and having to move your bar or body in the middle of the workout will lower your score. 

Set up in an area of the gym where others are not using equipment and will not move too close to your workout space. 

How to Scale the Grace CrossFit Workout for Each Fitness Level

The Grace WOD consists of doing only one exercise, which makes it seem fairly easy. That is not necessarily the case for this workout.

The clean and jerk movement is complex, and in the CrossFit world, it takes people a while to nail the movement. 

A clean and jerk exercise.

People who are not experienced in CrossFit or new to it may especially struggle with this movement.

Even experienced Cross-fitters may struggle with this workout due to the amount of work it requires to move through the reps quickly and the fatigue that will build up both mentally and physically. 

The plus side is that it is possible to scale this workout to your current fitness and general ability level so that you can give it a try and slowly work your way into doing the whole workout with the regulation weight and rep amount. 

You can cut back the weight, the reps, or both depending on where you stand as far as fitness and ability to do the movement. 

This workout’s purpose is to activate your glutes, hamstrings, quads, shoulders, and back. You should also feel this workout on a cardiovascular level which means your lungs should be burning and your heart pounding!

You can still get the intended benefits even if you scale this workout.

To get the biggest benefit, you should choose a weight and number of reps that allow you to rest a minimal amount. Otherwise, you fire up the intended muscle groups but do not really get to test your overall endurance. 

While you should ensure you are using a weight that allows you to utilize proper form, it should not be so light that you aren’t feeling the burn. 

A clean and jerk exercise.

Let’s check out the options for each fitness level:

The Grace CrossFit Workout for Beginners:

There are a variety of ways that the Grace CrossFit workout can be adapted so that beginners can complete it. The best option is to keep the number of reps, limit rest time, and complete all of the reps. 

We think the following is the best option:

  • 30 Clean and Jerks for Time 

Men: 75 lbs

Women: 55 lbs

If needed, you can rest between sets. You could do 5 sets of 6 reps and pause briefly between each set. Ideally, if you do need to rest with this weight, you should do 3 sets of 10 reps or 2 sets of 15 reps. 

A clean and jerk exercise.

The Grace CrossFit Workout for Intermediates:

If you are an intermediate CrossFit athlete, you are familiar with the movement a clean and jerk requires, which is helpful. You will also likely have the endurance to push through a workout like this with little to no rest. 

To complete this workout without rest, you should decrease the weight slightly but not by too much.

Doing this allows you to power through all the reps more easily to get all the benefits. With the lighter weight, you should feel less tempted to take one or multiple rests. This will also help decrease your likelihood of injury. 

We recommend trying the following workout:

  • 30 Clean and Jerks for Time

Males: 115 lbs 

Females: 75 lbs 

If you feel like you cannot complete the workout with rest, limit yourself to 3-second rests no more than three times during the workout. This should be enough time to take a deep breath and reset before beginning your next rep. 

A clean and jerk exercise.

The Grace CrossFit Workout for the Advanced:

For advanced athletes, the Grace CrossFit workout should be completed as written and fast! No slacking off here. Elite athletes should be able to complete all 30 reps at regular weight unbroken. 

The workout should look like this: 

  • 30 Clean and Jerks for Time

Males: 135 lbs 

Females: 95 lbs 

For athletes who are not quite elite but are advanced, there should be one very short rest at the most, but ideally, all 30 reps would be done unbroke, perhaps just a bit slower than elite athletes would complete them. 

Your score comes from the total elapsed time to complete all 30 clean and jerk reps. 

A clean and jerk exercise.

How Long Does It Take to Do the Grace CrossFit Workout?

How long it takes to complete the Grace WOD varies from one individual to the next and depends a lot on skill and fitness level. 

For someone who uses the standard weight and does the full number of reps, here are some estimations on how long the entire workout might take according to skill level:

Beginner athletes completing the workout will likely take over 5 minutes and could take up to 10. It depends on how many rests are needed and how long the rests taken are. 

For intermediate athletes, the workout is expected to take about 3 to 5 minutes and may include some short rests. 

The advanced athlete should be able to complete this workout in 3 minutes or less, and reps should be unbroken, which helps get the quick finish time. 

We cannot forget to mention the beast athletes who can crush this workout under 1:30. Talk about lightning speed. That is impressive!

A clean and jerk exercise.


Clean and jerks are very challenging movements to do correctly.

Before attempting to crush the Grace workout, you should work on your clean and jerk form and make sure you can complete fluid reps. This will decrease your chance of injury and help you ultimately do the workout faster since it will come easier to you. 

People in the CrossFit world love their WODs. Completing a challenging WOD like “The Grace” will surely catch the attention of others, whether you are a beginner trying new things or an advanced athlete setting a personal best. 

If you want to try another CrossFit workout that will touch your full body check out “The Karen.” 

A clean and jerk exercise.
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I am a UESCA-certified running coach, psychology PhD student, and competitive obstacle racer and trail runner. Once 100 pounds overweight I found fitness and fell in love with an active and competitive lifestyle. My passion for inspiring others and fitness come together seamlessly in the world of writing where I get to share the thing that changed my life. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, my dogs, as well as baking and cooking.

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