Want To Know How The Fittest Teenager On Earth Works Out? CrossFit Athlete Lucy McGonigle Shares Her Favorite Five-Move Routine

Woman performs wall ball exercise while three people look on
(Image credit: SolStock / Getty Images)

There are more teenagers in the world than ever before (about 1.2 billion, according to the World Health Organization), and Lucy McGonigle is the fittest of them all. 

The 17-year-old Irish Wit Fitness athlete took the top spot in the girls 16-17 division at the 2023 CrossFit Games for the second year running. Not only boasting an engine most of us could only dream of, but her one-rep max snatch of 76kg is also a testament to her impressive technical ability.

So we were delighted to get our hands on one of McGonigle’s favorite workouts. We expected an intense metcon with minimal rest and a race against the clock. Instead, you’ll tackle five exercises in straight sets.

“This workout is one of my favorites—it kicks all my muscles into gear and has plenty of variety,” says McGonigle. 

If you’re new to CrossFit, straight sets is a great way to master some of the sport’s staple movements such as wall balls, box jumps and double-unders

Or, if you’re already a seasoned box-goer, you can use this workout format to attack each set with renewed focus and intensity. Take the opportunity to hone your technique by chasing quality reps as well as strength and endurance gains.

You can also be more ambitious with the weights you use—because, if you’re an experienced CrossFitter, who doesn’t love a heavy power clean?

1 Power clean

Sets 5 Reps 3 Rest 60sec

McGonigle says: “Maintain a strong grip on the barbell throughout and keep it close to your body during the lift. Explosively extend your hips and shrug your shoulders to generate power in the clean.”

2 Box jump

Sets 4 Reps 10 Rest 60sec  

McGonigle says: “Choose a box height that challenges you but still allows for safe landings. Use your arms to assist in generating upward momentum during the jump, and land softly with your knees slightly bent to absorb the impact.”

3 Kettlebell swing

Sets 3 Reps 15 Rest 60sec  

McGonigle says: “Hinge at your hips to initiate the swing, keeping your back flat and your chest up.”

4 Wall ball

Sets 4 Reps 12 Rest 60sec  

McGonigle says: “Make sure you squat deeply then explosively stand up while throwing the medicine ball against the wall. Catch the ball in a squat position as it falls back down towards you. The catch should transition smoothly into your next rep.”

5 Double-under (or single-under)

Sets 5 Reps 50 (100 single)  Rest 60sec  

McGonigle says: “Use your wrists, not your whole arm, to rotate the jump rope. Stay light on your feet and maintain a consistent rhythm. Focus on timing to successfully clear the rope twice with each jump.” 

Harry Bullmore
Staff writer

Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.