21 CrossFit Workouts to Try Today, From Home Workouts to Barbell Fat-Burners
Crossfit. Even if you swear by bodybuilding, have skipped passed the countless Netflix CrossFit documentaries, and have very strong opinions on those pull-ups, there's no denying that it's rocked the fitness world to its core and transformed what 'training' looks like for millions of people. With almost 14,000 CrossFit 'boxes' (Crossfit speak for 'gym') around the world, there's scant chance you're far away from one. Those stats, combined with the undeniably impressive physiques of Crossfit's top competitors, perhaps it's time you suspended your skepticism on 'the sport of fitness'?
HD six-packs, strength building, fat-burning workouts and intelligent programming are all promises CrossFit make, so if even if you're not ready to go full Crossfit, it's still the smarter man's choice to swap a 5K plod for one of these WODs. But first, a little refresher.
CrossFit Workout Terminology: WODs, EMOMs and AMRAPs
With more AMRAPs, EMOMs and WODs than you can get your head around, it makes sense to come to term's with CrossFit's terminology before attempting any of the below.
AMRAP: This stands for "as many reps (or rounds) as possible", a workout structure that's frequently used in CrossFit to accompany conditioning pieces. It's designed to push your body to the max in a short time frame. "AMRAPs allow you to specify the amount of time that a training session will take. If you know that you'll be going for exactly 7 minutes, it's much easier to understand the pacing of the effort required over that 7 minutes,”said Todd Nief, head CrossFit coach and owner of South Loop Strength & Conditioning in Chicago.
EMOM: Every minute, on the minute. You'll need a watch, stopwatch or a clock for this one. Complete the prescribed number of reps within a minute's timeframe, resting for the remainder of the same minute. The EMOM format encourages you to work harder in order to earn more rest. Once a new minute starts, so do you. Deep breaths, now.
WOD: Workout of the day — as the name suggests, is the prescribed workout on any given day from CrossFit or an affiliate gym to their members. Historically these were one-off workouts published on Crossfit dot com, or 'main site' as it's often know. But, they've since evolved to include clever, periodised programming often tailored to achieve specific results within the sport of Crossfit, or for individual goals.
"Each person will need to experiment to determine what "enough" means," says the official CrossFit website. "Experienced athletes with specific competition goals might need additional work to improve their fitness, while beginners might need to reduce the volume of the WOD to optimise results."
RFT: Rounds for time — this means that you have to go hell-for-leather to achieve the quickest time possible while maintaining good form. RFT workouts are particularly useful for measuring yourself against previous times and thereby testing your strength and your fitness.
METCON: A portmanteau of 'metabolic conditioning'. Broadly speaking metcons are workouts designed to target multiple 'energy systems' of the body, whilst also including some element of strength or gymnastics work. Technically a metcon could last from anything from 5-50 minutes, but more often than not they're characterised as quick and dirty lung scorchers, generally saved until the end of the WOD and coming in at under the twenty minute mark.
CrossFit Open Workouts 2023
The CrossFit Open is the initial stage of the competitive season, giving normal 9-5 athletes the chance to throw down, submit scores to the global leaderboard, and gauge how they've improved over the months prior. Under the new structure unveiled in 2022, it takes place over three consecutive weeks, with three workouts released on Thursday evenings. Scores are due by Monday night GMT to be valid and make it onto the scoreboard. This year's workout so far are:
Open Workout 23.1
Complete as many reps as possible in 14 minutes of:
40 wall-ball shots
♀ 14-lb ball to 9-ft target, 95-lb cleans
♂ 20-lb ball to 10-ft target, 135-lb cleans
See here for detailed movement standards, scorecards and modified versions.
‘I love a chipper. It’s a great, old-school CrossFit workout, which is challenging your baseline conditioning and high-volume gymnastics, says MH Elite coach Zack George. ‘This one's a good engine test, which has a built-in limiter depending on your gymnastics capability. Pacing in this will be 100% individual based on both your toes-to-bar and muscle-up capability.’
Find Zack's full guide on how to nail 23.1 to the best of your personal ability right here.
Open Workout 23.2
Complete as many reps as possible in 15 minutes of:
5 burpee pull-ups
10 shuttle runs (1 rep = 25 ft out/25 ft back)
*Add 5 burpee pull-ups after each round.
Immediately following 23.2A, athletes will have 5 minutes to establish:
1-rep-max thruster (from the floor)
See here for detailed movement standards, scorecards and modified versions.
'Although the first part of this workout is two movements, the burpee pull-up is the dominant exercise and will be the most challenging,' says George. '15 minutes is a long time duration for a CrossFit workout, so you will need to find a rhythm with your running and chip away at a sustainable pace on the burpee pull-ups. That means a pace relevant to your personal gymnastic ability. Be honest with yourself!’
Head here for Zack's full breakdown and strategy advice for giving this your best shot.
The Best CrossFit Workout For Beginners
Before you introduce yourself to any of the 'girls' — more on them below — this workout is ideal for beginners to dip their toes into the water and can be performed at any commercial gym, or even at gym with basic kit such as a pair of dumbbells or a barbell. But that doesn't mean it's going to be easy. It will require hard graft, but you'll quickly see get an insight into your current strength and energy fitness. Perform regularly, aiming to increase the weights you or rest less, resulting in more reps, and you'll see major improvements in stamina, as well as adding muscle and scorching calories.
Set a countdown timer for twenty minutes and complete as many high quality rounds as possible of the following four move circuit, featuring some staple Crossfit movements. Move at a good pace to get a feel for the 'metabolic' part of 'Metcon', but keep the reps clean.
No barbell? Grab a pair of dumbbells and perform the exact same movements.
1. Burpee over bar x 3
With your barbell on the ground in front of you, step back and hit the deck, lowering your body until your chest touches the floor (A). Stand back up and jump powerfully over the bar (B) That’s one rep. Now turn, drop to the floor and go again…
2. Push Press x 6
Clean your barbell onto your shoulders, into the ‘front rack’ position. Take a breath and create tension through your entire body. (A) Dip at the knees and use your legs to help (B) press your bar overhead. Lower under strict control to your shoulders and repeat.
3. Front Squat x 9
Once you’ve completed your final press perform your squats by dropping the bar back down onto front of your shoulders (A). From here, drop into a front squat, until your thighs pass parallel to the ground (B), before driving back up. Keep your elbows up, back flat and chest high to avoid losing the barbell.
4. Deadlift x 12
After your final squat, drop your barbell to the ground, Hinge down with a flat back and grasp the bar (A). Pull your hips down towards the ground, brace your core and create tension through your entire body before driving your feet into the ground and standing upright (B). Keep the bar close to your body and arms straight throughout. Focus on keeping your core tight, torso rigid and ‘driving the floor away’ with your feet. After your final rep, drop your bar and get stuck into the next round of burpees
The Most Famous CrossFit Workouts
It doesn't take a genius to realise that some of the most famous CrossFit 'benchmark' workouts are named after girls. CrossFit Inc. founder Greg Glassman has alluded to naming them after females in a similar vein to that of the weather service, as "the workouts were so physically demanding that they left athletes feeling as though a storm hit them." Whether they're referencing any women in particular, we'll never know, but they pack a real punch when it comes to getting a sweat on and testing your mettle.
Fran: 21-15-9 reps for time
Thrusters (43kg barbell)
Helen: 3 rounds for time
21 KB swings
Cindy: AMRAP 20 minutes
15 air squats
Annie: 50-40-30-20-10 reps
Nancy: 5 RFT
400m of Cardio OR 75 Double-Unders
15 Overhead Squats
Haven't got double-unders yet? Here's how to get there.
Kalsu: For Time
100 dumbbell Thrusters
Every Minute on the Minute (EMOM) - 5 Burpees
Diane: 21-15-9 reps for time
Strict Handstand Push-ups
Chelsea: EMOM 30
Grettel: 10 Rounds for time
3 clean-and-jerks, 61kg/43kg barbell
3 burpees over the barbell
Barbara Ann: 5 rounds for time, 3-minute rest
20 handstand push-ups
30 deadlifts 61kg/43kg barbell
Ellen: 3 Rounds for time
21 dumbbell snatches 22/15kg, single dumbbell
12 dumbbell thrusters 22/15kg, dual dumbbells
Lyla: For time, 10,9,8,7...1 Rounds
CrossFit Hero Workouts
CrossFit hero WODs are named after fallen soldiers and first-responders that have died in the line of duty. Often the rep schemes of the workout will reflect significant dates in their lives, or in cases where the hero in question was an active Crossfit athlete the workout may feature their favourite movements or combination of exercises.
"Military, law enforcement and first responder communities were among the earliest proponents of CrossFit. Their intensity matched with the fitness CrossFit provides is a match made in heaven," says CrossFit.
"When a service member dies in the line of duty, a CrossFit hero workout is created in their name. Hero WODs are an opportunity to reflect on the sacrifices of the fallen – to speak their names and honour their memories. These workouts have been a tradition of workout gyms since 2008."
Murph, previously known as 'Body Armour' for those who don't know, is a hero CrossFit WOD that honours fallen Navy SEAL Lieutenant Michael Murphy. 'Murph' has quickly become a staple workout for Memorial Day, to honour Lt. Murphy and every fallen veteran.
In a 10-20kg weighted vest:
"Command Sgt. Maj. Martin "Gunny" Barreras died on May 13, 2014, of wounds he sustained during an attack on his unit on May 6, 2014. Barreras joined the Marine Corps in 1983 and the Army Rangers in 1988. He used CrossFit training to improve his fitness and the fitness of his unit. Murph and Griff were among his favourite workouts."
1-mile weighted run
1-mile weighted run
1-mile weighted run
"U.S. Army Staff Sergeant Edwardo Loredo, 34, of Houston, TX, assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 508th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 82d Airborne Division, based in Fort Bragg, NC, was killed on June 24, 2010 in Jelewar, Afghanistan, when insurgents attacked his unit with an improvised explosive device."
6 rounds for time of:
24 walking lunge steps
Run 400 meters
"In honour of U.S. Air Force Staff Sgt. Timothy P. Davis, 28, who was killed on Feb. 20, 2009, while he was supporting operations in OEF and his vehicle was struck by an improvised explosive device."
5 rounds for time of:
70kg Deadlift, 12 reps
70kg Hang power clean, 9 reps
70kg Push jerk, 6 reps
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