CrossFit workouts -- commonly referred to as WOD for “workout of the day” -- are designed to include functional movements in various patterns executed at a high intensity level. Each CrossFit workout trains different physical skills ranging from endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility and power. As a result, CrossFit workouts vary in length according to the overall goal of the exercise. Some workouts are performed with a specific number of repetitions as fast as possible while others are limited to 10 to 20 minutes.
CrossFit workouts designed to train speed, strength and power include major lifts such as back squats, deadlifts and presses along with other movements, like pushups, pullups and situps. During these workouts, the goal is to use the prescribed weight and complete the prescribed number of rounds and repetitions as fast as possible, creating the most amount of power. A common workout used to build and measure power is “Fran” -- a workout that combines thrusters and pullups performed for three rounds descending from 21 repetitions, 15 repetitions and nine repetitions per round. Top CrossFit athletes complete these workouts in five minutes or less.
Metabolic conditioning workouts provide an essential training component to the CrossFit performance pyramid. Commonly referred to as “cardio” by other fitness enthusiasts, CrossFit metabolic conditioning workouts include cycling, running, swimming and rowing. The goal of the metabolic conditioning workouts is to complete the workout as fast as possible with most workouts lasting 20 to 40 minutes for the average CrossFitter. Sample metabolic conditioning workouts include running a 5K or 10K or rowing 2,000 meters for time.
Interval training is used in numerous CrossFit workouts and used extensively in the CrossFit Endurance program to train marathon runners, cyclists and triathletes. A common interval used in CrossFit workouts is a “tabata” that includes 20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest repeated for eight rounds. The goal of each 20 second segment is to perform as many repetitions as possible and then continue to perform that number for all eight rounds. CrossFit workouts incorporate the tabata interval into workouts that include rowing, pullups, pushups, situps and squats. A common tabata and interval workout lasts between four and 20 minutes depending on the number of exercises.
AMRAP workouts -- as many repetitions, or rounds, as possible -- are common CrossFit workouts that have a defined time limit. The AMRAP workouts vary in length from seven to 20 minutes with the goal of performing as many repetitions or rounds as possible within the given time frame. Most AMRAP workouts include two to four exercises that you repeat over and over until time runs out. “Cindy,” for example, is an AMRAP workout that includes five pullups, 10 pushups and 15 squats performed for 20 minutes. You continue the pattern of pullups, pushups and squats for all 20 minutes.
- The CrossFit Journal; What is Fitness?; Greg Glassman; October 2002
- Military.com Fitness Center: CrossFit Workouts are Rarely Routine
- CrossFit: CrossFit FAQ
- American Council on Exercise; What is CrossFit Training and is it Appropriate for the Average Person?; Pete McCall; April 2011
- CrossFit: Exercises