The goal of CrossFit, a high-intensity workout, is to burn as many calories as possible in the shortest amount of time. Each WOD, or workout of the day, prescribes a certain number of reps of particular exercises, and the participants either try to do as many of them as possible or has a certain amount of time to complete the exercise.
However, that doesn't mean that your CrossFit session will be over in 5 to 10 minutes. Each class consists of multiple sections, so a CrossFit workout generally takes about an hour, from start to finish.
The Anatomy of a Workout
Within the hour-long CrossFit session at your local "box," which is what CrossFitters call their workout facilities, you complete a warm-up, skills or strength-training, the WOD and a cool-down and stretch.
The April 2003 CrossFit Journal published a favored CrossFit warm-up, which consists of three rounds of 15 reps of each exercise:
- Samson stretches
- Overhead squats
- Back extensions
A particular trainer might modify the warm-up, adding or deleting movements as they deem necessary. But the warm-up will always be dynamic and focus on functional movements.
Read more: CrossFit vs. Traditional Strength Training
Next, the class will either complete skill work, such as one-legged squats, or strength moves, such as deadlifts. Then comes the workout of the day, which will vary in time spent. A sample workout might require you to complete as many rounds as possible in a certain amount of time, such as this one:
In 12 minutes, complete as many rounds as possible of:
- 20 GHD sit-ups
- 10 left-arm overhead walking lunges (using a 60-pound dumbbell)
- 10 right-arm overhead walking lunges
In another type of workout, you'll do as many exercises as possible, aiming to get through them as fast as possible:
As fast as possible, do three rounds of:
- Run 400 meters
- 21 reps of 1.5-pood kettlebell swings
- 12 pull-ups
Following the WOD, it's time for cool down and stretching, either as a group or on your own. This wraps up your one-hour CrossFit workout.
Read More: How Quick Does CrossFit Get You in Shape?
A Word of Caution
The high-intensity nature of CrossFit can make a fitness novice prone to injuries, particularly when you're trying to bust out as many rounds as possible very quickly. If you don't feel comfortable completing a certain exercise, ask your trainer how it can be modified to suit your fitness level.