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How Long Are CrossFit Workouts?

author image Sarah Collins
Sarah Collins has a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Penn State-University Park and formal education in fitness and nutrition. Collins is an experienced blogger, editor and designer, who specializes in nutrition, fitness, weddings, food and parenting topics. She has been published in Arizona Weddings, Virginia Bride and on Gin & Pork and Bashelorette.com.
How Long Are CrossFit Workouts?
CrossFit classes, which typically last one hour, often include kettlebell swings. Photo Credit jacoblund/iStock/Getty Images

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:

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

Strength sessions will likely include squats.
Strength sessions will likely include squats. Photo Credit criene/iStock/Getty Images

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:

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.

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