August 29, 2022 6 min read
If you kept up with the 2022 CrossFit Games, you may have watched these incredibly strong athletes compete for the “Fittest on Earth” title. Even if you didn’t catch the Games, you’re likely aware of the intense strength and conditioning training that CrossFit entails.
When you walk into a CrossFit box — it’s referred to a box instead of a gym due to the shape of the warehouse CrossFit gyms typically are made in — you’ll typically see a rig with squat racks, pull-up bars, and gymnastics rings, as well as weight plates and barbells, dumbbells and kettlebells, rowing and SkiErg machines, resistance bands, jump ropes, medicine balls, and more.
Although CrossFit workouts can include various types of gym equipment, there are plenty of exercises and workouts that are effective just performing bodyweight.
CrossFit is a type of training that’s intended to make an athlete functional and strong in every aspect of fitness from weightlifting to calisthenics to gymnastics and more.
It was formally established in 2000, and the first CrossFit affiliate was CrossFit North in Seattle. It started to really take off and become popular after the first CrossFit Games in 2007 at former Director of the CrossFit Games Dave Castro's family ranch in Aromas, California.
CrossFit focuses on exercises that help increase function in your daily life like squats, push ups, pull-ups, and deadlifts.
It does these exercises through a high-intensity format to help increase overall strength, endurance, and power.
High-intensity training can be beneficial for cardiovascular health, weight loss, and full-body conditioning. Anyone from beginners to advanced athletes can find a place at the CrossFit box because it’s customizable and modifiable to your fitness level.
Each day at the box includes a similar format and may look something like: warm-up, strength, WOD, stretch. Every box is different, but many gyms will have this setup in some way, shape, or form.
WOD stands for “workout of the day”, and it’s exactly what it sounds like.
It shows the athletes and members of the CrossFit box the workout that is going to be performed that day.
These WODs are typically created by the gym owner or coaches, but there are also Benchmark WODs.
Benchmark WODs are workouts that are standard across CrossFit, and they allow you to measure your own progress along with other athletes that complete it.
Some of the more famous benchmark WODs include Olympic lifts, thrusters, and wall balls, but many of them require little to no equipment at all.
Many regular WODs are also programmed to test calisthenics strength and endurance and can be done anywhere.
Whether you’re working out in the gym, the CrossFit box, or doing a home workout, there are plenty of CrossFit workouts you can perform without a barbell or other popular piece of equipment.
One of the best ways to measure your work and recovery time is through an EMOM. This stands for “every minute on the minute”, meaning you have a minute to perform a certain amount of reps, and whatever time you have remaining, you can rest.
This type of workout can be beneficial for building your stamina, and it’s also time efficient.
You can do a lot of hard work in a short amount of time, so you don’t have to spend an hour in the gym if you don’t have the time.
A benchmark EMOM called “Evil EMOM” consists of two exercises alternating back and forth for 14 minutes. You can create EMOMs for CrossFit workouts at home or anywhere else without needing any equipment.
Example 14 minute EMOM:
Four minutes may seem like an extremely short amount of time for a workout, but if it’s high-intensity, it can seem like the longest eight minutes of your life.
Tabata is a type of workout that is 20 seconds of work and 10 seconds rest for eight rounds.
If you’re only working for four minutes, you want to make sure to choose exercises that increase your heart rate quickly and challenge your cardio. Plyometrics or sprints can be great choices for a tabata workout.
Although these workouts are short, they can be extremely effective at boosting metabolism and burning fat while being time efficient.
An AMRAP stands for “as many rounds (or reps) as possible”. This is a popular type of workout in CrossFit and can be customized with varying exercises.
A benchmark WOD called “Sylvie” is a popular AMRAP that consists of a run and an exercise, and the goal is to complete as many rounds as you can in 20 minutes.
AMRAPs are great because they can quickly test your endurance and can teach you how to pace yourself better.
Although the benchmark version of Sylvie would stay consistent throughout, you can always substitute the exercise or run distance to add some variety.
Example 20 minute AMRAP:
One of the most well-known benchmark WODs is called Murph. It’s also a Hero WOD named after Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL who sacrificed himself for his fellow SEALS.
This workout tests your physical strength and endurance, but it also challenges your mental toughness. It’s done by CrossFit boxes every Memorial Day in honor of Michael Murphy.
Even if you don’t belong to a gym, you can perform this workout anywhere.
This is a bodyweight workout, and as long as you have access to a pull-up bar or a stable apparatus you can do this Rx. Otherwise, you can substitute the pull-ups for a towel row or inverted row.
How to Do Murph:
Performing a high volume of reps can be a beneficial way to build muscle and muscular endurance. Although many CrossFit workouts are known for being short and quick, they can also be long and grueling.
A chipper is a workout that involves a high amount of reps and eliminates exercises as you go.
The high volume can challenge your mental toughness, but it can also be motivating as you start to see the exercises disappear.
Typically, the reps will be higher than a normal WOD, and you must complete all reps of one exercise before moving on to the next. You can customize the reps and the exercises, and the workout ends when all exercises are complete.
A ladder workout may not seem too challenging, especially when the rep count starts at one, but as you work through the reps, and they start to add up, you’ll be feeling the fatigue.
This type of workout helps you build a large amount of volume in a short amount of time without totally burning out your body.
It typically is done for time, so you’ll complete the ladder and track the total time it took.
Like other CrossFit workouts, you can customize it based on intensity, fitness level, exercises, and reps.
Example Ladder Workout:
Rounds for Time (RFT)
Instead of completing a workout in a certain amount of time, you can program a workout based on rounds.
The workout ends not when the clock does, but when you complete all the rounds.
This type of workout doesn’t leave much room for recovery, and you want to complete these rounds as quickly as possible, so it can be a great way to raise your heart rate and keep it up.
It can be customized by rounds, exercises, and reps, so anyone of any fitness level can perform and complete an RFT workout.
Example RFT Workout:
When you think of CrossFit, you may think of barbells and weightlifting, but there’s so much more to it. You don’t have to go to the gym or use fancy equipment to get a great workout in, and these CrossFit workouts are proof of that.
High-intensity workouts can be beneficial for your physical and mental health, but it’s also important to remember to recover.
During and after an intense workout, HyperAde can help restore muscle quickly glycogen and increase performance.