I’ve been working out at CrossFit Sioux Falls since 2012. In 2014, I became a “Level 1” certified CrossFit coach. Since 2015, I’ve run the open gym on Sundays.
I make up a lot of workouts.
In addition to the Sunday workout, my schedule means I end up working out by myself a lot (I workout alone far more than I do with a class, unfortunately). And my teenage daughter also works out at the gym, and she’s constantly asking me for workouts.
So, in late 2020, I started collecting selected workouts here. This is a combination of (1) workouts I’ve written for others (mainly for Sunday open gym), and (2) workouts I’ve done on my own.
A couple notes:
- I’ve listed an estimated time for each workout, but this might be wildly off. First, I’m 49-years-old, and never had a lot of stamina, so I’m often just slow. Second, I’m a big guy, and I tend to do well moving big weight, but less well moving bodyweight. So, your mileage may vary.
- This is not any form of “programming.” The workouts at a gym like CrossFit Sioux Falls will be in service of a larger purpose – they’re organized into “cycles,” working towards goals. These workouts are not that. They’re just random things I do to stay in shape.
- If there’s not a workout for a particular day, it doesn’t mean I didn’t workout that day. I might have done a CrossFit class (so, not my workout), or I might have repeated an older workout. I only list workouts here if I want to keep track of them for some reason.
Finally, it might be worth reading a related blog post called “Doing CrossFit” where I make the argument that CrossFit isn’t really a concrete thing, so calling something a “CrossFit workout” doesn’t make a lot of sense.
Enjoy. Stay safe.
- Any values separated by a slash (“10/8 Cal”) are different values for male/female
- Any weight is in pounds; numbers for box jumps are the height of the box in inches
- If a weight is quoted, then you use that same device later in the workout, the weight is the same
- Any squat movement in CrossFit requires you to lower yourself “below parallel,” so below the point where your upper leg is parallel with the ground. Meaning, if you put a tennis ball on your knee when you’re at the bottom of the squat, it should roll back towards your torso, rather than forward onto the ground. (I promise that this is lower than you think it is; get a full-length mirror and see for yourself.)
- AB is Assault Bike, or whatever bike you have (I use “AB” and “Bike” interchangeably)
- DUs are “double-unders” with the jump rope (the rope goes under your feet twice on every jump). Substitute singles at 2:1.
- KBS are kettlebell swings, all the way overhead. Russian KBS are the same, just to eye-level.
- All pull-ups are kipping (unless it’s noted that they’re “strict,” but this is rare)
- A Goblet Squat is a squat with a kettlebell held under your chin with both hands (I find it’s easier to hold mine upside down)
- Several movements in CrossFit require you to “clear your hips,” which is another way of saying, “stand up straight.” If you’re standing normally, draw a line from your shoulder joint to your ankle joint. This line is the “frontal plane.” To clear your hips, thrust them forward until your hip joint crosses this imaginary line – it has to “clear” (or at least touch), the frontal plane. This means you can’t remain half bent-over. If you ever hear “clear your hips,” just replace it with “stand up straight” and you’ll be fine. (Yes, this will slow you way down, and when you’re trying to go fast, you’ll cheat. A good rule of thumb is that your head should be up and you should be looking at the wall in front of you. If you’re still looking at the ground, then you’re probably cheating.)
- Burpees in CrossFit are a little different than you might be used to. You just have to drop flat on the ground, so your entire body from “knees to nipples” is in contact with the ground. You don’t have to plank, or push up, or anything else. And there are no rules about how you get flat on the ground, just get down there. Once you hit the ground, then stand back up and clear your hips.
- If you burpee onto or over anything (ex: over the bar, over the rower, onto a plate) you don’t need to clear your hips, because whatever you jump onto or over is considered the ending point of the movement – that jump replaces the need to clear your hips.
- Bar Facing Burpees are just that – you burpee facing a bar sitting on the ground, so when you’re flat on the ground, you and the bar form a “T.” After you get up, you jump over the bar moving forward, turn around, and repeat that in the opposite direction (move far enough back from the bar that you don’t crack your head on it, obviously). Burpees Over the Bar are easier – you can burpee parallel to the bar, and then jump over sideways. It should be clear why this is easier: Bar Facing Burpees force you to clear your hips, while you never have to stand straight up doing Burpees Over the Bar.
- Like burpees, box jumps require you to clear your hips on top of the box. Box jump overs do not require this, you just need to get over it.
- Wall Balls require you to drop below parallel every time you catch the ball.
- Some Olympic weightlifting movements will be prefaced by “muscle” (rarely), “power”, or “squat” (ex: “power snatch” or “squat clean”). This refers to how much you can drop your body to catch the bar after the initial pull off the ground.
- With a muscle movement, you can’t drop at all – you have to pull the bar all the way up. You can only do this with relatively light weights. This would never be programmed in a workout. You might do it with a unweighted bar as a warm-up.
- With a power movement, you can drop but not to parallel – anything above parallel is fine. Power movements tend to be very efficient. They’re fast, take less energy, and enable you to drop a bit to catch heavier weights when your pull stalls out at the top.
- With a squat movement, you have to go below parallel. Squat movements are harder, because you’re moving the bar further (they can be a huge cardio drain), but with heavier weights, this is the only way to get under the bar because you can’t pull it very far. With lighter weights, squat movements are just used to make it harder and give you a better workout. You’ll generally dread them.
- Olympic lifts can also be “from the hang” (ex: “hang power snatch”), which means the bar doesn’t start on the floor, it starts at your hips with you standing straight up. You normally then lower the bar down to your knees, and pull from there (but you don’t have to; if the weight is light enough, you can just pull from your hips).
- A thruster is (1) a front-squat, and (2) an overhead press, combined in one movement. Front squat the bar, then at the top just keep the bar traveling upwards until it’s locked out overhead. They are absolutely awful and universally hated.