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What Types of CrossFit Workouts are There?

Updated: May 30

CrossFit not only offers a wide range of exercises, but also a variety of workout types and styles – perfect for meeting a wide range of fitness goals and preferences.


If you want to continuously challenge and strengthen your physical and mental fitness, diversity is key.


In this article, we take a look at the different CrossFit workout types and find out why this diversity is so important for your holistic training experience.



Why are there different types of CrossFit workout?

CrossFit athlete holding kettlebells.

The different types of workout in CrossFit are designed to target different aspects of fitness - from endurance to strength and flexibility. This variety helps you to avoid one-sided strain, keep your training routine exciting and continuously improve in all areas of fitness.


The reason for the different types of CrossFit workout lies in several key factors:


Holistic fitness development


CrossFit aims to promote comprehensive fitness that encompasses strength, endurance, agility, speed, coordination and more.


Different types of workouts address these different aspects more effectively. While some formats such as AMRAP (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible) improve endurance and conditioning, others, such as EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute), focus on speed and strength endurance.


Avoiding monotony


The variety in CrossFit workouts keeps the training exciting and motivating. Instead of repeating the same routines over and over again, different workout types offer you variety and new challenges. This keeps your motivation up and you stay with the training for longer.


Adaptation to different fitness levels


CrossFit is suitable for people of all fitness levels, and the different workout types allow for a wide range of adaptability. Beginners can start with less intense formats, while advanced athletes can challenge themselves with more demanding workouts. This scalability makes CrossFit an effective training program for a broad target group.


Full body workout


Each type of workout in CrossFit focuses on different muscle groups and movement patterns. This ensures that the entire body is trained in a balanced way. This prevents overloading individual areas and reduces the risk of injury.


Specific goals


Some workout types are specifically designed to achieve certain athletic goals. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) such as Tabata, for example, improves cardiovascular fitness and fat burning, while "For Time" workouts are designed to improve your personal best time in a set exercise sequence.


Mental challenge


In addition to the physical component, the various CrossFit workouts also offer a mental challenge. They require stamina, strategic thinking and the ability to work under pressure. These mental aspects contribute to holistic fitness and boost your determination and mental strength.


Community experience


Different workouts create different dynamics and promote a sense of community. Some formats are particularly suitable for group challenges and competitions. This strengthens the sense of belonging and team spirit within the CrossFit community.


To summarize briefly: The different CrossFit workout types offer a varied and holistic workout that can be adapted to individual needs and promotes both physical and mental fitness.



What are the most popular CrossFit workout types?

SmartWOD Timer app during an AMRAP workout.

In the world of CrossFit, there are a variety of workout types, some of which are particularly well-known and popular. Each of these types offers unique challenges and goals.


Here are some of the most popular CrossFit workout types:



AMRAP workouts are extremely popular in CrossFit. In these workouts, a series of exercises are performed for a set amount of time. The goal is to complete as many rounds or reps as possible in this time period. AMRAPs are great for testing endurance, strength and mental toughness.



EMOM is another popular type of workout. Here you start at the beginning of each minute with a certain number of exercises or repetitions. The rest of the minute is used as a break before the next round begins. EMOMs are effective, improving speed, strength and conditioning.



Tabata is a high-intensity interval workout that consists of 20 seconds of hard work followed by 10 seconds of rest. This pattern is usually repeated for 4 minutes or 8 cycles. Tabata workouts are known to improve your cardiovascular fitness and maximize results in a short amount of time. But phew, they're pretty damn exhausting.



"For Time" workouts are races against the clock. You have to complete a set number of exercises or laps as quickly as possible. These workouts are great for measuring and of course improving your personal speed and endurance.


Chipper


Chippers are longer workouts that consist of a large number of exercises that must be completed one after the other. They are designed to test endurance, strength and mental toughness. Chippers are often part of CrossFit competitions and are popular with athletes due to their challenge and versatility.


Hero Workouts


Hero Workouts are special CrossFit workouts named in memory of fallen military members and first responders. These workouts are often particularly challenging and aim to honor the memory of these heroes. Well-known examples include "Murph", "DT" and "Wittman".


Benchmark workouts


Benchmark workouts are standardized workouts that are repeated regularly to measure progress. Well-known examples are "Cindy", "Fran" and "Grace". These workouts provide a consistent baseline for you to monitor your performance improvements over time.


To make a long story short: These different workout types offer a rich palette of training options and create a varied and comprehensive CrossFit training experience. They allow you to continuously develop and test your skills in different areas of fitness.


By the way, you can easily train AMRAPs, EMOMs and co. with our SmartWOD Timer app. Simply set the desired number of minutes and keep track of your completed lap or the time remaining at all times.



CrossFit workout types for beginners

SmartWOD Timer app during an EMOM workout.

CrossFit can be intimidating for beginners at first, but the good news is that many CrossFit workout types can be adapted specifically for beginners. This helps beginners to gradually approach the intensity and versatility of CrossFit.


Here are some CrossFit workout types that are particularly suitable for beginners:


  1. Modified AMRAPs: AMRAPs (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible) are ideal for beginners as they can be easily adapted to individual fitness levels. As a beginner, you can start with shorter AMRAPs (e.g. 10 minutes instead of 20) and choose exercises that involve basic movements and are less technically demanding.

  2. Scaled EMOMs: EMOMs (Every Minute On the Minute) are great for beginners to train consistency and tempo. As a beginner, you can start with less complex exercises and a lower number of repetitions per minute. This helps to avoid overexertion and at the same time helps you to develop a sense of timing.

  3. Simple Tabata Workouts: Tabata workouts consist of short, high-intensity intervals. These workouts don't take much time and are effective, making them ideal for beginners. As a beginner, you can start with simpler exercises such as squats, sit-ups or light kettlebell swings if you want to improve your endurance and cardiovascular fitness.

  4. For Time Workouts with Adaptations: "For Time" workouts can be easily adapted for beginners by reducing the number of repetitions or rounds. Simpler movements help you as a beginner to focus on your form and execution as you get used to the pace and intensity of CrossFit.

  5. Light Chipper Workouts: Chippers, which are known for their long list of exercises, can also be scaled for beginners. To do this, simply reduce the total number of exercises and repetitions. A "light chipper" offers you as a beginner the opportunity to experience different exercises in one workout without being overwhelmed.

  6. Partner Workouts: Partner workouts are a great way for beginners to get started with CrossFit while immersing themselves in the community. Training with a partner can be motivating and helps to encourage and guide each other. Especially if one of the partners is more experienced, you will learn a lot in such workouts.

  7. Bodyweight Workouts: Workouts that primarily use bodyweight exercises are great for beginners. They usually don't require advanced technical skills and are an effective way to build basic endurance and strength.


If you're a beginner to CrossFit, it's important that you take your time to learn the basics and slowly increase the intensity. A good CrossFit box will have coaches to help you scale workouts accordingly.


The most important thing is to listen to your own body and not overdo it. Over time, you will make progress and can adapt the workouts accordingly. Until then, always remember: technique comes before weight!



What makes CrossFit workouts so special


As you can see, the different CrossFit workout types offer something for everyone - regardless of fitness level. From AMRAP to EMOM to Chipper, each format has its own challenges and benefits. For beginners, there are many ways to start slowly and build up gradually. And even for experienced athletes, this sport never gets boring.


It's best to try out different types and find out what you enjoy the most and what best supports your goals. CrossFit is an exciting journey to improve your fitness - enjoy every step of the way!

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