About once a week or so, I do a cross-fit workout. Cross-fit is supposed to test/train you to work multiple muscle groups. These workouts can be grueling. OK, they are grueling. But they’re usually not very long (20-30 minutes.) They will leave you pumped up and breathless.
My son’s introduced me to cross-fit with the Cindy workout. All of the cross-fit workouts are referred to by either female names, e.g., Cindy, Nancy, Fran, or hero names, e.g., MURPH*. Hero names refer to people who made the ultimate sacrifice for the U.S. The MURPH refers to Navy Lt. Michael Murphy killed in Afghanistan in 2005.
Focus on Your Form
The one problem with cross-fit workouts is that they are easy to let momentum do the work for you. I’ve seen people pound out 100 push-ups or pull-ups really fast. They’re only working the explosive part at the beginning. Besides putting excessive stress on your body, this style doesn’t build muscle throughout the full range of motion which is what you want. The best thing to do with cross-fit is to focus on both speed and form.
Entry Level Cindy Workout.
The following is a relatively easy version of the Cindy cross-fit workout:
- 100 push-ups
- 100 sit-ups
- 100 pull-ups
- 100 free-air squats
There’s no time limit on this version. I don’t think it as hard as the regular version below. So, it’s probably a good one to start with.OK, so this isn’t where you are at right now. So change it up. Work with your limits. Try 10 reps to start with, then as you get stronger, go to 20, etc. Build up to 100. Once you get to 100, you’re in pretty good shape. I would mix it up with the “regular” Cindy to see where you’re at, too.
This workout takes 20 minutes, but it is a killer. The workout consists of repeating the following as many times as you can in 20-minutes:
- 5 pullups; immediately do the next exercise
- 10 pushups; immediately do the next exercise
- 15 free squats. immediately start the sequence again.
This exercise is supposedly equivalent to a 4-mile run. I don’t know, but it is very difficult. Wait until you are in pretty good shape before attempting this one. Or use it to gauge your fitness level.
How Often Should you do Cross-fit?
It’s totally up to you, but the idea here is to do something for the long run. I’d say once or twice a week, maximum. I tried to do the regular Cindy three times a week once. I got to about the third week. The Cindy is a very shoulder intensive routine; the push-ups and pull-ups tore up my shoulders. This is not the purpose of the workout. So, try it and see what you like or can handle. Here’s a list of 10 other cross-fit workouts you can do at home.
*The MURPH is 20 rounds of the regular CINDY with a 1 mile run at the beginning and the end.