This Simple CrossFit Body Weight Workout Will Torch 14 Calories A Minute
It takes just 20 minutes, but it will leave you SPENT
CrossFit might be best known for heavy barbells and iron sleds pushed by six people at a time. You’ll do plenty of tough exercises if you go Inside the Cult of Crossfit. One popular Workout of the Day (WOD) is much simpler—but you can still burn up to 14 calories per minute doing it, finds a new study in the American College of Sports Medicine.
To complete the bodyweight workout (named “Cindy”), you have to perform circuits of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 air squats as many times as possible in 20 minutes. You must complete all reps of an exercise before moving on to the next, says lead researcher Brian Kliszczewicz, Ph.D., associate professor at Kennesaw State University.
When researchers put well-trained, experienced CrossFitters through Cindy, they found that participants hit an average heart rate of 170 beats per minute. That’s the sign of a very intense cardiovascular workout as it meant they were, on average, exercising at 88 percent of their maximum heart rate for the full workout.
That sounds intense, but “fit people can do about 15 minutes straight of exercise at their maximum aerobic power—so reaching 20 minutes at a high intensity is absolutely doable,” says Craig Ballantyne, C.S.C.S., author of Turbulence Training.
Each exercise in the drill works different muscle groups, allowing your muscles to rest between rounds, says Kliszczewicz. “This means you can push harder during each exercise than you could if you were performing two that hit the same group—like a bench press followed by a pushup,” he says.
In other words, Cindy is a perfect storm of a workout that allows you to go nonstop for 20 minutes. “But if you can’t complete sets of 5 pullups over and over,” Ballantyne says, “you’re not going to be moving at maximum speed to torch 14 calories per minute.”
To reach that point, Ballantyne recommends band-assisted pullups or inverted rows to help you keep your pace quick and your heart rate hiked as high as possible. Plus, you’ll still reap the muscle-building benefits of the pullup that will eventually help you complete rep after rep.
Think you can take on Cindy? Try it and let us know how you do!