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How many calories are you really burning at your Crossfit Class? Enough to allow you not to worry about your calorie intake, food sources, and nutrient content of your diet?

I’m afraid not, the reality is that you’re not burning as many calories as you think and the nutritional decisions you make based on the false notion that you’re burning hundreds/thousands of calories is dropping a massive roadblock on your road to success.

Do not fall into the trap of thinking that if you train like it’s your job you can avoid any responsibility when it comes to your diet. You need to have a tailored approach to your nutrition that’s based on your goals, lifestyle, experience, and tastes.

DO YOUR SKILLS PAY THE BILLS?

We work with people with varying skill levels at pH Nutrition, from new members to games athletes.

Let’s break down a normal class. Your coach (should) talk you through the class, explain the workout and take you through a warm up. There may be a skill or strength portion to start of a class.

Ding….first thing to note – this portion of the class can vary hugely on calorie output. If you are doing 4×8 deadlift with a superset of banded good mornings then that’s pretty intense.

But what if the first part was strict HSPU or build to a heavy snatch for the day? Then you have those that can rep out HSPU like it’s a set of air squats and those who can’t manage a single rep so perhaps they perform a regression on the box.

For those doing the regression, despite the fact they’re challenging themselves, it can mean not doing that much work from a calorie burning standpoint.

If the first part of the class (or even all of it) requires a movement that you aren’t proficient at and need to regress then you’ll spend a significant amount of time trying and failing.

Does this equate to a good workout?

Well in a way yes. If you progress your skill this is awesome. From a purely caloric output point of view not so much.

We have all been there – learning to snatch with the bar or a couple of dinky plates each side, going nowhere near parallel before your shoulders/back/neck/wrist/hip/knee start screaming.

Then you look over to the person who is more skilled, stronger and has been doing crossfit for 4 years. They’re throwing up 80kg snatches like it’s a wooden dowel.

YOUR SKILL LEVEL MASSIVELY DICTATES YOUR CALORIE OUTPUT.

Now we come to actual workouts. In the WOD your skill level will again dictate the calorie output. Can’t do double unders? Cool, you have single or jumps.

But have a few and want to get better at them?

Yep…..grey zone.

You may have 30 unbroken pull ups but if the first part of the workout is 100 double unders you spend 60% of the workout whipping yourself and doing intervals of five jumps.

Maybe you are thinking, so Liam, how do I do CrossFit and lose body fat / get stronger etc?

This is down to your box and coaches to guide you, but it takes awareness.

  • Awareness that you may not need to “refuel” as much after each class.
  • Awareness that you may need to check the ego at the door – do a lighter weight to ensure you get more quality reps in.
  • Awareness that just because you work out 7 times a week, your overall calories may need to be a bit lower than you think.

Look at the type of session and the actual amount of time you spent working out. This is not an exact science as some workouts that look less “sexy” may actually help you reach your goals faster than the 9-5-3 muscle ups and snatches.

How Many Calories Does CrossFit Really Burn?

Men doing deadlifts during a CrossFit session | Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

In 1995 out of a small gym in Santa Cruz, CrossFit was born. The small gym sparked a flame, which has grown at an incredible pace into unbelievable popularity. If you do not do CrossFit yourself, chances are you know at least five people who do. And even those who are not avid members of a CrossFit gym have come to realize that the first rule of CrossFit is always talk about CrossFit. One thing is hard to deny: Some of the best CrossFitters in the world also have some of the best bodies in the world.

So, what’s the catch? There has to be a reason why these short HIIT workouts create crazy sculpted and strong bodies. And how many calories are typically burned during a short and sweaty CrossFit sesh? Men’s Heath investigated this question, diving into the dynamics of CrossFit and finding out the breakdown of one of the most common CrossFit workouts, known as “The Cindy.”

Jumping rope at a gym | Source: iStock

For those who are not familiar with this workout, The Cindy is a 20-minute workout that consists of only body-weight exercises. In order to complete the circuit, start by setting a timer for 20 minutes. Then do five pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 squats in that order. These three exercises make up one round, and the key to this HIIT is to complete as many rounds as you can before the 20 minutes are up.

Sounds super simple, right? That’s because it is. You need barely any equipment, but don’t let that fool you — because this simple Cindy will make you sweat. According to a study conducted by Kennesaw State University, the CrossFit routine workout can burn 261 calories per session. It might not sound like much, but for a 20-minute workout that is some serious sweat.

Lifting weights for CrossFit | Source: Thinkstock

Want some comparisons? According to The Mayo Clinic, an average male who hits the treadmill for an hour at 8 miles per hour will burn around 861 calories. Whereas exercises such as playing basketball for an hour will burn up to 584 calories. Notice that both of these examples require a lot more time to work up a serious calorie burn. This demonstrates that HIIT workouts challenge your body and burn calories, all while building muscle.

“The entire workout contains just three bodyweight exercises,” Brian Kliszczewicz, Ph.D. and lead study author, told Men’s Health. “But because the exercises incorporate all your muscles and you do them intensely, the workout is impressive in terms of caloric expenditure.”

So, even if you’re not quite ready to join your local CrossFit gym, you still might want to consider trying out The Cindy. A 20-minute HIIT that burns 250 plus calories and builds muscle — count us in!

More from Health & Fitness Cheat Sheet:
  • Want Six-Pack Abs? 6 Foods That Help Get Rid of Belly Fat
  • A Beginner’s Guide to Rock Climbing
  • 5 Fun Workouts Every Guy Needs to Try

This article was provided by our partners at Men’s Health.

Hurricanes and CrossFit workouts have one thing in common: Some of the most brutal ones are named after women.

When scientists at Kennesaw State University studied Cindy, one of the fitness brand’s benchmark timed workouts, they found that doing total-body moves against the clock can burn 261 calories in just 20 minutes.

(If you’re looking for a challenging workout you can do at home to lose your belly, try The Anarchy Workout. One person lost 18 pounds of pure fat in just six weeks!)

“The entire workout contains just three bodyweight exercises,” says Brian Kliszczewicz, Ph.D., the lead study author. “But because the exercises incorporate all your muscles and you do them intensely, the workout is impressive in terms of caloric expenditure.”

That’s nearly as many calories as you’d burn during a more typical half-hour gym session!

RELATED: 10 Exercises That Burn More Calories Than Running

Sweat with Cindy
Set a timer on your watch or phone for 20 minutes. Do five pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats, in that order. That’s one round. Do as many rounds as you can before the time runs out.

RELATED: The Bodyweight Workout That Burns an Insane Amount of Fat

Pullup:
 Use an overhand grip to hang from a pullup bar with your arms straight. Pull your chest to the bar. Pause, and then return to the starting position.

Pushup:
 Assume a pushup position. With your elbows tucked, lower your chest until it’s just a few inches off the floor. Pause, and push yourself back up.

Squat: 
Stand with your feet set slightly beyond shoulder width. Now push your hips back and lower your body as far as possible. Stand back up.

Men’s Health Got a Question about health, fitness, grooming, sex, work, travel, nutrition, or any other subject we cover in Men’s Health?

How Many Calories Should I Eat?

By: Coach Vince

Most people know what they should and should not eat but not a lot of people know how much they should be eating. Well don’t worry, after this breakdown you will have a much better idea on how much you should eat. I tried to keep this as simple and to the point as possible. This of course can/should be a much deeper discussion. If you want to have a deeper discussion on this, please don’t hesitate to reach out.

Starting with your GOAL will help us determine how many CALORIES you should be eating. If your goal is basic weight loss and you sit at a desk all day, your calorie needs are different than, if your goal was weight loss but you are on your feet all day. Calories are divided into 3 different MACRONUTRIENTS. Macronutrients determine the make-up of the food eat. Protein, Carbohydrates, and Fat are the three macronutrients. Foods also contain MICRONUTRIENTS, which are broken down into vitamins and minerals. All foods have Macronutrients but not all foods have Micronutrients. Micronutrients are mostly found in fruits and vegetables, that’s why it’s so important to eat them. How many calories you eat will determine whether you gain, maintain, or lose weight. What the Macronutrient/Micronutrient breakdown of those calories are will determine how you look, feel, and/or perform (soft and round vs. hard and fit). You might be eating enough calories but your macronutrient breakdown might be off or vice versa. You may have your calories and your macros right but not the right EXERCISE. Below is guide to help set you up on the right path:

Goal Calories: BMR + TDEE Macros: Pro/Carb/Fat Exercise Intensity

Health 14 (Maintain) 30/40/30% Mixed low-mod

Fat loss 12 (Lose) 35/30/35% Mostly low

Performance 14 (Maintain) 35/45/20% Mixed low-high

Competition 16 (Gain) 30/50/20% Mostly high

Here’s how the chart works:

  1. First determine your goal
    • Example: Fat loss
  2. Your current bodyweight x Goal (12, 14, 16)
    • Example: 200# x 12 = 2400 Calories
  3. Figure out your macros
    • Example: Fat loss
      • 2400x.35 = 840/4 = 210g of Protein
      • 2400x.30 = 720/4 = 180g of Carbs
      • 2400x.35 = 840/9=93g of Fat
  4. Match your exercise intensity to your goal
  5. Assess and adjust as needed

With all that said, each person is unique. The numbers provided above are a baseline and what works for most, but not all. This also goes without saying but stress and sleep will play a big role on you achieving your goal. Just trying to keep this simple to exercise and nutrition. I also don’t recommend a dramatic change in your nutrition overnight. Most people struggle with “staying in their lane” (example: goal is fat loss, but eat enough calories for weight gain, and exercise for performance). If all this is brand new to you, here are some tips to get started.

  1. Start tracking your food on MyFitnessPal. Don’t change how you eat, just track what you eat to get a better idea on how many calories you eat and what your macro/micro nutrient profile looks like.
  2. Once you know how many calories you are getting in, I would then try to hit the Protein number based on your goal. Because most people aren’t great at eating enough protein, I would recommend taking this slowly (don’t jump from 100g to 210g overnight… slowly increase by 20g or so each week)
  3. Once you’ve reached your Protein goal, I would then move onto my Carb goal. Because most people overeat Carbs, I would slowly lower this until my goal was reached. Perfect world once your goal was hit, I would then look at how much fiber vs. sugar you are getting. Most people could have more fiber and less sugar.
  4. Once Protein and Carbs are hit, I would then work on Fat. Same as carbs, most people don’t have difficulty hitting fat, I would slowly lower this until my goal reached. Perfect world once you get this number balanced out I would look at how much healthy fat Poly/Mono unsaturated fats you are getting vs. trans fat.
  5. After 10-14 days of consistently hitting my goals, I would then Assess where I am at and adjust as needed.

“As long as you’re willing to make ADJUSTMENTS, you’ll always have PROGRESS.”

Nutritional changes take time and should be done slowly. This helps the body adjust appropriately and keep the mind from becoming overwhelmed and thus unlikely to stick with it. Take your time, be patient with yourself, and try to have some fun with the process. Of course, if you have questions, comments, or concerns please don’t hesitate to reach out!

New Research Proves Just How Effective CrossFit Is

Getty Images

With nearly 10 million CrossFitters worldwide-60 percent of whom are women-

many people can attest firsthand to the benefits of this high-intensity style workout program, yet little scientific research has looked at how effective it is. So the American Council on Exercise® (ACE) enlisted the research team at the University of Wisconsin-LaCrosse to examine two workouts of the day (WODs) to see just how these short yet challenging sessions really stack up.

Sixteen men and women completed two different WODs-Donkey Kong and Fran-each preceded by a warm-up and followed by a cool-down. Donkey Kong consists of three rounds of burpees, kettlebell swings, and box jumps, with stair-climbing between exercises. Repetitions decrease each round, starting with 21 reps the first round, 15 the second, and nine the third. Fran-one of the most popular WODs in the CrossFit community-consists of just two exercises, thrusters and assisted pull-ups, and is performed in the same sequence as Donkey Kong. The goal of both is to complete the workout in the shortest amount of time possible.

Researchers of the CrossFit study discovered that the caloric expenditure for both WODs averaged 12.3 calories per minute for females. It is important to note that the time it took each participate to complete the WODs varied greatly-ranging from less than five minutes to as long as 20-which affected the averages for the total number of calories burned during each workout. The women completed Donkey Kong in an average time of 9:08, burning an average of 117.2 calories for the workout, and worked off 63.9 calories in 5:52 minutes for Fran.

RELATED: The 12 Biggest Myths About CrossFit

During the first round of both CrossFit workouts, the subjects’ heart rates were elevated to 90 percent of maximum heart rate (HRmax), and that was maintained throughout both workouts. This falls near the top of the fitness industry guidelines that suggest maintaining a training range of 64 to 94 percent HRmax in order to improve cardio endurance. Researchers also found that subjects averaged 80 percent of VO2max, which also meets and exceeds industry guidelines-40 to 85 percent of VO2max-for improving cardio fitness and body composition.

The bottom line is like other high-intensity interval training (HIIT) workouts, CrossFit is effective in helping individuals improve their aerobic fitness while also burning a good number of calories in the process, all within a relatively short amount of time.

While this time-efficient and effective approach to exercise has its benefits, lead researcher John Pocari, Ph.D., cautions that the intensity of CrossFit may not be appropriate for everyone, especially considering that form is key when it comes to safety. “The thing we’ve seen with a lot of these workouts is you go flat-out as fast as you can, but then your form falls apart. You really need to be technically correct with a lot of these exercises or else you’re going to get hurt,” he says.

RELATED: An At-Home CrossFit Workout

So if you’re planning to hit the box, stay mindful of form and focus first on mastering movements before performing workouts for time in order to ensure that your workout experience is both safe and effective-one that will help you build and maintain a fit body.

  • By Jessica Matthews @fitexpertjess

The Best and Worst Foods for CrossFitters

When it comes to effective, efficient, calorie-torching, heart-pumping workouts, CrossFit tops our list for surefire paths to fitness prowess. And we’re not complaining about all the eye candy of chiseled abs we see at the gym, either. But a high-intensity gym regimen is only part of the equation when it comes to healthy, sustained weight loss and sculpting lean, toned muscle.

“Given the intensity of CrossFit workouts, an essential component of a good CrossFit diet is protein. Protein stabilizes blood sugar, provides energy and the fuel for workouts. CrossFitters should aim for approximately one gram of protein per kilogram of weight, so an average 130-pound woman should have at least 65 grams of protein while a 200-pound man should have about 100 grams of protein,” explains Dr. Tasneem Bhatia, MD, also known as “Dr.Taz,” a weight loss expert and author of What Doctors Eat and The 21-Day Belly Fix.

And beyond the protein rule, there are other important foods to load up on (and avoid!) when it comes to enhancing your CrossFit success. Read on for experts’ takes on the must-eat and must-avoid list for all you CrossFitters taking the nation by storm. CrossFit is often associated with Paleo; not everything on here is, so if you’re curious about that diet plan, check out your complete plan to go paleo for a day!

First, The Best Foods for CrossFitters

These foods get your body functioning in an optimal, supercharged state that will have you flippin’ tires in no time! Check ’em out and then keep reading to see what to avoid.

1

Lentils

“CrossFitters need to keep their protein intake around 30 percent of their daily calories—and lentils add a whopping nine grams per half cup to your meal, with loads of fiber,” offers Cat Smiley, CPT, author of The Planet Friendly Diet and owner of Whistler Fitness Vacations weight loss retreat in B.C., Canada. Super versatile, try them in soups, chili recipes, and more.

2

Banana and Whey Protein Smoothie

“Post-workout, you need to fuel and optimize recovery by replenishing glycogen stores and protein for tissue repair. Your body craves both fast-absorbing carbohydrates, like those in fruits and berries, and protein that’s quick and easy to absorb like whey,” comments Lisa Hayim, MS, RD registered dietitian and founder of The WellNecessities. Just make sure your whey protein powder is clean and not a laundry list of ingredients and additives. For some smoothie inspiration, check out the best protein smoothie recipes for weight loss!

3

Coconut Oil

You might have splurged on a tub of the stuff for shinier hair and smoother skin, but slipping it into your diet is a CrossFitter’s definite must-do: “Coconut oil is an excellent fuel source for workouts. Although it’s a saturated fat, the medium-chain fatty acids make it easily absorbable by the small intestine (not requiring the full digestive process),” explains Peggy Kotsopoulos, RHN, nutritionist, and author of Kitchen Cures.

“This means it provides increased energy faster than any other fat. The fats are converted by the liver into an immediate energy source, much like it would carbohydrates, but it’s sugar and carbohydrate-free! Try a tablespoon of it before your workouts and you’ll be amazed at the energy and endurance it provides.”

4

Nuts and Seeds

Get svelte eating like a bird? You betcha. “Nuts and seeds are packed with nutrients and omega-3 fatty acids, which will fuel your recovery after an intense CrossFit WOD,” advises Karla Williams, an avid CrossFitter and Healthy Kitchen Executive Chef at Hilton Head Health, a weight-loss retreat and wellness spa in South Carolina.

“Since nuts and seeds are calorically-dense, they’re a great on-the-go snack or add-in to a satisfying smoothie.”

5

Sweet Potatoes

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5664031/

The neverending Instagram stream of this tuberous veggie might have calmed down after the fall, but there’s still plenty of reason to reach for this nutrition powerhouse: “Your body needs functional carbs for a boost of energy. Glycogen is stored in your muscles (and liver) through the digestion of carbs, and your body relies on muscles’ glycogen for energy to carry you through your workout,” explains Kotsopoulos.

“One of the best ways to fuel this is with sweet potatoes since they’re complex carbs that are slow- releasing and thus will sustain you through your workout. Sweet potatoes help to balance blood sugar levels providing consistent, steady energy levels. They’re also rich in B6, which combat the physical effects of stress the body goes through during a CrossFit session, and rich in antioxidants Vitamin C and beta-carotene, free radical damage caused by working out.” Start drooling over these sweet potato recipes now.

6

Banana and Peanut Butter

Not quite in the mood to head to Smoothie-ville? It’s okay. This nutrient-dense snack proves a boon for CrossFitters: “If you do CrossFit, your perfect snack is going to be a blend of carbohydrates, protein and limited amount of healthy fat,” says Hayim. “The banana here is most important, as it is an excellent source of potassium, which is needed to help the heart and skeletal muscles flex and contract during your workout.”

7

Eggs

“Packed with protein, B vitamins, and good fats, eggs are a superfood for CrossFitters. An egg provides about 7 to 10 grams of protein. Starting the day with a few eggs ups your protein budget daily,” says Dr. Taz.

8

Brown Rice

“Brown rice is better for you than white rice, since it is not refined and bleached of nutrients. Also, it is easily digested and less likely to cause bloating and spikes in blood sugar,” says Hayim. Make a big batch at the beginning of the week and use with different proteins, veggies, and sauces.

9

Almond Butter

Welcome to Destination: Dream Food. The possibilities of this tasty spread are endless. “Add a few tablespoons of almond butter into your favorite smoothie or use as a spread or dip. One tablespoon of almond butter has about four grams of protein and eight grams of fat,” says Dr. Taz. We all know protein is king for ripped ‘n’ fit folks, but don’t forget the key role fat plays: “Fat is important for CrossFit as well since it is another great source of long-lasting energy.”

10

Oatmeal

Oatmeal is a stellar breakfast companion, is trendy when dressed up as overnight oats. For CrossFitters, though, it’s an incredible must-have, too: “Oatmeal is a great pre or post-workout food as it delivers carbohydrates to the body efficiently without unnecessary sugars,” shares Hayim. “It also happens to be excellent for muscle recovery.”

11

Low-Fat Chocolate Milk

We saved the best for last, now didn’t we? “Studies suggest that chocolate milk, which is high in carbohydrates and protein, may be considered an effective drink for recovery from exhausting glycogen-depleting exercise, like CrossFit,” explains Hayim. Just remember to wipe off that ‘stache.

Now, The Worst Foods for CrossFitters

You’re training like a beast—but if you feast on these foods, you aren’t doing yourself any favors. Avoid these like you would avoid a “skinny fat” reputation!

1

Pre-Workout Raw Veggies

“Avoid eating lettuce, cabbage, and broccoli before a workout,” cautions Hayim. “According to the Mayo Clinic, these foods are common sources of gastrointestinal discomfort. While they may be considered healthy and high in fiber, they can cause discomfort during a workout, especially during an intense one like CrossFit.” And besides, you don’t want to be that gassy straggler in class, now do you? So not sexy.

2

High-Sugar Carbohydrates

“Avoid high-sugar carbohydrates, even if it’s from a natural source,” cautions Smiley. “White rice, potatoes and bread are a no-no as they are ridiculously high in the glycemic index, which will spike your insulin levels then drop them down, sending you spiraling through hunger valley looking for a sweet treat.”

But don’t go cold turkey when it comes to carbs. “Whole grains are complex carbohydrates, meaning they digest slowly in your body allowing your body to absorb several nutrients. When carbohydrates are digested, they are absorbed as glycogen that will replenish depleted muscular tissue after that extreme 25-minute AMRAP CrossFit workout.

The correct carbohydrate sources will provide CrossFit athletes with ongoing energy and stamina to get every repetition they deserve. Portion control carbohydrates and mostly consume whole grains, fruits, and vegetable-carbohydrate sources like quinoa, farro, sweet potatoes, beets and more,” explains Williams. Find out the worst carb habits of all time while you’re at it!

3

Fried Foods

Let’s be real, you don’t need a lengthy explanation as to why these crispy, greasy globs are bad for you. So here’s a succinct one: “CrossFit is an intense workout, which requires optimal nutrition to fuel it. Fried foods are nutritionally-void and rich in unhealthy saturated and trans-fats that deplete energy levels and leave you sluggish,” offers Kotsopoulos. And lest we forget, these are foods that make you age faster, too. Yeah, we didn’t think you were interested in that, either.

4

Bouillon Cubes

A little post-workout soup? Hold on. “These may be wonderful for making flavorful soups, but are loaded with an alarming amount of salt,” warns Hayim. “During the hours your body is recovering, you need to focus on replacing your daily fluid losses. While a little bit of salt in the diet can be helpful for athletes, the salt in the bouillon can lead to dehydration that can ultimately impact your muscle contractions during a workout.”

5

Alcohol

Okay, you know you shouldn’t have frozen margaritas when CrossFit training, but even a glass or two of wine can disrupt your workout regime. “Nothing will slow you down quite like alcohol, with lasting negative effects on CrossFit training and performance,” says Williams. “Alcohol has no nutritional value, meaning it is just empty calories. Also, it has been shown to hinder recovery and disrupt sleep, two very important factors in any training program!” For motivation to move away from booze for a bit, check out what happens to your body when you stop drinking alcohol.

6

Processed Foods

Granola bars, pastries, and even crackers all should get a Donald Trump-status “You’re Fired!” when it comes to your CrossFit performance. “Processed foods are loaded with sugar and artificial ingredients. The sugar will increase your waistline making those pull-ups, push-ups, and handstand push-ups even more difficult,” says Williams. And, really, who needs that? “Also, these processed treats do not provide the nutrient density that whole foods deliver, leaving your body short of necessary nutrients to aid in recovery.” So just skip ’em. Your body will thank you.

7

Bagels

A handy on-the-go food, we know how tempting a bagel with an indulgent schmear of cream cheese can be. “Unfortunately, the high-carbohydrate, high-glycemic index of bagels leave most athletes drained rather than energized,” says Dr. Taz. Thinking you should have one pre-workout to boost your energy? “Most current nutrition research is debunking the old myth of carbo-loading before workouts,” adds Dr. Taz.

8

Movie Theater Popcorn

Catching a Friday night movie to avoid the bars and booze before a big CrossFit day? Go ahead, you deserve it, but be sure to steer clear of the popcorn. “While movie theater popcorn looks like the least threatening of options at the concession stand, it’s loaded with salt and saturated fat from the butter. Indulging in this a night before your workout may cause bloating, and early muscle fatigue,” cautions Hayim. You might be able to stop belly bloat fast, but your workout performance will still suffer.

9

Hamburgers

You’re working so hard to sculpt your abs; why ruin it with a fatty calorie bomb? “Loading up on heavy, greasy foods like hamburgers or french fries is CrossFit sabotage. The excessive amount of unhealthy fats is difficult to digest, making workouts more difficult,” shares Dr. Taz. “Healthy fats, on the other hand, provide energy and help rather than block the digestive system.” As for those killer abs, choose these best foods for six-pack abs.

10

Flavored Yogurt

It’s tempting but treacherous. “Flavored yogurt doesn’t assist in recovery or muscle building,” offers Hayim. “It has two times less protein compared to Greek yogurt, and is loaded with sodium and sugar, which make you feel bloated and tired.” If you’ve got a hankering for something on the sweeter side, try pairing unsweetened, plain Greek yogurt with sliced banana, a sprinkling of chia seeds, and a touch of honey for a balanced yet decadent treat.

Get the New Book!

Want to lose 10, 20, even 30 pounds—all without dieting?! Get your copy of Eat This, Not That: The Best (& Worst) Foods in America!, and learn how to indulge smarter and lose weight fast!

Hurricanes and CrossFit workouts have one thing in common: Some of the most brutal ones are named after women.

When scientists at Kennesaw State University studied Cindy, one of the fitness brand’s benchmark timed workouts, they found that this routine can burn 261 calories. Keep in mind that Cindy has to be completed in just 20 minutes.

(If you’re looking for a challenging fat-burning workout you can do at home, try RIPTENSITY, the latest workout DVD from Men’s Health. One guy lost 18.6 pounds in just 6 weeks!)

“The entire workout contains just three bodyweight exercises,” says Brian Kliszczewicz, Ph.D. and lead study author. “But because the exercises incorporate all your muscles and you do them intensely, the workout is impressive in terms of caloric expenditure.”

And as the infographic below reveals, that’s nearly as many calories as you’d burn during a more typical half-hour gym session. Here’s how Cindy stacks up against your average workout.

Related: 10 Exercises That Burn More Calories Than Running

Sweat with Cindy

Set a timer on your watch or phone for 20 minutes. Do 5 pull-ups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats, in that order. That’s 1 round. Do as many rounds as you can before the time runs out.

Related: The Bodyweight Workout That Burns an Insane Amount of Fat

Pullup
Use an overhand grip to hang from a pullup bar with your arms straight. Pull your chest to the bar. Pause, and then return to the starting position.

Pushup
Assume a pushup position. With your elbows tucked, lower your chest until it’s just a few inches off the floor. Pause, and push yourself back up.

Squat
Stand with your feet set slightly beyond shoulder width. Now push your hips back and lower your body as far as possible. Stand back up.

The Editors of Men’s Health The editors of Men’s Health are your personal conduit to the top experts in the world on all things important to men: health, fitness, style, sex, and more.

Looking for the best crossfit workouts for weight loss?

You are in the right place! Crossfit workouts are an amazing tool to lose weight and live a healthy life. Crossfit workouts help to burn calories, build strength and muscles and definitely it will change your life. The main concept of Crossfit workouts for weight loss is to build a workout program that will suitable for everyone not only for the unknown but also for the unknowable. Anyone can complete these Crossfit workouts for weightloss either individual or in a group. These workouts are designed to be short but high intensity and will engage the full body.

Crossfit workouts for weight loss benefits

Crossfit workouts for weight loss are the well-designed workout program to burn calories, build muscles and to boost metabolism, These workouts are quick and effective and it is accessible to anyone. If you do the Crossfit workouts for weight loss on a regular basis you can develop your fitness level faster. Crossfit exercises require you to work out 4 to 5 days per week. Each workout is highly intense and short, taking about 10 to 20 minutes to complete.

Awesome fat-burning Crossfit workouts for weight loss

Plyometric Exercises

Tyre Workouts

Battle Rope workouts

Kettlebell workouts

Barbell workouts

Plyometric Exercises

Plyometric movements help to increase power, reactive ability, stability and mobility, and plyometric jumps help to build power and to burn a lot of calories nearly 1000 calories per hour through the explosive movements this is the best Crossfit workout for the people who are trying to lose weight in a quick way. If you start doing plyometric jumps regularly you will get more awareness of your body and can develop confidence. It helps to build your leg muscles and strengthen your core, balance, coordination, boost metabolism and cardiovascular health. It helps to activate both the upper body and lower body at the same time.

You can do different variations of workouts with the help of photometric box-like step-ups, pushups, calf raises, dips, burpee jumps, depth jump plus jump..etc. These workouts help to tone our entire body, increase the explosiveness of the body and strength. This plyometric box is the leader of Crossfit box equipment.

Tyre workouts

Tyre workouts work mainly the core and also work with glutes, hamstrings..etc of the body. you can do a different variation of tyre workouts like tyre flip, Lateral hop, decline press up, low push, squat to jump, Burpee jump, tyre drag, tyre push.etc. It works on the entire body and helps to build strength and burn a lot of calories. It can also cause injury if the work out is performed in the wrong way so make sure about the form before starting the exercise. These workouts are mainly useful for people who sit a lot.

Barbell workout

Barbell workouts include different variations like the squat, Good morning, push press, floor press, upright row, Bicep curl, Romanian deadlift, bent over row, hang clean, front squat, overhead press, High pull, lunge…etc you can use most barbell workouts using a simple barbell and it helps to improve muscle mass, keeps you leaner, reduce the risk of illness, increase energy level, it can also cause injury if the work out is performed in a wrong way so make sure about the form before starting the exercise and maintain a proper posture throughout the workouts.

Battle Rope workouts

Battle Rope workouts help to improve your fitness in every way, it helps to improve cardiovascular capacity, burn calories at maximum level, improve coordination, build muscles because it works different muscles at the same time..etc. You can do a different variation of workouts with the help of battle rope-like Rope slams, alternative left and right slams, outside circles, inside circles.

Kettlebell workouts

Kettlebell workouts help to improve flexibility, core strength and stability, improve power and speed, improve joint health,.etc. Kettlebell comes in various weights. You can do a different variation of workouts with the help of kettlebell like the kettlebell swing, Goblet squat, clean and press, kettlebell lunges, Turkish get-up crunches, Snatch..etc these type workouts mainly target the areas like arms, legs, glutes, back, and mainly with the core

Crossfit workouts for weight loss are challenging as well as fun at the same time. Your workout programs will be different every day so everyone will get the new stuff and more challenging workouts every day. Cardio and strength training helps to build strength and flexibility. The Crossfit workout will not only suitable for weight loss but it also helps to gain lean muscles to look trim and good and also improve your quality of life.

As a coach I get asked this all the time. It’s a reasonable question, and up until now there really hasn’t been a very good answer. This article is going to highlight some excellent research that has finally provided an answer to this difficult question, as well as provide you with a calculator to estimate how many calories you burn, based off of your specific physical characteristics.

Newer athletes often ask this question, especially those that are trying to lose weight, and it’s always been hard to give a good answer. Cardio movements are fairly easy to figure out, as there is a linear relationship to the work output and the amount of calories burned.

Functional fitness is much harder to quantify due to the variable nature of the workouts. You might be doing power cleans one day, Cindy the next, and a partner WOD on the last day. This means that the best way to figure functional fitness calorie burn is to monitor an athlete over the course of a week or more, and then figure out how many calories are burned in an average class. Wouldn’t you know it, that’s exactly what these researchers did.

Functional Fitness Calorie Burn Research

This research comes to us from the California University of San Marcos and is titled, “Energy balance dynamics during short-term High-Intensity
Functional Training
.” As we alluded to above, it is the best piece of research that answers just how many calories you burn during functional fitness.

The Study Design

The researchers recruited athletes from a local gym to wear a special monitor that would track their heart rate, as well as their movements throughout the day, and during their training sessions.

These athletes were, on average, in their early forties and had been doing performing functional fitness for about 2 years. Over the week of programming, they were able to Rx 75% of the workouts, and based on their strength numbers it looks like they were solid intermediate athletes.

Researchers had the participants come in and they fitted them with a monitor, and had them wear it for a week. They were required to wear it at least 80% of the day or that day would not count for data.

They found that on average men burned more calories than women, but when they took the amount of lean mass each athlete had into consideration, they determined that both men and women burned almost the same amount of calories per session.

Check out these results.

  • Men burned an average of 4143 cal per day
  • Women burned an average of 2913 cal per day
  • Men burned an average of 694 cal per session
  • Women burned an average of 461 cal per session
  • Each session was on average 72 minutes in length

The researchers noted that most of the athletes spent about half of the day sedentary, i.e sitting or laying down, but they spent a fair amount of the time moderately active, doing things like going for walks, climbing stairs or other movement.

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Discussion

After reading these results I had a few questions. First off, they looked a little high to me. So I contacted the researchers and they provided me with the programming that these athletes were completing.

The programming is equivalent to my competitors program for functional fitness athletes, with multiple lifting and conditioning session per class. Dr. Schubert stated that about a third of each days programming was completed outside of the standard class hour, which most likely accounts for the amount of moderate activity throughout the day.

I really like this research for a variety of reasons. First, it uses a typical functional fitness athlete who is dedicated to training but isn’t trying to compete at the games. Secondly, they captured daily activity, as well as what was happening during the WOD, which is much more useful than just the few minutes of high output during the WOD.

After speaking with Dr. Schubert, and reading the research carefully, I think this passes the smell test. If you compare the amount of output from a hard rowing or assault bike session, which are max outputs for an athlete, then you’ll find that the calories per minute are right in line with those numbers. This is why I incorporated their data into a calorie burn calculator for functional fitness athlete.

The Functional Fitness Calorie Burn Calculator

Long time readers of this website will no doubt remember that I’ve put together a nutrition tool that will program calories, macros, and track your body fat for those trying to gain, lose, or maintain weight.

I have taken the liberty to update this tool using the data provided from the research. Now all you have to figure out is the amount of time you are exercising, and the tool will figure out the details of your diet break down.

You can see that you will need to take a few body measurements. These measurements are used to calculate your body fat, which allows us to figure out exactly how many calories you burn during your routine.

Once you download the calculator, you should check out the read me section first, but I’ll quickly cover how to use this new sheet.

All red sections are boxes you fill out. For weight lifting, consider each set as one minute of exercise. Here is an example.

Back Squat 3 x 5 = 3 minutes of exercise

12min WOD = 12 min of exercise

Total = 15min

You’ll note in the other sections of the nutrition tool that the activity calculator automatically imports your calories to the sheet you are using. All you have to do is fill out your data and then you’ll have your own custom macro and calorie recommendation.

If you want to learn even more about nutrition, and functional fitness then check out my ebook!

Final Thoughts

It’s great to see quality research starting to look into functional fitness specific questions, but I alway remind everyone that more research is needed to validate these numbers.

From my own experience I think these calorie burn numbers are spot on, but more research would be able to scientifically verify that. As always these types of calculators are only a starting place. If you are sedentary for huge chunks of the day, or do a lot of non traditional fitness activity, you might find that your estimates are a bit off.

Use this calculator and these nutrition tools to help you get on the right track, but feel free to make adjustments if you need to. Now get out there and start training!

The value of CrossFit for runners has been hotly debated the past couple of years. Is CrossFit a good supplement to running? A replacement for running? A small study conducted in Alabama provides some useful real-world information on what happens physiologically during a CrossFit workout.

Nine adults who had been doing regular CrossFit sessions for at least three months did a popular CrossFit workout known as “Cindy.” It consists of doing a set of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats, and repeating that set as many times as possible within 20 minutes.

RELATED: Is CrossFit Hindering My Marathon Training?

During the workout, the exercisers reached an average intensity of 63% of VO2max, a measure of aerobic output. The American College of Sports Medicine classifies workouts done at an intensity between 64% and 90% of VO2max as “vigorous intensity.” In running terms, working out at around 65% of VO2max corresponds with steady running, neither a jog nor a harder effort like a tempo run or track workout.

During the 20-minute workout, the exercisers burned an average of 260 calories. Using the general guideline of 100 calories burned per mile, this roughly corresponds to running 2.5 miles in 20 minutes, or averaging 8:00 per mile for 20 minutes.

This study suggests that this CrossFit workout gives reasonably fit adults who are accustomed to that mode of training a decent 20-minute workout.

That’s not the same, however, as saying that it’s equivalent to a steady 20-minute run. If you’re training to run faster, the specificity of your workouts becomes more important than for people aiming for general fitness. If you’re one such runner, consider workouts like the above CrossFit session more a supplement to your running than a replacement.

RELATED: Lose the pounds, feel great, and run your fastest with Run to Lose from Runner’s World.

In addition, as Runner’s World editor-at-large Amby Burfootpointed out earlier this week, impressive-looking calorie-burning totals for short, high-intensity workouts need to be put in context. You might burn more calories doing 20 minutes of intense CrossFit work than in running easily for 20 minutes, but you can probably burn more total calories from easy running, simply because you can sustain the activity for longer.

The study’s findings will be presented later this month at the annual meeting of the American College of Sports Medicine.

Amby Burfoot: Why Shortcuts Don’t Work

Scott Douglas Scott is a veteran running, fitness, and health journalist who has held senior editorial positions at Runner’s World and Running Times.

Calories burned in crossfit

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