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HOW HARD IS CROSSFIT? How Many Calories Does CrossFit Really Burn?

BY THE EDITORS OF MEN'S HEALTH, MAY 01, 2015

ILLUSTRATIONS BY ELIAS STEIN

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.

 

“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.”

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.

 

 

crossfit infographic

 


 

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.