Crossfit is functional exercise, not bodybuilding. It is high intensity exercise. It involves aerobics, bodyweight movements and Olympic weightlifting.

The goal of Crossfit is to develop:

  • Cardiovascular / respiratory endurance
  • Stamina
  • Strength
  • Flexibility
  • Power
  • Speed
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Accuracy

Running, swimming, plyometrics (moving your body in ways that emphasize speed and force), power lifting and indoor rowing are parts of Crossfit.

Crossfit is a sport. Crossfit Games are competitive events held every summer.

There are Crossfit gyms across the United States, about 7,000 or more, plus another several thousand in other countries.

Barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, pull-up bars, rope climbs, medicine balls, resistance bands, plyo boxes, jump ropes and rowing machines are tools used by Crossfit athletes.

Two of my previous posts spoke of the achievements of Tia-Claire Toomey, winner of six straight Crossfit competitions. They are here and here. Tia-Claire is shown below. She is a phenomenal athlete.


This post is not about professional Crossfit competitors or those who are nearing that status.

Those people know what to do and when to do it.

Others may find a Crossfit gym or one that may accommodate Crossfit exercise.

This post will be for those people who prefer functional exercise over bodybuilding and who want to practice a version of the Crossfit philosophy – strength building and aerobic fitness through high intensity intervals.

As with all new exercise programs, it is important to check with your doctor about your specific intentions.

Bodybuilding promotes slow reps with even slower negatives. Crossfit emphasizes faster reps within timed periods.

Here is a (modified) Crossfit exercise plan:

  • Jump rope for 3 minutes
  • Rest for one minute
  • Do as many push-ups as you can within 3 minutes
  • Rest for one minute
  • Run or walk fast on a treadmill or outdoors – move fast for three minutes, then slow up for one minute, continue like this for 20 minutes
  • Rest for one minute
  • Do as many barbell or dumbbell presses with both hands as you can within 3 minutes

Beginners can rest as long as they need. Then they will try to increase reps and lower rest times as they progress.

Here is another modified Crossfit routine:

  • Run in place for 3 minutes
  • Rest for 1 minute
  • Squat with barbell on shoulders or dumbbells in hands for 3 minutes
  • Rest for 1 minute
  • Do as many kettlebell swings as you can in 3 minutes – from between legs and up. See picture below.
  • Rest for 1 minute
  • Do as many box jumps as you can in 3 minutes – using a stable box or platform, squat into position and then propel yourself onto the box, using arms for momentum
  • Rest one minute
  • Do 10 minutes of steady rowing on rowing machine (or treadmill walking, or outdoor walking)

The kettlebell swing benefits all major muscles on the backs of our bodies, from the upper back to the hips. It also serves as a cardio movement when done for high reps.

It builds core strength, so that your glutes and hamstrings can forcefully extend your hips when necessary as an athlete.

See this video on the proper way to do a kettlebell swing


I am an Amazon affiliate and am able to search and find relevant items that I can recommend. I may be rewarded if my links are acted upon. I have found that Amazon provides excellent service and pricing on a huge variety of products.

Here are some equipment options for a Crossfit home gym:

My Nordic Track treadmill – not the most expensive, but it has lasted for years

Rowing machine for home use

Plyo box for home use


Olympic barbell set

Adjustable dumbbell

Jump ropes

Medicine ball – for Crossfit workout

Pull-up bar – for doorway

Resistance bands – for strength building


  • With each Amazon link, there are other similar choices also presented, with different price points


Serious Crossfit people and Crossfit training strongly recommend changing the workout every day. The idea is to train for function, not to develop a bodybuilder’s physique.

But the workouts do produce incredible physiques nevertheless.

People at home who want to use the general Crossfit philosophy of functional training with high intensity intervals can easily structure their routines with daily changes.

Here is a formula to consider:

  • Warm up for 2-3 minutes
  • Slight rest
  • Resistance exercise for 3-5 minutes, with speedy movements
  • Rest
  • Cardio exercise with intervals – fast, then slower – for 10-20 minutes
  • Rest
  • A different form of resistance 3-5 minutes

Resistance weights can be chosen on the basis of current strength levels. Rest periods are optional, depending on fitness.

The goal is to increase the number of reps within the time frames and to reduce the rest times.

Also, it is important to change the forms of resistance and cardio as frequently as possible.

The Crossfit professionals who compete in the Crossfit Games are kept in the dark as to what tests of strength and endurance they will be facing. They train to be ready for anything – running, swimming, cycling, Olympic weight lifting, power lifting, handstand walking and the like.

Those of us at home can somewhat implement this idea by changing our workouts as often as possible.

Remember – we are not doing 10 barbell curls. We may be doing 3 minutes of curls to see how many correct ones we can do. We will be challenging ourselves to constantly increase our reps in a given time period.

Personally, I like the idea of doing Crossfit workouts, as modified as they will be. In general, changing workouts has always appealed to me.

Please leave me any comments or questions in the “Comments” section below. Or email me, richard@myworkoutathome.com.

Be well and stay fit!


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