Why shorter is better

Most CrossFit workouts are in the 10-15 min range. They don’t need to be 30-120 min sweat-fests. And there are plenty of great reasons why.

1) Intensity – This is one of the pinnacles of CrossFit. Workouts done with functional movements at a high intensity. It’s easy to keep the intensity level high when the workout is 3-10 minutes. But can you keep that same level of intensity for an hour? Nope. That’s why a 400m sprint is a faster pace than a 10k. If the intensity isn’t high, you’re wasting your time.

2) Aerobic AND anaerobic – Dr. Tabata, and many other studies, have shown that high intensity intermittent training (HIIT) improves cardio, muscle-building, body composition, speed, strength, power and agility. Aerobic training alone only improves aerobic capacity while burning muscle. So why not get some bang for your buck and get all the benefits from the short duration, high intensity workouts?

3) Anabolic – It basically means to “build up”, while catabolic means to “break down”. The longer the workout, the more catabolic it becomes. The shorter CrossFit workouts, balanced with nutrition and rest, put your body in an anabolic state, letting you repair and build strength.

4) Goals – If you want better health and fitness, short duration, high intensity workouts are it. If you are looking at getting more specific with your training, maybe a marathon or a triathlon, then playing around with the longer workouts may help. I’m not saying you should never do a long workout. You should dabble in a longer workout a couple times per month. But the majority of them should be kept to within the 10-15 min time domain.

Skill of the Week – Pistols

2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters (95/65#)
With same times for rest between rounds.

What a transformation!

97 thoughts on “Why shorter is better”

  1. This is a great post and ofo value add. Makes sense and so good to know the whys and hows of WODs.
    Heather, you still amaze me for many reasons on different levels. What an amazing split shot of you!
    Kevin and Coaches, keep up the good work in life changing business.

  2. Thanks Kevin. I agree, I love the shorter high intense workouts! They feel great. Heather you are amazing!

  3. Amazing Heather!

    Daily Squat to 220 (PR)


    Thrusters: 5×75-5×95-3×105-3×115-2×125-1×135-1×145-1x155F

    WOD @ 85lbs: 88 reps

    Felt like a train wreck this morning. Not sure why. Not sleeping really good lately, that might be it.

  4. WUx2

    Thrusters: 5Γ—45-5Γ—55-3×65-3×75-2×85-1×90

    WOD @ 50lbs: 90 reps

    Ouf that was fun πŸ™‚ Thanks for the encouragement Natacha.

    Cashout- Clock Plank

  5. Daily squat to 275

    195×1 (PR)

    WOD @ 95#
    101 Reps

    4 hours of Clock Plank

    1. Hey Kevin, you were mentioned on the radio this morning on C103. There were talking about the Paleo diet and said you have been on it for 3 years.

      1. Kevin can you share some of the recipe sites? (or anybody) Are there still some on the crossfit site?

  6. WUx1 Squat to 165#
    65×5 75×5 90×3 105×3 110×2 115×1 PR

    Wod @ 65#
    101 Reps

    4 hour Clock Plank..dizzy

  7. WUx2

    Thrusters: 5Γ—75-5Γ—95-3Γ—105-3Γ—115-2Γ—125-1Γ—135-1Γ—145-1×155 ( unstable @ 155)

    WOD @ 75lbs: 91reps

    4 hour Clock Plank

  8. Heather you certainly are an inspiration!!

    Strength: Thrusters
    5x 45-55
    3x 65-75
    2x 85
    1x 95
    I didn’t know if I was supposed to try for a PR on the last one…

    WOD @ 55#: 93 reps

    Good workout! I liked it!

  9. Great picture Heather. You look amazing.
    Trusters 35×5-45×5-50×3-55×3-60×2-65-65-70
    WOD @ 35
    80 reps

    1. Loved the article Marc! Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

      Heather, I’m always blown away when I see those pictures! Man, you look good girl!! πŸ˜‰

  10. WU x 2

    5 x 35
    5 x 35
    5 x 45 (by accident)
    3 x 55
    3 x 65
    2 x 75
    2 x 85
    1 x 90

    WOD @ 55 lbs- 100 reps

  11. Great Picture Heather! Unbelievable transition!

    175Γ—2 (PR)
    185 – Fail
    175 – Fail
    WOD – Thrusters at 95#
    (forgot book and can’t remember reps….I think 25…22…15…13….10)

    2 Hours of Clock Plank…

    Really enjoyed the post this morning….

  12. Hey gang!

    If the weather holds up and the ice on the pond in front of my place stays as nice as it is, I’d like to invite you all to come over, on Saturday afternoon, to skate, play hockey or whatever other outdoor related activities you’d like. We could make a campfire, roast marshmallows and have hot beverages. πŸ™‚

    Anyone interested?

    I’ll keep you posted on ice conditions as the end of the week approaches!

    I hope you’re all having a great day!


  13. wu x 2
    strength – Thrusters
    45×5,55×5,65×3,70×2,85(F),75(F) having a really hard time with the hip movement

    WOD : 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters (40#)
    With same times for rest between rounds.

    Total reps. = 64(18,15,12,11,8)
    cash out – 4 Hours of Clock Plank…(12″ box)

  14. wu x 2
    strength – Thrusters

    WOD : 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters (85#)
    With same times for rest between rounds.

    Total reps. = 92(25,22,18,15,12)
    cash out – 4 Hours of Clock Plank…

  15. WU x2
    Thruster practice to 95#
    WOD @ 50#: 105 reps… probably should have gone with 55# but had felt a little shoulder tweek during practice… workout felt good though

    plank clock: 2 + 1 + 2… felt like puking after!!…

    still on endorphines from this morning’s workout!

    Thanks Maria!

  16. CFWU x 2

    Strength – Thrusters

    WOD 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters 95#
    Rest the same amount of time each round

    Total Reps: 110 (31, 23, 23, 20, 13)

    Cash out – 4 hours of Clock Plank

  17. WU X 2
    Strength – Thrusters

    WOD : 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters (65#)
    With same times for rest between rounds.

    (22+19+16+14+11) = 82 reps as Rx – More reps next time, but any day Rx’d is a great day!

    Cash out – 4 hours of Clock Plank – So far my favorite “stretch”

    Thanks everyone for all the great comments today and over the past year+. Your support and encouragement have been a huge part of me sticking with this journey – a first ever for me!

    1. Heather, I think you look incredible; and I know by listening you talk, and reading your posts, that you feel AMAZING (which is what REALLY matters). You are an inspiration to all of us. Congratulations on all that you have accomplished. I know it didn’t come without a lot of hard work πŸ™‚

    2. Heather, your before and after pics have to be my favourite CrossFit pics. We see those all the time… but when it’s someone you know it has so much more meaning. Congrats to you for all of your success with CrossFit!

      …Oh… and my offer for the Games still stands…. πŸ˜‰

      1. I watched some of the Games WOD’s last year and thought at the time you guys were nuts…but for $10 …

  18. wu x 2
    strength – Thrusters
    95Γ—5,115Γ—5,135Γ—3,155Γ—3,185Γ—2,205Γ—1(pr by 20 lbs)
    WOD : 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters (95#)
    With same times for rest between rounds.

    Total reps 107

  19. CFWU x 2


    WOD 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters 95#
    Rest the same amount of time each round

    27-16-15-10-9 Total: 77

    Cash out – 4 hours of Clock Plank

    Great job everyone!

  20. Corinna Rodgers

    Thrusters @ Rx 65 lbs

    32-27-23-21-16= 117

    Thrusters are a huge goat for me so I am so pleased with my result tonight!!!

    Nice work express class and thank you MC for helping me with my squats tonight.

  21. Wux2
    Thrusters 35-45-55-65-75-85

    [email protected] (wouldnt dare go heavier with ,very sore, old shoulder injury)

    27-20-20-17-15= 99reps πŸ™‚

    I owe I oweIt’s off to work I gp!!! Great workout !!! Gnight peeps!!

  22. WU X2
    Strength: Practiced some Cleans and Squat Cleans, as haven’t done them in for a while due to arm/shoulder injury. (35 – 45 – 55 – 65 – 70 – 75)

    WOD: “Modified” SQUAT CLEANS @ 55#
    RESULTS: 13 – 11 – 10 – 8 – 9 = 51 reps

    Good workout… even with the modification. Glad to finally be doing workouts with weights again. No arm/shoulder ‘pain’ during strength or the WOD, just felt a little achy after.

    Tried about “10 minutes” of the clock plank, but had to stop as I did feel pain in the shoulder with that one. ….. patience…. obviously not healed yet.

    Heather S…. Great to see the before and after photos of you! AMAZING!!! Although I knew you had changed alot since I first met you in 2010, I really hadn’t realized just how much until I saw these photos. You’ve got quite a “young” body now!! Lookin’ good! πŸ™‚

  23. strength – Thrusters
    35Γ—5,45Γ—5,50Γ—3,55Γ—3,65 x 2, 70 x 1

    WOD : 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters (40#)
    With same times for rest between rounds.

    Total reps. = 106

    Cash out 4hours of clock plank … I think my exact words to Kevin were: “I used to like you!”

  24. Wux2
    75 x 5
    90 x 5
    105 x 3
    120 x 3
    135 x 2
    145 x 1
    155 x 1 PR of 10

    WOD 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters 85#
    Rest the same amount of time each round
    30-20-16-16-13= 95 reps

  25. Corinna Rodgers

    I am a big fan of your’s Heather. You look absolutely amazing! Congrats on all the hard work and dedication!

  26. @ home

    WU times 2 strict pullups with green band

    WOD with 55 lbs


    Total 108 plus a nice CF cough!!

    Tired today and not feeling it at all… Will need to do some light rolling before bed, my hip flexors were bothering me from the first round on. Glad I did it nonetheless πŸ™‚

  27. wu x 2

    WOD @ 85#
    91 Reps

    4 hours of Clock Plank

  28. WU x 2


    WOD 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters 55#
    Rest the same amount of time each round

    25-20-17-14-12 Total: 88

    Cash out – 4 hours of Clock Plank

    You look Amazing Heather!!!

  29. WU x 2

    Thrusters 5 5 3 3 2 1

    WOD @55 lbs
    25-24-20-17-15 = 101

    Cash out: 4 hours of clock plank

    Heather: you are an INSPIRATION to all of us!! you look amazing :)!!

  30. WU x 2

    Thrusters 5-5-3-3-2-1-1
    50-50-65-75-85-95-95 (Tried again for bad form the 1st time)

    WOD @ 55#
    31-23-17-14-11 = 96 total reps.

    4 hour clock plank.

    Congrats to all doing this one as Rx’d…it was a tough one. A big congrats to Heather on your progress over the past year & a half. Living proof of the power of CrossFit.

  31. WU x 2
    Daily squat to 225#

    5-5-5-3-2 (yeah I screwed it up)
    65-75-85-95-105 (not my max, but taking it easy on my shoulders)

    WOD @ 65#
    2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 of thrusters
    Rest the same amount of time each round

    Total = 110
    Very happy with that after yesterdays “Death by Wall ball WOD”
    (which was a total of 189 reps when it was all said and done)

    Cashout = 4 hour clock plank (fun!)

    1. Corinna Rodgers

      Nice work Lora! You and Jeff killed that wall ball WOD yesterday!!! There should be a Cross Fit Games couples’s category. You and Jeff would make a great team!

  32. Perfect WOD for the Express Class!

    WOD (95#):
    22-21-17-13-11 = 84 reps

    Cashout —> 4 hour Clock Plank (unbroken)

    I love Thrusters! πŸ˜‰ …(insert sarcasm)

  33. CFWU x 2

    Strength – Thrusters

    5 x 185 – 5 x105 – 3 x 125 – 3 x 135 – 2 x 155 – 1 x 165

    WOD 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters 95#

    Rest the same amount of time each round

    Total Reps: 70 (17, 20, 13, 10, 10)

    Cash out – 4 hours of Clock Plank

    1. Marcel, as I don’t know Heidi very well I cant make sarcastic comments without a punch in the head from you, can you please explain to her the difference between double digits and triple digits.. Unless you have used either of the aforementioned descriptions for one of your body parts, if that is the case please disregard!!

  34. WU x 2
    Practice Thrusters – 5-5-3-3-2-1
    65-85-95-110-115-120 (PR For cleans, therefore, PR For Thrusters! Double Whammy) πŸ˜€

    WOD as rx’d
    75 Reps

    Cashout: 4 hour clock plank *small box, on the knees* That was specially hard after this WOD, I had mushy arms! I guess I have to work on popping the hips on the thrusters, that would save me from mushy arms!

  35. WUX2 (All pullups without a band – kipping πŸ™‚ )

    5-5-3-3-1(second was no rep)-1

    WOD @ 75#
    2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 of thrusters
    * Rest the same amount of time each round*

    Score: 26+20+13+13+10 = 82

    I meant to put 70# on the bar as 55% of 125 is 68.75# but by accident put 75# on.

    Cashout: 4 hour clock plank

  36. WUx2

    Strength – Thrusters

    WOD @ 95#
    Total: 77

    Cashout: 4 hour Clock Plank broken 2:40 then 2:00

    Great job 6:45!

  37. CFWU x 2
    Strength – Thrusters

    Thrusters were scary for me before tonight, going heavy made the WOD weight feel easier to drive overhead.. Great WOD coach, loved it.. the day after being dragged through wall ball hell by my significant other!! Even after she was warned? Wtf? Why wasn’t I informed? Lol

    WOD 2:00/1:45/1:30/1:15/1:00 min of Thrusters 95#
    Rest the same amount of time each round
    Total Reps: 100 (28-23-19-16-14)
    Cash out – 4 hours of Clock Plank

  38. AM Swim: 300m @ the YMCA


    WOD: (80# = 55%if 1RM) total = 119 reps
    Great job fellas at the 6:45 class πŸ™‚ & amazing pic/transformation Heather!!! The model CF member I’d say!!

    Swim 300m again at YMCA (nice and slow – taking my time – working on feeling like I won’t drown anymore).

  39. WU x 2

    Strength: Thrusters

    105 x 5
    115 x 3
    125 x 3
    145 x 2
    165 x 1

    WOD @ 85lbs. 65 reps.

    Let me see is I can put this in a positive way. Thrusters are my greatest opportunity for improvement. I thought I had a wrist issue, but, it turns out I have an issue with upper body flexibility. Anyway, thanks for the links Kevin. Thrusters will be my friend by Spring.

    Cash Out. 4 hour plank unbroken.

  40. WU X 2

    Thrusters: 45 x 5, 50 x 5, 55 x 3, 60 x 3, 70 x 2, 80 x 2, 85 x 1

    Wod 76 reps @ 47 lbs.

    got dizzy and had to stop several times on the clock plank

  41. WU x 2
    Thruster practice…shoulder sore…stopped at 100#…
    did front squats 5-5-3-3-2-1

    WOD Max Thrusters
    2:00, 1:45. 1:30. 1:15. 1:00
    with same rests in between

    81 Total

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