Top 23 AMRAP CrossFit Workouts (Doctors HATE Them!)

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When you’re gutting through a tough AMRAP CrossFit workout, you only really have one main shred of solace to make you feel better.

“At least there is a time cap…at least there is a time cap” you keep repeating yourself when you’re somewhere between round 12 and 25.

Unfortunately, there is no way to make that time cap come any quicker. A 20-minute AMRAP always lasts for 20 minutes.

@estefaniag24

Is there a better way to spend an early morning or late afternoon in your garage or basement?

We don’t think so!

Top 23 AMRAP CrossFit Workouts

Knowing that every AMRAP is going to bring a large degree of torture with it, you may as well opt for one of the top 23 AMRAP CrossFit workouts. Let’s take a look at the contenders!

2012 CrossFit Open WOD 3

AMRAP CrossFit workout

Equipment: Plyo box, barbell, bumper plates, pull-up bar/rack

What better way to get things started than with a CrossFit Open WOD?! Truth be told, the Open loves CrossFit AMRAP workouts so expect to see a bunch of Open workouts on this list!

This was back when the Open was a bit less…creative. No crazy or difficult movements (you’ll have to bound those box jumps if you want an elite time, though) but 18 minutes of this triplet will wear on you after a bit!

Cindy

Equipment: Pull-up bar/rack

You just knew that some of the classic “CrossFit Girls” AMRAPs were going to make the list!

Cindy holds a special place in my heart; she was the first “CrossFit Girl” I ever tried (I didn’t even crack the “Beginner” level at that time! This is definitely a WOD that gets better with experience and is an excellent WOD for setting personal benchmarks (I do a few rounds more than “Beginner” today!)

Jack

Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates, kettlebell, plyo box

Jack is definitely in the old school CrossFit Open mold. You do a few, simple movements a lot of times.

And like any of these old school workouts, its easy to get…”jack-ed” up with this one (ha!)

The inclusion of the push press kinda creates a DT-effect and the DT bar-dropping strategy holds up here. Long story short: clean the bar once each time. If you think you might have to drop it during the push presses, wait a little longer after the box jumps before starting the set each round.

Rankel

Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates, pull-up bar/rack, kettlebell, air runner

Yeah…everything was going nice and easy until Rankel crashed the party! The decently-heavy deadlifts and kettlebell swings may be barriers for newer CrossFit athletes. If this is you, scale accordingly.

As it is, scanning this workout, you probably don’t notice a clear “rest” period (unless you really take it easy on those short runs). This CrossFit AMRAP workout is 20 minutes of pure heartrate-elevated frenzy!

2016 CrossFit Open WOD 1

Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates, pull-up bar/rack

Interestingly enough, I did not do this one during the 2016 CrossFit Open. It wasn’t until 2 years later when this was programmed as a competition qualifying WOD that I gave it a shot.

Those overhead walking lunges are no joke and because this is an AMRAP CrossFit workout…they just…keep…coming…

Not my favorite CrossFit athletes…but they show how hard this one is!

The combination of fatigue and wielding a heavy-ish barbell overhead leads to a feeling of instability and disorientation. While this may not be the most “oh my gosh, I’m only 4 minutes in and I already want to puke!” kind of workout, this WOD really tests your ability to remain balanced and physically composed for an extended period of time.

Nate

Equipment: Pull-up bar/rack, gymnastics rings, kettlebell

Nate is great. Simple as that.

(Nah, you want some more info…fair enough!)

As far as benchmark AMRAP CrossFit workouts go, Nate is kind of like Cindy, except for people who can handle significantly more challenging and complicated movements for 20 minutes. If your score from Nate is better today than it was 6 months ago, you can be confident that you are make significant progress.

Marston

Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates, pull-up bar/rack

Marston is one of those CrossFit AMRAP workouts where one movement (and in this case, one rep) makes all the difference. If you have that deadlift capacity, the rest is (tiring) “gravy”. If not, you either scale or you do a different workout.

Even if you have a 4-plate deadlift, you’ll probably need to spend a bit of time after the burpees each round “composing” yourself for the big lift. Expect to spend a good amount of time each round “resting” in preparation (no shame in this; even the elite guys are barely doing each round in 2 minutes!)

2012 CrossFit Open WOD 4

Equipment: Wall ball, jump rope, pull-up bar/rack, gymnastics rings

2012 (and, as we’ll soon see, 2014 and 2015) were big years for AMRAPs during the CrossFit Open. If you remember WOD 3 from earlier in this post, WOD 4 represents a yuge increase in technical difficulty!

You start this one with Karen before moving on to a whole lot of double-unders. Shoulders sufficiently smoked after that? Too bad; you have 30 muscle-ups to deal with if you want to complete a full round.

To go from push presses and box jumps the week before to…this? Musta been a real shock to the system back in 2012!

McGhee

Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates, plyo box

Although the deadlifts are decently heavy, if you have a little bit of strength, nothing here really seems to unmanageable.

Until you figure out that this one goes for 30…thirty…minutes! You could watch an entire episode of the original Saved by the Bell in that period of time (you’ve probably already seen them all, though; just do McGhee instead).

RIP Screech…

I honestly feel like by the later rounds, I break more during the push-ups than anything else (and you thought that you were going to get to use these as “gimme/rest” periods!)

Danny

Equipment: Plyo box, barbell, bumper plates, pull-up bar/rack

Danny doesn’t appear “easy” by any means, but it looks to be simple enough in execution. Prepare to break a lot or to spend a bit of time resting up for giant sets.

Look a little closer…you’re going to be jumping a lot and pushing up onto your toes.

On every exercise.

Don’t discount the fatigue that Danny will put on your feet, particularly the ball of each foot. Unfortunately, this fatigue (and associated pain) is the most difficult to manage within the workout.

….have fun!

2023 CrossFit Open WOD 1

Equipment: Concept2 rower, pull-up bar/rack, wall ball, barbell, bumper plates, gymnastics rings

Depending on when you’re reading this, you may have tackled this one pretty recently. Another CrossFit Open AMRAP workout that did not disappoint!

With some appropriate pacing, this one is pretty manageable

…until you get to the muscle-ups.

All of that fatigue that has accumulated over the last 180 reps…well…let’s just say those muscle-ups feel a bit different at minute 11 of this workout than they do fresh!

2014 CrossFit Open WOD 1

Equipment: Jump rope, barbell, bumper plates

2014? Looks like we’re going pretty far back again. However, consider that 23.1 from above was originally programmed back in 2014.

What’s old is new again!

I don’t foresee a day when something as “simple” as 14.1 comes back, but this is a good test, nonetheless. Depending on your skill level, you can even look at this one as an EMOM in disguise.

New to CrossFit? Each round will take exactly 2 minutes. CrossFit Games-level athlete? Each round will take exactly 1 minute.

14.1 really covers all bases…doesn’t it?!

2022 CrossFit Open WOD 1

Equipment: Dumbbell, plyo box

22.1 was what a lot of people were hoping not to see.

More wall walks!

At this point, we’ve been doing them to an Open standard for the last 3 years and everyone has gotten better with these.

But man do these blow up your shoulders over the course of a workout!

Strategy here? I think of 22.1 as the “anti-hero” workout. Don’t try to be a hero on any single movement and maintain a steady pace throughout.

Your shoulders are still going to blow up, though!

2015 CrossFit Open WOD 3

Equipment: Pull-up bar/rack, gymnastics rings, wall ball, jump rope

This kinda looks familiar, doesn’t it?

Like, 12.4 familiar, right?

Yeah…wall balls, double-unders, and muscle-ups yet again!

To be fair, the sets are much smaller this time (except for the double-unders; 10 more of these bad boys every round) and you’re graciously provided with 2 additional minutes to suffer.

A longer work period to knock out more manageable sets of each exercise…?

2020 CrossFit Open WOD 2

Equipment: Dumbbells, pull-up bar/rack, jump rope

We’ve talked about this one before as being the unofficial big-time debut of the dumbbell CrossFit cluster. If you got far enough in this, you probably did at least 20 of these.

For those in excellent shape (and who don’t trip their double-unders…like I do), there is actually a bit of strategy in this one’s set-up.

It wasn’t perfect, but the Aussie dudes who did the 20.2 Open Announcement had a pretty decent set-up, seamlessly able to move a few feet up and back to each exercise.

Skip to 29:55 and mute your computer (unless you can understand Australian)

Dudes probably got an extra round or two just from their set-ups.

Be like them.

2016 CrossFit Open WOD 3

Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates, pull-up bar/rack, gymnastics rings

Yeah, the “big boys” are doing this one as an EMOM. If you can cycle a barbell and run through bar muscle-ups, so can you!

Consider how often you’ll be jumping onto the barbell and directly into your muscle-ups, though. Very easy to tear your hands doing this, especially if you’re making quick transitions from the snatches and not switching your grips around.

(conversely, if you just keep your grips on for the snatches, you’re probably gonna go a little slower on these).

The simplest-looking WODs…always have their little quirks, don’t they?

Jennifer

Equipment: Pull-up bar/rack, kettlebell, plyo box

Jennifer isn’t one of the official “CrossFit Girls”, but her “simple” pull-up, swing, box jump combo help her to fit right in with that crowd.

You’re obviously going to “rest” during the box jumps (no reason not to step down with these) and, thankfully, you’re only using 1.5 pood (as opposed to 2) for the swings.

The twist? Twenty…six minutes of fun. Hopefully you don’t collapse every time the AMRAP clock hits 20!

2019 CrossFit Open WOD 1

Equipment: Wall ball, Concept2 rower

I’m, like, barely 5’7″.

I know it’s not an excuse…but…if you know, you know.

An AMRAP CrossFit workout of wall balls and rowing? If the CrossFit HQ hadn’t done me a solid and made 19.3 a strict handstand push-up workout 2 weeks later, I probably would have quit CrossFit.

(just kidding…maybe)

Any time we see wall balls, us garage and home gym aficionados cringe a little. Do we have to go outside? How much are our transition times going to be affected?

Thankfully, you can drag your Concept2 rower next to your wall and experience your own 15 minutes of 19.1 love (if you’re at least 5’8″ that is!)

Mary

Equipment: Pull-up bar/rack

Mary, Mary you’re on my mind…”

You knew when you saw Cindy that her friend Mary was lurking around somewhere nearby. Definitely a step up in difficulty, Mary ups the movement complexity (while tripling the pull-ups each round!)

Once you have hit somewhere between 20 and 25 rounds in Cindy, you can probably “graduate” to Mary, but be ready to eat some humble pie. Your 26-round Cindy might only equate to a 13-round Mary!

Mary XXX

Equipment: Pull-up bar/rack

Bet you didn’t see this one coming! Who knew Mary had such a crazy, younger sister!

Mary hooked up with…Vin Diesel. Didn’t see that one coming…

In some respects, this one could be easier for some people than Mary is. If you like big sets (and can consistently knock out big sets of pull-ups and handstand push-ups), you might actually find yourself doing a few more reps in Mary XXX.

Just promise me one thing, though; even if you can do the big sets, just be mindful of Rhabdo with this one!

Oscar

Equipment: Dumbbells

Unfortunately, we can’t calculate the “Evil One” presses so no scores to beat with Oscar.

Trust me; this one gets hard. Just gripping those dumbbells for that long takes a toll. I won’t judge you if those sit-up sets just happen to take you a minute of two to finish!

If you’re interested in trying a lot more devil’s press workouts, check out our list of the top 31 of ’em here!

2017 CrossFit Open WOD 4

Equipment: Barbell, bumper plates, wall ball, Concept2 rower

17.4 was one of the great ones. Actually a repeat of 16.4 it featured deadlifts and handstand push-ups.

What is there not to love with those two movements?!

Like many of the CrossFit Open “AMRAPINOs” (As Many Reps as Possible in Name Only), most people aren’t going to finish a round…so…it’s more likely to be a “For time” workout with a time cap.

Regardless, you’re still racing for reps with this one (although planning your breaks and sticking to a set rowing pace is the way to go here!)

CrossFit Open WOD 18.1

Equipment: Pull-up bar/rack, dumbbell, Concept2 rower

“Single-arm dumbbell hang clean-and-jerks”…

What a mouthful!

To be honest, I thought these were the easiest part of this workout (which was my first 20-minute CrossFit Open WOD ever). Unfortunately, CrossFit HQ doesn’t seem to have liked their reception. We have never seen them since.

You’re probably never going to see DB C&Js in another WOD…so…may as well do them here while you’re gutting through this long AMRAP!

AMRAP CrossFit Workout Benchmarking

It’s easy enough to look at the scores to beat for each of the top AMRAP CrossFit workouts and to shoot for a particular score.

“I’m probably a competitor or something so I should go for 24 rounds in Cindy” you might tell yourself before settling in for the long haul.

But AMRAPs are particularly special in helping you to benchmark against the most important person.

Yourself

@jessicaccoughlan

Sure, with other workouts, you can judge progress by moving faster. Who doesn’t like to shave 10-15 seconds off of their Fran time?

But with AMRAPs, you get to gauge how your fitness level has improved and your grit level.

Like we said at the beginning, a 20-minute AMRAP is 20 minutes long…no matter what. If you’re able to gut out another round or two in Mary, you’re more fit than you were before, and just as mentally strong…if not stronger.

Mental strength and determination are going to beat WOD sprinting ability every time. Keep track of your AMRAP CrossFit workout benchmarks to see how these areas are improving.

When You Only Have So Much Time

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had to time cap myself in a WOD because it ended up taking longer than I anticipated. My ambitions of finishing some kind of long rowing WOD in 20 minutes were well short of what reality dictated. Instead, I’ve found myself 2/3 through a workout, experiencing an uneven stimulus.

@leahcasciano

AMRAP CrossFit workouts can also help to prevent the opposite problem from occurring. In some cases, I have over-budgeted time and over-estimated the intended stimulus of a WOD only to finish up in about half the allotted time and breathing far too comfortably.

(total garage gym problems…)

With a good CrossFit AMRAP workout, you know exactly how long your WOD is going to last and, in most cases, you will experience the desired stimuli whether you get 5 or 25 rounds. Know you gotta be somewhere in an hour? The 2015 CrossFit Open WOD 3 is probably better for you than McGhee. No matter what happens, you’ll have 45 minutes to get to where you need to when you’re done.

AMRAP CrossFit Workouts: Post-game Comments

If you haven’t decided on which AMRAP you’re going to do in exactly 12 seconds when you finish this article, stop what you’re doing and pick (…CrossFit Open 17.4…it’s so fun!) right now! Make sure you record your score, the date, and how you felt during the workout. This information will be very valuable to you in 6 months when you repeat it.

@lozstallwood2

Whichever AMRAP CrossFit workout you end up choosing, know that you’re improving your physical and athletic capabilities while you build your mental strength and grit.

There is just something special about a tough AMRAP…

Finished all of the top AMRAP CrossFit workouts and want to try something…different. Give one of the top hotel CrossFit workouts a try…even if you’re only on a quick vacation down to your basement!

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AUTHOR

Tom, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer, ISSA-CPT, PN1-NC, DPA, CAPM has been CrossFitting for over 10 years. He has participated in a number of team and individual CrossFit competitions across Europe and the United States. He was the 2012 Chick-fil-A Race Series champion (North Georgia Circuit) and has put together a few gnarly garage and basement gyms in his time!

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