The Cindy CrossFit Workout Guide + WOD Scaled For Each Skill Level

There are various ways that suffering can be encouraged in a workout. One of those ways is doing a workout that requires performing as many rounds as possible (AMRAP) in a set amount of time. 

AMRAPS are a great way to test your ambition and fitness. For a workout like this, you must be super motivated to push through the pain and truly put it all out there.

The Cindy CrossFit workout is an AMRAP that requires you to complete basic fitness movements as fast as you can, and although the movements and amount of reps may seem pretty simple, doing them on repeat is a different story. 

This challenging workout is a test of determination and ambition as much as strength and endurance. If you think it doesn’t seem hard enough… do it faster!

The Cindy is a benchmark CrossFit workout that you can easily do regularly, even weekly, if you want. You may be shocked at how quickly you can gain fitness. 

The Cindy CrossFit workout requires doing just three different bodyweight movements. 

In this article, we will cover the following: 

  • What Is the Cindy CrossFit Workout?
  • How to Do the Cindy CrossFit Workout
  • How to Scale the Cindy CrossFit Workout for Each Fitness Level
  • What is a Good Cindy CrossFit Workout Score?

Let’s get down to the details. 

A person doing a pull-up.

What Is the Cindy CrossFit Workout?

The Cindy CrossFit workout is a master combo of three simple but taxing movements, and it will crush you more than you think. Be prepared to torch your shoulders and feel the burn of your glutes. 

AMRAP workouts like this are super fun because it is fairly easy to improve your time regularly, which will be highly motivating and keep you coming back for more.

Who doesn’t like to be tortured on a regular basis? 

You will be surprised at how much faster you can get in just a short amount of time. While the movements of this workout are not complex, your ability to do them quickly can definitely improve as you become more efficient with the movements. 

So what does the Cindy CrossFit WOD look like exactly?

This workout consists of pull-ups, push-ups, and air squats. You have 20 minutes to do the whole circuit as many times as possible.

You may be thinking that this sounds easy. And it could be if you were just doing 3 or 4 sets. But the purpose of the Cindy workout is to speed through each round and do it over and over again. No rest. No stopping. Just keep going until you feel absolutely annihilated. 

A dead hang exercise.

Your shoulders and back will burn, and your legs will shake. Just because this workout does not require a weighted component does not mean it won’t hurt. 

Of course, you can rest between sets if you want, but the more you rest, the fewer sets you can complete, and the lower your score will be. 

However, if you are newer to doing WODs like this, you should absolutely pace yourself because going out too hot may hinder your ability to keep going if your endurance is not quite ready for a 20-minute AMRAP-style workout. 

You will need to complete as many rounds as possible of the five pull-ups, ten push-ups, and fifteen air squats. 

The Cindy CrossFit workout is one of the easiest CrossFit workouts for people of all fitness levels, thanks to the straightforward movements and the ability of those movements to be easily modified. 

Unlike some of the other WODs out there, this one is a different type of challenge because it is not the faster you go, the sooner you get it done situation. It does not matter how fast you go; you will work for 20 total minutes, no matter what. 

There is truly a mental component to being able to crush this style of workout. 

A pull up.

How to Do the Cindy CrossFit Workout

To prepare for the Cindy CrossFit workout, you only need a space with a pull-up bar and room to position yourself laterally on the ground for push-ups. 

It would be wise to have someone assess your pull-up, push-up, and air squat form before completing the workout so that you can be sure you are completing the movements efficiently so you can get them done quickly and remain injury free. 

One of the great things about the Cindy WOD is that you can do it pretty much anywhere. If you have a pull-up bar at home or monkey bars at a local park, you can complete the work out there—no need to fuss with equipment. 

Let’s talk about the elephant in the room. Not everyone can do a pull-up unassisted. This may be particularly challenging for athletes new to CrossFit who have not placed a lot of focus on mastering this movement. 

It is fine to modify this workout and utilize a TRX system, rings, or resistance bands to assist you in the pull-up portion until you have the strength to do it without help. 

It is important to pace yourself to an extent. You should try to establish a rhythm and keep that pace throughout the workout. This will help you to not burn out early on. 

An incline push up.

Here is the exact format of “The Cindy workout”:

20-minute AMRAP

  • 5 Pull-Ups
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Air Squats

Your score is determined by how many rounds you can complete in the 20-minute time frame.

Remember to keep the rest time between sets minimal because it will decrease how much work you can get done and ultimately negatively impact your final score. 

How to Scale the Cindy CrossFit Workout for Each Fitness Level

The Cindy CrossFit workout does not require the ability to do fancy movements or throw weight around.

Most athletes with any experience in fitness should understand how to complete these movements. However, that does not mean assistance and modifications will not be needed. 

Be patient as you begin your journey, and do not get too discouraged if you need time to build your pull-up strength. That is all part of the process and is expected for beginners. 

A push up.

Even advanced athletes might struggle to complete some pull-ups towards the end of the 20-minute workout window.

If fatigue accumulates, your body may start to give out. The faster you do the rounds and the shorter your rest between is, the more challenging those last few rounds will be. 

Remember that modifications are acceptable. You can do rows on rings or a TRX instead of pull-ups, resistance band-assisted pull-ups, or even jumping pull-ups if needed. 

You can do push-ups from your knees or against a wall or barbell on a rack if that is where you are at with your fitness. 

The amount of work you do may burn, but the movements should not cause actual pain, so if something does not feel right, you should adapt accordingly. 

The purpose of this workout is to be quick. You want to see exactly where your endurance is and work to improve it over time. Your muscles and lungs should all be burning. 

A bodyweight squat.

The Cindy CrossFit Workout for Beginners:

The Cindy CrossFit workout is not hard to scale to different skill levels. The best way to scale it is by keeping the number of reps and time window the same but modifying the movements as needed.  

We suggest the following as the best option for the CrossFit Cindy Workout:

20-minute AMRAP

  • 5 TRX or ring rows
  • 10 Push-ups from a wall or knees
  • 15 Air Squats

Rest as needed between sets. You should not feel fully recovered before beginning your next set, but you should be able to complete the reps. You can also break the sets into chunks of 5 if needed. 

A push up.

The Cindy CrossFit Workout for Intermediates:

Intermediate athletes are unlikely to have problems completing the movements as prescribed at the beginning of the workout but may struggle toward the end to do pull-ups without assistance or modifications. 

You should do most of the pull-ups in this workout strict or kipping and use no assistance. However, towards the end, you could incorporate resistance bands if needed. 

We recommend trying the following workout:

20-minute AMRAP

  • 5 Pull-Ups (with resistance band in last ⅓ of workout)
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Air Squats

Rather than modifying this workout for intermediate athletes, the better option is to pace yourself and take breaks between rounds. To encourage a quick time but still be able to complete it all unassisted, try resting only every 2 or 3 rounds. 

A push up.

The Cindy CrossFit Workout for the Advanced:

Advance athletes should not need any modifications for the Cindy WOD. It should be completed exactly as prescribed, and the form should be excellent. 

The workout should look like this: 

20-minute AMRAP

  • 5 Pull-Ups
  • 10 Push-Ups
  • 15 Air Squats

At the advanced level, you will hopefully not need any rest. This is an opportunity to test your endurance and see how much you can get done in the allowed window.

If you do need to rest, you should limit it. Try resting only every 5 minutes and make the rest brief, 30 seconds or less. 

Bodyweight squats

What is a Good Cindy CrossFit Workout Score?

Like all other WODs, the score an athlete can achieve for this workout is totally dependent on an athlete’s skill level. How efficiently the athlete can complete the specific workout movements also plays a role.  

For athletes who complete all of the reps, including making modifications to the movement, here is how many rounds you might expect different skill levels to complete:

  • Beginner athletes completing the workout will likely be able to complete close to 10 rounds, give or take. 
  • For intermediate athletes, around 15 rounds should be possible. Some athletes may be slightly over, while others are slightly under.   
  • The advanced athletes should be able to complete about 20 rounds, ideally a few over. 
  • Elite athletes who give the Cindy CrossFit workout an all-out try should be able to complete close to 25 rounds. Talk about entering the pain cave!
Bodyweight squats.

Takeaways

Do not let CrossFit scare you. Each WOD only has to be as difficult as you make it. 

AMRAP WODS, like the CrossFit Cindy workout, can seem intimidating because they require a good chunk of time. The plus side to these is that you are in control and can pace yourself as needed. As your fitness improves, your ambition will too! 

If you are a runner, cyclist, or any other type of endurance athlete, you do not have to limit yourself to only your sport to test endurance. Workouts like these help you to enter a new type of pain cave and test your ability to hang on when you want to give in. 

It can be fun to test your fitness regularly, and a workout like this allows you to do that without totally blowing yourself up and impacting your ability to do other important workouts you may have scheduled. 

If you want to give another soul-crushing CrossFit workout a go, you should throw on your best crosstraining shoes and try “The Bear.”

A person holding a barbell.
Photo of author
I am a UESCA-certified running coach, psychology PhD student, and competitive obstacle racer and trail runner. Once 100 pounds overweight I found fitness and fell in love with an active and competitive lifestyle. My passion for inspiring others and fitness come together seamlessly in the world of writing where I get to share the thing that changed my life. In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family, my dogs, as well as baking and cooking.

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