Welcome to the eighth annual Christmas Crusher Workout! This year you will be tackling a 25-minute AMRAP workout and it’s a great blend of strength, cardio and endurance.
The Christmas Crusher tradition started back in 2014 when I created holiday-themed workouts for my personal training clients. We had so much fun with it that I have been programming annual Christmas Crushers ever since! I have always shared these workouts on my blog and they’ve become something that many of you guys look forward to as well!
Up through 2019, I always met up with some of my clients for a pre-sunrise group workout to tackle the year’s Christmas Crusher. I’m hoping we can bring that back in 2023!
INTRODUCTION TO THE 2021 CHRISTMAS CRUSHER 25-MINUTE AMRAP + EQUIPMENT NEEDED
The 2019 and 2020 Christmas Crushers were long workouts. I think it took me about an hour to do the 2019 Sprint for Santa workout and 45 minutes to do the 2020 chipper workout. So this year I decided to go with something short and intense so you’ve got a 25-minute AMRAP comprised of six movements.
I am offering three versions of the Christmas Crusher Workout in 2021. All three are 25-minute AMRAP but the equipment and movements vary slightly.
Here are the three versions and the equipment you need for each:
- Gym version – wall ball, pull up bar, kettlebell, box, possibly dumbbells if you want to use them for the lunges
- Dumbbell version – dumbbells
- Bodyweight version – just yourself!
Hopefully, this makes the workout accessible to everyone!
WHAT IS AN AMRAP WORKOUT?
AMRAP means “as many rounds as possible.” You are given a set of movements to cycle through in a prescribed amount of time. So today’s AMRAP is a circuit of six movements that you repeat for as many rounds as you can in a 25 minute timeframe.
I first learned about AMRAP workouts during my foray into CrossFit back in 2012. I liked the workout style and began incorporating it into my own training and client programming.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF AMRAP WORKOUTS?
The primary reason I love AMRAP workouts is that they allow everyone to do the same workout but at their own pace. So one person might finish 5 rounds in a 25-minute AMRAP while someone else finishes 7. It doesn’t mean that one person worked harder than the other. In fact, they probably worked at the same intensity! I usually find that the person who finished 5 rounds is just as fatigued at the end as the person who finished 7. AMRAP workouts accommodate all levels of fitness.
I also love AMRAP workouts because there’s something nice about knowing your workout is going to last 25 minutes. It motivates me to work hard and stay consistent.
You score the AMRAP workouts by the number of rounds + any reps you get within the set time frame. They’re great for tracking improvements in strength and conditioning because you can repeat the same workout and see if you’re able to get more rounds or reps.
2021 CHRISTMAS CRUSHER: GYM VERSION
Here’s the breakdown:
- 15 wall balls – I recommend using a wall ball ranging in weight from 10 to 20 pounds.
- 10 pull ups – the type of pull up you do is totally up to you. You can work off a rig and use a band, you can do kipping pull ups, you can use an assisted pull up machine – whatever you have access to! If you don’t have access to a pull up bar you can sub heavy lat pulldowns.
- 20 alternating lunges – this will total to 10 on each side. I’m giving you a lot of freedom here. You can make these walking lunges, alternating front or back lunges or lateral lunges. I would hold some kind of weight for these whether it’s dumbbells in each hand, a kettlebell in goblet position or whatever you prefer. You could also alternate the lunge you do every round and do back lunges one round and lateral the next.
- 20 kettlebell swings – remember the kettlebell swing is a hip hinge and more about power in the lower body than using your arms! I really prefer stopping at the line of the shoulders and not swinging the kettlebell overhead. Here’s a great resource for learning proper kettlebell swing technique. You might also check out this video tutorial if that’s more your learning style.
- 10 burpee box jumps – call me crazy but I love a good burpee box jump. You will do a burpee but instead of just jumping in the air and reaching your arms overhead, you’ll jump onto a box. Fun, fun! You can also step up onto the box if you don’t want to jump.
- 15 sit ups or bicycles – you choose or alternate every other round!
2021 CHRISTMAS CRUSHER: DUMBBELL VERSION
Here’s the breakdown:
- 15 thrusters – hold two dumbbells at your shoulders. Lower into a squat and then drive them overhead as you rise to stand. This is a compound movement where you are getting a squat and a press in one neat package!
- 10 alternating plank rows – find a plank position on knees or toes with shoulders stacked over wrists and alternate lifting one arm/dumbbell and driving your elbow towards the ceiling. Try to minimize rocking of the hips as you row. I really prefer to do these on my knees so that I can focus the work to my upper back.
- 20 alternating lunges – just like the gym version, you have a lot of flexility here. You can hold two dumbbells or just one dumbbell and do front lunges, walking lunges, back lunges, lateral lunges, etc. You can also alternate between two styles every other round.
- 20 dumbbell swings – this is similar to the kettlebell swing but the hand position for this to hold the dumbbell in the middle with one hand in front of the other. I would switch which hand is in front every round. Also, if the two hand dumbbell swing feels too funky, you can do 10 single arm swings on each side. Here’s a tutorial on how to perform a dumbbell swing.
- 10 burpees – your choice on if you jump back, step back, go to a plank, go all the way to your belly, etc. If you want a little extra press work you can do a burpee with a push up or a hand release at the bottom.
- 15 sit ups or bicycles – your choice or alternate every other round.
2021 CHRISTMAS CRUSHER: BODYWEIGHT VERSION
Here are the details:
- 15 tap and reach squats – with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart, squat down and tap the floor below you (or as close as you can get) and then reach your arms overhead as you rise to stand. If you want to advance this you can rise onto the tip toes and lift the heels when you stand for extra calf work or jump for extra cardio.
- 10 bodyweight alternating plank rows – follow the instructions for the plank row in the dumbbell version but you’re just going to imagine that you’re holding weight. Really focus on squeezing the upper back as you drive the elbow to the sky.
- 20 alternating lunges – these are your choice! You can do walking lunges, jump lunges, front or back lunges, lateral lunges, etc. You can also alternate between two styles every other round.
- 20 jumping jacks – any variation. If you don’t want to jump just do your jumping jack arms but alternate tapping out the legs.
- 10 burpees – you can jump or step back and go to a plank or your belly. If you want a little extra press work you can do a burpee with a push up or a hand release at the bottom.
- 15 sit ups or bicycles – your choice or alternate between the two every other round.
There are a lot of options here to make this workout work for whatever equipment you have on hand and to accommodate jumping versus not jumping. Additionally, you can scale by reducing the amount of time or the amount of reps for the 25-minute AMRAP.
PREVIOUS CHRISTMAS CRUSHERS
*We had a rebrand from Cookie Crusher to Christmas Crusher in 2020 because we don’t believe in earning our Christmas cookies around here!
NAUGHTY OR NICE?
Let me know if you think this 25-minute AMRAP was naughty or nice! How was the workout for you? Which version did you do? How many rounds did you get in?