6 Creative No-Equipment CrossFit Partner Workouts
Get creative and challenge yourself in new ways by working out with a partner while you travel.
These are words that come to mind when I think of working out with a partner. And yes, the tone of my voice did increase in octave or two when I added the ‘?’ behind ‘fun’. So let’s get into it. Why can working out with a partner be so contagious? Because it’s ingrained in us. “One can put a thousand to flight, two can put 10,000 to flight.”
How does that apply to fitness? If you can squat 200 pounds, it doesn’t necessarily mean you and a partner can squat 2000 pounds — unless your partner is The Mountain. Wrapping up the big picture stuff, I want to make a differentiation - partnering doesn’t necessarily mean you can “do” more, but it almost always guarantees that you can “accomplish” more.
Maryssa and I don’t have a 25th hour of the day or an 8th day of the week, but since we partner together we’re able to accomplish more than we would on our own. We can work on certain projects when the other is busy, we keep each other accountable when one forgets, and we challenge each other to do better as we serve one another.
As it relates to fitness, partner workouts are very effective. We joke with each other because when we do partner WODs on our travels, we always feel like we are incredibly out of shape. “Do you even lift, bro?” is her most common response when she’s moving faster than me.
Why You Should Partner Up
There are three things that make partner workouts ultra-effective for hitting and exceeding your fitness goals.
It may not be easier, but it can be far more effective working out with an accountability partner. My old training partner, Coy, and I used to joke during our morning workouts. I would text him early with a “Excited to pump this morning?!”, secretly hoping he’d say no. He would be lying in bed hoping I’d slept in.
Perhaps a derivative of accountability, you get to push one another. I can feel this slight urge to be faster than Maryssa when we’re training together. If we’re running (which is rare) I’ll speed up to catch her, then feel her speed up as I’m approaching. It’s a vicious cycle, but an effective one as it relates to your fitness goals.
Let’s be honest - it would be a little odd to see one person by him or herself, laughing and carrying on a good time. Bringing a partner along for the ride can add a fun, enjoyable component to an otherwise not-so-fun activity. Having a partner can even help you forget the pain you’re going through.
Now, to offer some tangible tips, we’ve curated some of the best CrossFit workouts for you to do with a partner while you’re on the road:
Traditional “You-then-Me” WoD
I work as much as I can, as fast as I can until I’m exhausted, then my partner takes over while I rest; repeat until the workout is completed.
200 Crunches (or 100 Sit-Ups)
300 Push-ups (or 150 Hand-release Push-Ups)
400 Air Squats (or 200 Jump Squats)
This is where competition comes into play. (No pun intended?) We pulled a super-challenging workout from CrossFit Invictus, one of the top programming gyms in the CrossFit community which has regularly prepared high-level athletes for CrossFit competition.
You can perform the workout as described, or compete head-to-head!
“Dissecting Kelly” (Modified)
400 Meter Run
30 Box Jumps (24″/20″)
Partners will alternate movements, with only one partner working at any one time. Thus, Partner A will run 400 meters, Partner B will perform 30 Box Jumps, Partner A will perform 30 Burpees, and Partner B will run 400 meters – and so on for 30 minutes.
Workouts with Partner Carries
A couple of our favorite carries are:
1. Buddy carry, Fireman’s carry or Over-the-shoulder carry. I’ve heard each one. Regardless of the name, hoisting your partner over your shoulder and trying to maneuver a couple hundred yards can burn you out in an instant!
2. Wheelbarrow carry. This one may require a little finesse, but is super-challenging for both partners. No resting, and a nice push-pull dynamic!
You get to compete for a time, and the winner gets to cheer on the other until you are both finished! A true partner workout means you both end at the same time - challenge yourself to some burpees while your partner is finishing!
50 Air Squats
50 Hollow Rocks
Complete the exercises in order. One partner works while the other rests. Partners can alternate reps or one partner can finish a number of reps while the other rests.
As Many Burpees As Possible
Complete as many burpees as possible with your partner in five minutes.
Do not go at the same time. Partner A waits for Partner B to finish their burpees before starting their own.
20-minute EMOM (Every Minute, On the Minute):
25 Air Squats
You each have one minute to finish the reps. Whatever time is left in the minute is rest time. While Partner A completes push-ups, Partner B is doing air squats. Switch every minute.
Studies have shown a clear benefit to working out with a partner. Sticking to workouts can be particularly hard while traveling, so having an accountability buddy will make it that much more likely that you’ll follow through.
We love helping people with their fitness goals. We hope we’ve added an inkling of value to your journey, and look forward to hearing about your experience with the workouts and exercises above!
Cover photo from Shutterstock.