One of the many appealing elements of a CrossFit workout is that you can work on a lot of different muscle groups in a very short space of time. You can build strength, conditioning, technique and cardio with a short workout routine.

This makes CrossFit the ideal exercise regime for people who work a lot of just have so much on their plate in general that they don’t have the time to be factoring in hour long workout sessions multiple times a week.

If you are trying to build up muscle and work on getting toned, this 10 minute CrossFit workout benchmark ‘Helen’, is a great choice for you!


The only equipment that you are going to need for this is a kettlebell and a place to do pull-ups. So there isn’t really much work involved in getting together the tools necessary to complete ‘Helen’.

The kettlebell, if you are unfamiliar with it, is a ball of cast iron or steel with a handle on top, that you can use in a variety of different exercises. It’s pretty popular in several CrossFit routines so it would be worth investing in one if you plan on moving forward with more of these workouts.

And pull-ups are an essential element of CrossFit, you definitely need to have a place to do those. A bar would be ideal, I’d suggest getting one and finding a place to put it, but if you can’t there are some alternatives that might work for you.

So on to the routine…

The goal is to treat this like a sprint. Do everything in succession, as quickly as you can, and it shouldn’t take you any longer than 10 minutes. Here are the three exercises:

400m Run

The cardio element of this is extremely important. A 400m sprint is going to be tough, especially when you are working to stay under 10 minutes, but not only will it burn a ton of calories and get your heart pumping, but you will also be working on your leg muscles.

The kettlebell swings and pull-ups are all upper body focused, so if you want a fully toned body it’s important to put a lot of focus into this run so you can ensure you get your leg workout in too.

21 Kettlebell Swings


You should work on having a quicker technique to get your kettlebell up off the ground. It’s pretty heavy after all, so instead of just squatting down and deadlifting it, try standing a bit back. When you crouch down you’ll have to reach for it.

This means that you will have to swing it too once you stand up, and with a lot of us needing a preliminary swing for momentum, this saves time. It might seem like nothing but time is of the essence for Helen!

Make sure that these are full, overhead swings so that you can get the full benefit for your back muscles. This is going to make a big difference to you if you’ve never used a kettlebell before, they really are great for a lot of different exercises.

12 Pull-Ups

So finally, these 12 pull-ups will cover your arms, your shoulders and your back. If you haven’t done much of this kind of exercise before, you probably won’t hit 12 the first time so just do as many as you can and really push yourself.

It will be fine to not hit the target building up to it, as long as you work hard on your form. Make sure that you are getting your chin over the bar and you are locking your arms fully at the bottom.

Your form is definitely more important than the number of reps you pull off so if you need to focus on that for your first few attempts at this workout then that’s fine.


Remember, this is a 10 minute CrossFit workout so, like I said earlier, if you do this right, you should be getting it in under 10 minutes and, if not, then that’s what you should be aiming for. The top 10% of people who try it can get it done in less than 8 minutes, so if you can hit that then you’re in the company of champions!

Contributed by the team at

WatchFit Experts change lives!

And they can do the same for you.


Pollyanna Hale Health and Lifestyle coaches
Lost 13 Kg in Total
Mel, 32y Location: London, United Kingdom Working with Pollyanna changed everything. I lost 13kg, got toned and have more energy than ever! Get same results!


Chriz Zaremba Fitness Consultant
Lost 45 Kg in Total
Chris, 50y Location: London, United Kingdom Lost 45kg after the age of 50 and now competes and wins physique competitions and runs marathons Check our weight loss plans