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What is RFT?
RFT is an abbreviation for Rounds For Time and is a common style of WOD found in CrossFit programming. It can be found in the title/heading of the workout and always includes a specified number of sets and reps for given exercises. For example:
5 RFT 5 Push Presses (95/65#) 4 Burpees over-the-bar 30 Double Unders 2 Pistols 1 Rope Climb
In these WODs, the athlete is trying to complete the work as fast as possible (safely) and will record their time to finish. The score at the end of the workout is the time it took to complete the work, hence rounds for time (RFT).
With the example above, it may take an athlete 14 minutes to complete the WOD. In that case, their score would be 14 minutes.
Rounds for Time is a popular workout type found in CrossFit. Head coaches like to use it in programming because it allows them to control the volume their athletes perform in a given day.
Since the workout specifies the number of repetitions and sets, the coach knows exactly how many they will do, and will assume intensity is high since they are racing against the clock.
Comparatively, AMRAP workouts do not specify the number of reps or sets, so a coach must estimate the volume of that workout.
Popular RFT Workouts
There are essentially an infinite amount of RFT workouts that could be created, and some of the famous CrossFit workouts use this style. A couple examples are below:
Helen 3 RFT 400-meter run 21 kettlebell swings 12 pull-ups
Nancy 5 RFT 400-meter run 15 overhead squats (95/65#)