What does RFT mean in CrossFit?

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.

  • RFT stands for Rounds For Time and is part of the workout instructions.
  • RFT tells the athlete to complete the work as fast as possible and record their time for score.
  • RFT workouts control the volume of work performed by the athlete since the number of sets and reps are specified.

Understanding ‘RFT’

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:

 3 RFT
 400-meter run
 21 kettlebell swings
 12 pull-ups 
 5 RFT
 400-meter run
 15 overhead squats (95/65#) 
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Amanda Chismar

Amanda Chismar is a seasoned wellness and fitness professional with over 14 years of diverse career experience in both the public and private sector. Amanda earned her degree in Kinesiology from the Pennsylvania State University and has held numerous certifications including NSCA CPT, NASM CES, CrossFit Level 2 Trainer, USAW Sports Performance Coach, YogaFit Instructor, Johnny G Spinning Cycle Instructor. Additionally, Amanda was co-owner and coach of a CrossFit facility for five years, has completed five marathons for charity and competed in Olympic Weightlifting.

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