Out of the Box Workout

Variation. Muscle confusion. Keep your body guessing & you will see changes.

When I began distance running, I didn’t vary my speed much, just my mileage. You know what? My body figured it out and stayed the same.

I learned to work smarter and incorporate HIIT into my running and strength training workouts.

Reebok_CrossFit_capris_dead lift

By continually mixing up my workouts, eating whole foods, and using specific supplements, I’m making changes.


And, I don’t get bored!  I rarely do the same order of exercises or running intervals.


I frequently like to combine my two loves: running & CrossFit.

Out of the ‘Box’ WOD
Run 800m
10 push-ups
20 air squats
30 full sit-ups
[Repeat 6 times]

Breaking up the 3 miles allows me to run harder. Additionally, I get the added benefit of strength training, further boosting my metabolism for 24 hours post-WOD.

I’m gearing to watch The CrossFit Games July 13-15th in Carson, CA, both mentally and physically.

I kind of feel like I need a six-pack to even spectate!

Have you seen those athletes?!

Time to get focused in the kitchen and the gym (or box); I have some work to do.  I’ll be live tweeting during The Games, so follow #CrossFitGNC for updates!

For more workouts, visit my FITNESS page!


What remains routine for you in the summer?

What changes (if any) do you make?

*FitFluential LLC compensated me for this campaign. All opinions are my own.


  1. I’ll be including more running into my routine!

  2. OH no! My comment was erased (computer error) let’s see what I said! I plan to make weights more routine for me this summer and for always. After 5+ years of being a runner I have finally found how much strength training matters. I also found I can’t outrun a bad diet…although part of me wants to keep trying. ( ;

  3. Jess you are looking great! I discovered HIIT workouts about 1 year and a half ago couldn’t believe how amazing they are. Keep up the hard work! I think I tend to slack on my HIIT workouts in the summer.

  4. Haha I love the ‘need a 6 pack to spectate’ comment!! You are lookin awesome there girl! Right now, I’m off running due to an ankle injury that I’ve had for over 3 weeks now (tentinitis… NOT fun!) but have made adjustments. I feel great on the bike so I keep teaching my spin classes, and I do HIIT sets on the bike when I’m working out on my own. I also LOVE the Stair Master and did walking lunges today till my legs wouldn’t lunge any more!! Not running is definitely a huge change for me, but I know I’ve got to if I want to get better.

  5. omg i just can’t wait for you to go so i can hear all about it!!

  6. You are so fierce and I love it!

    In the summer I still run but I go longer distances. My strength training also ramps up as my new cheerleading season starts. You’ve gotta work to get those new tumbling and stunting skills in!

  7. Thanks for the reminder! I am training for my first marathon and I think Strength Training is a MUST this time around.

  8. my routine for the summer includes lots of boat trips and hanging out with friends at the pool. 🙂

    I’ve incorporated some changes (as you know) lately, too. Started the Genetix HD line last week. I’ve been trying to eat clean(er). And still kicking ass in the gym and trying to get my butt back in gear for running!

  9. My summer routine includes a lot of beach time and in that time I definitely swim and play in the waves so that’s cross training, right????

    I am beginning to incorporate changes including a power yoga class that I have been doing weekly and I love how it kicks my butt. I’ve noticed it getting easier in the past several weeks though and that makes me HAPPY! I want to look into the supplements you recommended and change up my diet a bit. For me I think it’s just about laziness sometimes and I too often chose convenience.

  10. My routine in the summer? So much fruit. So.Much.Fruit.

  11. Can you just come to Illinois and be my personal trainer?? I love to RUN and find it so hard to mix up my workouts, but I’m trying. This morning, I added boxing bag after my run. Sexy summer shoulders, here I come!

  12. I really need to incorporate more HIIT into my routine, I think. While I don’t necessarily like doing it, I like the results!

  13. I am (trying) to incorporate more strength into my routine, without sacrificing good quality bike & run workouts and while starting a new job. The balance is tricky at times, but I’m getting better at it. 🙂

  14. i would say thanks to you that I am really mixing up my routine and finally getting going with strength.

    now yes my biggest challenge is saying no no to sugar in teh kitchen, but I can do it!

  15. Your body looks so strong!
    I need to focus a lot more on my eating and overall fitness. You are right, with running if you don’t change it up your body figures it out and stays the same.

  16. I need to try crossfit. There are couple of them near me, I just need to do it! Just within the last year I have changed things up with my running and have noticed a huge difference in speed and hill endurance. Love it!

  17. Thanks for the tips! I think I have definitely noticed a difference in how my body looks and feels with triathlon training. I’ve noticed my arms are bigger (more muscle) without even lifting!

  18. Lovin’ the plank row + frog jump. And I’m already rockin’ the cross lunge. Hooray for fabulous exercises!

  19. I’ve been doing Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Size this summer. LOVE it and getting great results. I plan on incorporating more tabata and interval style training in my next program. I love both those moves, I always need quick heart rate blasters. I’m one of those weird people that it’s just difficult to get my heart rate way up.

  20. I can’t wait to do all these workouts once I pop this baby out in November. I am merely just exercising/moving around to make myself feel better these days.

  21. Right?!! RIPPED athletes!!

  22. derunningmom.com says:

    You totally nailed that right…my body got so use to running that it just stayed the same. Now that I have been on the bench from running for 7 weeks I have been cross training and lifting during that time and people are definitely noticing! I had a few people approach me and ask me what I have been doing! That is a great feeling. i love your workouts and have been trying some of your stuff..Dang you work hard!!!

  23. My new routine is running or biking to work. It’s a win, win, win for me, our checkbook, and a greener world. There’s a lot of planning involved but it’s nice to get 3.5 miles in before work!

  24. i definitely agree about running-if thats all u do, your body gets used to it. its hard if you’re training for a race to run, lift, etc. so usually when im in marathon mode, its a lot of running! i sort of love when im not training for races though bc i can mix it up so much. i love HIIT and lifting so much..feeling strong is great!

  25. I used to play very competitive volleyball so i was always doing intense running and strength and conditioning routines, but now that im in college im not as in shape as i used to be. Im so obsessed with your page! ive been looking for some good workouts that you actually sweat and feel your muscles working instead of the girly magazine ones haha. LOVE THIS! and cooper! 🙂

  26. wish i was goin’ to the games!

  27. Nothing is routine during the summer because my kids are out of school and we travel a lot. This summer I’m trying to add more hills and more speed to get more out of the time I have. I need to print out one of the 500 or so routines I have on pinterest and actually add them to my running LOL.

  28. I am not running much and concentrating on high intensity workouts. Short and sweet. I am so over doing hours of boring cardio. I used to run 3xs weeks and spin 3xs. I still run 3xs but spin once. Oh, and this is my first week of Crossfit, so that is definitely new.

  29. I did this workout this morning, sandwiched by 1 mile warmup and 1 mile cooldown. I added 5 burpees to each round as well. Holy smokes. It was awesome. Loved it. Thank you! You are incredibly motivating.

  30. I definitely need to incorporate more strength training and intervals into my training plan. Thanks for the reminder! I get stuck in a rut where all I want to do is run. I was injured for about a year, so now that I’m thankfully healthy, I just want to run!

  31. Abs really are made in the kitchen !!! Thanks for always sharing the fun workout!. I am going to change my routine starting next week and add a few of your in. Nothing too crazy though. Marathon training is in full swing.

  32. Julie Arts says:

    I’m adding those two exercises from your vids into bootcamp this week. They are lovelies!!

    Can’t wait to see where July 13th finds your body conditioning – as you are already looking simply fab!!

  33. I should probably save this post and come back to it often! While I am pretty good about varying my speeds/distances, I am not good about varying the overall content of my workouts. No wonder my body doesn’t change! (Although I have known this, just haven’t been proactive about doing anything about it!) Thanks for the reminder!

  34. I too have just discovered the importance of HIITS sandwiched with my runs. I love running – didn’t start until 42 and now I’m 47. Never did a darn thing before!! I love my runs being at least 6 miles and will go longer when I can. But I know the value and importance of strength training – your website gives me more options to change up my routines and so I’m grateful to have found you! And yes, we must be spot on with our eating at least 80% of the time – I’m now working on dropping 5 lbs that I just dirty ate!!! Ugh, how come dirty can feel so good until it’s gone?

    • Thank you so much for your thoughtful comment Becky! Please let me know any comments or critiques you may have on my workouts! Love hearing feedback from readers/viewers on workout options.

  35. I’ve done this workout twice in the last 2 weeks and I loved it. The first time I added a 1/2 mile warm up and a mile cool down both at a 10 min mile pace and did the 800s at a 7:30 mile pace (3x) and a 6:40 mile pace (3x). This week I did a mile warm up and a mile cool down (again 10 min mile pace) and did all of the 800s at a 6:40 pace. It really breaks up the treadmill time which is definitely welcome. I’m a bit of a cardio whore and since I don’t have a gym membership, I totally neglect strength training, but I know it is important.

  36. Hi! I love the CrossFit Out of the Box workout. I tried it after seeing it on Pinterest, and I’ve been doing it ever since. I get REALLY bored on the treadmill and this workout allows me to break that up, while getting some great toning in – not to mention it’s a great calorie burner. Thanks for sharing!

  37. I came across your site through pinterest because the picture of you running on the treadmill caught my eye. Is that by any chance Bohler Gym at WSU? I spent many hours staring out that window on the versa climber and I just had to ask! I just finished crossfit out of a box workout and it kicked my butt! I’m going to make this site a regular stop! Thanks for the workout!!

    • Hi Marie! Yes, that was Bohler–we were in Pullman for 3 baseball seasons as my hubby is a coach. Now we are in Omaha-woo hoo! Were you an athlete there??

  38. Jess, Thanks so much for the great workout! This is the kind of thing I have been looking for! I just ran my best marathon in October and ever since I have been kind of taking a break from running. I am now needing to get back into the swing of things, without full-blown running, and this is great for that! It was a kick-butt workout! Keep these coming! PS, what is HIIT? I am guessing high intensity interval training but not sure..

    Thanks again,

    • I’m so glad you liked it Kelly! Yes, HIIT = high intensity interval training and is without a doubt my favorite way to train! I’m working on another one right now! Will post soon!

      • Great!! Now I am working on toning up for my September 2013 wedding!! Do you have any advice about how to layout my weekly workouts for maximum benefits? (How many days of HIIT, running, strength, cardio, etc.?)

        Thanks 🙂

  39. Stephanie Maldonado says:

    I loved that out of the box workout!! Kicked my butt this morning! 🙂

  40. I pinned this workout months ago and just finally got around to actually doing it this morning (whoops!). I have to say, as an avid runner, I thought, “Only 3 miles? This will be easy.” Little did I know, this was much more challenging than I had anticipated. I’ve never done CrossFit before but have been intrigued for quite some time and this has my interest peaked even more! I know I’m going to be feeling those squats later on today! Thanks for the great work out! 🙂

    • I’m so glad you tried it!! I feel like it is deceptive too! It’s a really FUN way to break up the treadmill monotony!! 🙂

  41. Derya the Beginner from Turkey says:

    Hi Jess. Loved your blog, so motivating! I plan to start your wonderful shape up plan this week 🙂 1 question (silly one as i m a beginner in diy regular fitness): You do 5 minutes running and above listed all out of the ‘box ‘exercises 6 times in a row. Is this all for Day 4 activities of the week 1 plan?

  42. You might imagine that Im feeling giddy in order that a portion of persons in the street are selling for a great price.

  43. This workout is so brutal, I’ve tried it 3x now and it kills me everytime. Possibly because I’m not a runner but wow!


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