Learn to Speak CrossFit

WOD, AMRAP, METCON. What do they all mean and why does working out in a CrossFit gym remind me of the military? All of the CrossFit terms can be confusing – especially if you’re new.

But one thing you may have noticed about your CrossFit home, is how friendly and helpful everyone is. (And if you haven’t experience that, it may be time to look for a new gym.) Here’s a few things you’ll want to know to help you keep all of the acronyms safe.

Types of Workouts

Your coach will explain the components of the workouts before each class or session begins. But so you can start figuring things out before that, here’s some common terms you’ll see on the whiteboard.

WOD – Workout of the Day

AMRAP – As many rounds/reps as possible – when you have a certain amount of time to do as many rounds or reps of the workout as possible.

RFT – Rounds for time – when you complete a workout that has several rounds and you do it as fast as possible.

The Girls – a set of benchmark workouts that all have girl names. Like Karen, which is 150 wall balls for time.

Hero WODs – Workouts named and created in honor of people who have died such as service members, first responders, or victims of terrorist attacks.

MetCon – This is a type of workout, for metabolic conditioning, similar to a HIIT or high intensity, interval workout.

EMOM – Every minute on the minute. Sometimes, you’ll see a number in here. For example, E3OM , which means every 3 minutes on the minute.)

Couplet – a workout that has two movements in it, usually one is a classic weightlifting and one is a gymnastic movement. The same concept applies to a triplet, three movements. One of the most popular couplets is Fran, which is 21-15-9 of pullups and thrusters.

Chipper – Chipper workouts have a high volume of several different movements, but you complete one movement and then move to the next. For example, 50 sit-ups, 30 squats, 15 handstand pushups.

The Movements

Each WOD will be made up of at least one movement. Sometimes they’ll be abbreviated to save time and space when writing the workout out on the whiteboard. Some of these abbreviations are pretty common in the fitness industry like PU for pullups, and SU for sit-ups. Here are some that are more specific to CrossFit.

C&J – clean and jerk

S2O – shoulder to overhead (any way you want)

HRPU – hand release pushup

HSPU – handstand pushup

K2B – knees to bar

T2B – toes to bar

MU – muscle up

OHS – overhead squat

Conversational CrossFit

Then there are a few terms that you may here in conversation around the gym (or box as we often call it). You’ll want to know how to respond when people use these terms, so I’ve included some of them as well.

PR – Personal record – when someone does something faster, longer, or lifts heavier than they have before

Rx – As prescribed, completed the workout exactly as written – using the same weight, performing the same number of reps, etc.

Just like when you learn a new language, or adjust to a new job, or marry into the military like I did, you learn how people communicate and what terms they use. CrossFit is the same way. Don’t be afraid to ask people what something means or if they can show you what the movement looks like. You should also have a copy of my 8 Moves You Need to Know Before Starting CrossFit so you can have an idea of what those basic movements look like.

Now you can hit the box with confidence and know exactly how terrible – I mean amazing – that next workout is going to be.

Photo Credits: BoxRox, WodWell

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