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Mastering CrossFit Lingo: From AMRAP to WOD

Updated: Apr 9




Hey, CrossFit fam! It’s your friend, Trista, coming at you from the heart of our bustling box. With over a dozen years coaching, sweating, and living the CrossFit life, I've seen firsthand the mix of excitement and bafflement on the faces of newcomers as they encounter our unique lingo. Today, I’m here to break down the jargon, making you feel right at home with us. Understanding CrossFit terminology is crucial—as you feel more attuned to your atmosphere.. So, grab a protein shake, and let’s get chatty!


Introduction

CrossFit isn’t just a fitness regime; it’s a culture, a lifestyle, and for many of us, a second family. But like any close-knit community, we have our own lingo.. At first glance, this can seem like a barrier. But worry not, I’m here to guide you through, making "Understanding CrossFit terminology" a breeze.


The ABCs of CrossFit Lingo



REPS

How many repetitions you complete of a movement in a workout. Usually written before the movement listed. 

Example: 10 walking lunges, 15 pistols


SETS

Sets are typically listed in the strength portion of the workout. They identify how many times you do the rep scheme. 

3x10 Deadlifts 

Indicates that you will perform 10 deadlifts, 3 times. 

AMRAP (As Many Rounds/Reps As Possible)

Picture this: You’re dripping sweat, your heart’s pounding, and you’re pushing through one more rep, because that’s what AMRAP is all about—finding your limit and then discovering you can go even further. It’s a powerful concept, not just in workouts but in life too.

Example: 7MIN AMRAP of burpees. Objective- to collect as many burpees as you can in a 7 minute window. (And yes, it’s a real workout!)


WOD (Workout of the Day)

The WOD is the star of the day, every day. It’s what we gather around, challenge ourselves with, and chat about before and after class. It’s our shared battle; our collective victory.


EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute)

EMOMs are those sneaky timers that push you to complete a set task within a minute, only to start again as the next minute rolls around. It’s about consistency, pacing, and a little bit of cunning to get through.

Ex: EMOM for 15 minutes- 5 kipping pull ups


MetCon (Metabolic Conditioning)

These are the workouts that leave you gasping, but oh-so-proud. MetCon sessions are designed to spike your heart rate and challenge your metabolic system, all in the name of endurance and strength.


RFT (Rounds for time)

You often see RFT after a number. This specifies how many rounds of the workout you do for a total time. 

Example:

4FT

10 Wall Balls

30 calorie bike

You would complete 10 wall balls, then 30 calories for round 1. Then repeat in that order 3 more times to complete the 4 rounds. 


Digging Deeper: Technical Terms Unveiled

HSPU (Handstand Push-Ups)

I still remember my first HSPU. Upside down, world flipped, pushing against gravity—it’s a milestone achievement in the CrossFit journey, blending strength with a dash of daring.


Oly Lifting (Olympic Lifting)

CrossFit loves bringing in elements from all over the fitness world, and Olympic lifting is a fan favorite. It’s not just about brute strength; it’s about finesse, timing, and the beauty of a perfectly executed lift.


RX (Prescribed)

Hitting an RX for the first time is a rite of passage. It means you’ve met the standard set for a workout, no modifications needed. It’s a badge of honor, but remember, everyone’s journey is unique, and scaling is totally cool.


Scaling

Speaking of which, scaling is about making the workout work for you. It’s how we ensure everyone, at every level, gets a challenging and rewarding experience. Never be shy to scale; it’s how we grow.


HRPU

This stands for hand release push ups. You lift your hands off the floor while at the bottom of the push up, then press into the floor as you press through the full range of motion into the plank. 


Beyond The Basics: The Culture of CrossFit

The Girls

Refers to a collection of WODS named by the founder of CrossFit- Greg Glassman. 

They include workouts such as Fran, Grace & Annie. He drew inspiration from the National Weather Service and how they name storms after women- because these workouts will hit you like a storm. “The Girls” represent a group of workouts named after pioneering women in CrossFit.




Bench Mark WODs

Standardized workouts commonly done in the CrossFit community. Each workout is named as it is easily identified and repeatable. When completed, scores should be tracked so that when completed later in time, it identifies measurable results. Note any modifications, what weights were used and also jot down how you were feeling. Our performance keys in on a lot of factors and it’s good to have in depth notes while looking back and trying to outperform our previous scores. Examples: Fight Gone Bad & Filthy Fifty. ( look those up and give them a go!)


Hero WODs

These workouts are special. Named after fallen heroes, they’re a tribute, a moment of reflection, and a challenge that unites us in gratitude and respect.


Box

Forget the sterile, impersonal gym; the box is where life happens. It’s where we cheer, challenge, and sometimes collapse, only to get up stronger. The box is where we build our fitness family.


The Open

The CrossFit Open is the ultimate test of mettle, where CrossFitters worldwide throw down in a series of workouts. It’s more than competition; it’s a celebration of progress, community, and the spirit of pushing beyond.


Tips for Mastering CrossFit Lingo

Immerse Yourself: The best way to learn is to dive in. Participate, listen, and engage.

Ask Questions: We’ve all been the newbie once. Never hesitate to ask what a term means.

Keep a Journal: Track your WODs, your progress, and yes, the lingo. You’ll be amazed at how far you’ve come.

Conclusion: Embracing the Language of Strength and Unity

Understanding CrossFit terminology isn’t just about decoding a workout; it’s about connecting deeper with the community, the culture, and the journey. It’s about finding your place among us, your second family.



CrossFit is more than workouts; it’s a shared language of strength, resilience, and community. Every term you learn, every WOD you conquer, brings you closer to the heart of this incredible family. Keep pushing, keep questioning, and above all, keep showing up. The box is where we turn ordinary into extraordinary, together.


And hey, if you ever feel lost in the lingo or need a friend to guide you through your CrossFit journey, remember, I’m just a text away! Nervous to start or need help finding a place to start? Reach out! I’d be happy to be a liaison into our gym or an affiliate near you! 


With sweat, smiles, and solidarity,

Trista

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