CrossFit is more than just a gym routine; it’s a lifestyle that comes with its unique set of jargon that can be confusing for beginners. The use of confusing CrossFit specific terms and acronyms can often make it seem like a completely different language.
For those feeling lost or intimidated by the endless lines of acronyms and workout names in a CrossFit gym, this guide is for you.
Whether you’re new to CrossFit or a seasoned athlete, this definitive guide will educate you on the ins and outs of the strange terminologies that are used in CrossFit.
Common CrossFit Terms
A “box” is the term used to describe the CrossFit gym. These gyms are unique in that they are equipped with functional fitness equipment such as ropes, kettle bells, and jump ropes, allowing athletes to build everyday fitness as they train.
WOD stands for “Workout of the Day”, and it is the cornerstone of CrossFit programming. Every day, CrossFit gyms worldwide post a new WOD on their boards, as well as on their websites and social media.
The WODs can vary from day-to-day, and they are designed to keep workouts fun, challenging, and varied.
This acronym stands for “As Many Rounds As Possible” and refers to a workout set where athletes perform as many rounds of a specific exercise in a given time period.
For example, if the WOD says “AMRAP 12 minutes of 10 pull-ups, 15 pushups, and 20 air squats,” you must do these exercises as many times as possible within the 12-minute time frame.
This type of workout challenges the endurance of CrossFit athletes and tests their limits.
EMOM is another acronym that is commonly used in CrossFit, and it stands for “Every Minute On the Minute”. This means that you must do a specific number of reps of a certain exercise at the beginning of every minute, until the allotted time is up.
For example, if the WOD says “EMOM 10 minutes of 8 burpees and 15 box jumps,” you would do eight burpees at the start of the first minute. Once completed, you would rest until the second minute starts where you would then perform 15 box jumps, then rest until the third minute, where you would repeat this until the 10 minutes is completed.
These workouts focus on boosting speed and agility while providing an intense cardiovascular workout.
RFT stands for Rounds For Time. This is a type of workout that involves completing a set series of movements within a certain amount of time or for a specified number of rounds.
It’s also a great opportunity for some friendly competition amongst members! Nothing is more rewarding than seeing your hard work pay off with improved results as you complete your RFT workouts with better times or heavier weight.
This is an incredibly effective form of exercise and also great for tracking fitness progress over time.
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The term ‘Rx’ stands for ‘as prescribed’, which means that the participant will complete the workout as it was written by the coach or instructor.
This includes using proper form and technique for each exercise, using appropriate equipment such as weights or resistance bands, completing all repetitions of each exercise at a particular weight, and doing all exercises in the order prescribed by the coach or instructor.
At AIO, we encourage athletes to push themselves but recognize the importance of adapting exercises and weights based on their skillset. Our workouts are challenging and not all members can Rx them immediately – instead, we offer different ways that workouts can be scaled.
We make sure each workout can give all levels of participants a challenging but also achievable experience. That means every member gets something out of the workout and feels great after pushing themselves.
Scaling is an essential part of becoming a better athlete!
In the context of CrossFit, the term “PR” stands for “Personal Record.” It refers to an individual’s best performance or achievement in a particular exercise, workout, or movement.
A PR represents a significant milestone for an athlete, indicating that they have surpassed their previous best and reached a new level of accomplishment. It could be a faster time in a specific WOD (Workout of the Day), a higher weight lifted in a particular lift, or achieving a challenging gymnastic movement for the first time.
CrossFitters often track their PRs to monitor their progress, set new goals, and celebrate their achievements. It’s a way to measure personal improvement and growth within the CrossFit community. Achieving a PR requires hard work, dedication, and a continuous commitment to pushing one’s limits.
Benchmark WODs are workouts that are used as a reference or “benchmark” for athletes to measure their progress. These workouts are used by CrossFit gyms worldwide, and they usually carry a significant level of prestige.
They are often given names such as “Fran”, “Grace,” and “Helen.”
A “chipper” is a term used to describe a workout where you perform all of the reps of a given exercise before moving onto the next.
These are generally longer, more challenging workouts, lasting longer than 15 minutes and can include several exercises or movements.
The goal of a chipper is to gradually “chip away” at each exercise until you have completed them all.
A couplet refers to a type of workout that consists of two different exercises or movements, performed back-to-back in a prescribed sequence. These exercises are usually chosen to complement each other, so that one movement targets a specific muscle group or set of skills, while the other movement challenges a different muscle group or skill set.
For example, a common couplet workout in CrossFit might be pull-ups and squats, where the pull-ups target upper body muscles and the squats target muscles of the lower body.
Couplet workouts are often used to improve strength, endurance, and overall fitness, and can be tailored to different skill levels and fitness goals.
A triplet is a type of workout that includes three different exercises performed in sequence for multiple rounds. Similar to a couplet, which involves two exercises, a triplet requires athletes to complete three exercises, with little or no rest between them.
The exercises in a triplet can be chosen to target different muscle groups or movement patterns, and can vary in intensity and duration. Triplets are often used in CrossFit workouts to provide a challenging full-body workout that builds strength, endurance, and conditioning.
Examples of triplets in CrossFit include the benchmark workout “Jackie,” which consists of rowing, thrusters, and pull-ups, and the workout “DT,” which involves deadlifts, hang power cleans, and push jerks.
In the CrossFit world, “The Open” refers to the annual CrossFit Games Open competition, which is a worldwide online competition open to anyone who wants to participate.
The Open is typically held in February and March each year, and consists of three workouts, released one per week, over a three-week period. Each workout is scored based on completion time, repetitions completed, or weight lifted, and participants are ranked against others in their region and age group.
The Open serves as the first stage of the CrossFit Games season, and the top athletes from each region and age group go on to compete in the next stage and can eventually move on to the CrossFit Games, which crowns the “Fittest on Earth”.
Participating in The Open is a popular way for CrossFit athletes to challenge themselves, push their limits, and be a part of the global CrossFit community.
In the world of CrossFit, “The Games” refers to the annual CrossFit Games, which is a premier fitness competition that brings together top athletes from around the world to compete in a series of challenging workouts designed to test their strength, endurance, agility, and overall fitness level.
The CrossFit Games began in 2007 as a small competition held on a ranch in California and has since grown into a global event, attracting athletes from over 120 countries. The competition includes a variety of events, including weightlifting, gymnastics, running, swimming, and more. The workouts are kept secret until shortly before the event, adding an element of surprise and ensuring that athletes must be well-rounded and prepared for anything.
Winning The Games is considered the ultimate achievement in the world of CrossFit, and the athletes who compete are revered for their strength, endurance, and dedication to the sport.
CrossFit Workout Terms – The Girls
One of the most popular series of CrossFit workouts are the “Girls” workouts.
These workouts are named in the same manner as the U.S. National Weather Service names storms and makes it easier to refer to them.
Here are some of the most popular workouts in the “Girls” series.
A couplet of thrusters and pull-ups, consisting of 21-15-9 reps for time.
An AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of 5 pull-ups, 10 push-ups, and 15 air squats in 20 minutes.
A triplet of a 400-meter run, 21 kettlebell swings, and 12 pull-ups, consisting of 3 rounds for time.
A couplet of double-unders and sit-ups, consisting of 50-40-30-20-10 reps of each for time.
A workout consisting of 150 wall balls for time.
A simple but challenging workout consisting of 30 clean and jerks (lifting a weighted barbell from the ground to overhead) as fast as possible.
A workout consisting of 21-15-9 reps of deadlifts (lifting a weighted barbell from the ground to a standing position) and handstand push-ups. The goal is to complete the workout as fast as possible.
These workouts are designed to challenge athletes’ physical and mental limits, and they are often used in CrossFit competitions and as part of regular CrossFit training programs.
Other Popular CrossFit Workouts
Named after Lieutenant Michael Murphy, a Navy SEAL who lost his life in action, this workout involves running 1 mile, then doing 100 pull-ups, 200 push-ups, and 300 air squats, followed by another 1 mile run. It is typically done on Memorial Day to honor fallen service members.
Fight Gone Bad
A workout consisting of three rounds of one minute at each of the following stations: wall balls, sumo deadlift high-pulls, box jumps, push presses, and rowing for calories. After completing all stations, there is a one-minute rest between rounds. The goal is to accumulate as many reps and calories as possible.
A chipper-style workout where you complete 50 reps of various exercises, including box jumps, jumping pull-ups, kettlebell swings, walking lunges, knees-to-elbows, push presses, back extensions, wall balls, burpees and double-unders. The goal is to finish all 50 reps of each exercise for time.
The Use of Unique Terms in CrossFit
CrossFit uses unique terms within the community to create a shared language and culture among its members. By using specific terms, abbreviations, and acronyms, CrossFit creates a common language that is instantly recognizable to its members. This helps to create a sense of community and camaraderie among CrossFitters, regardless of where they train.
The use of unique terms also serves to simplify communication among coaches and athletes during workouts, especially when time is of the essence. Instead of having to explain each exercise or movement in detail, coaches can use the common CrossFit terminology to give instructions more efficiently.
Additionally, using specific terms helps to standardize movements and techniques, ensuring that everyone is performing exercises in the same way and reducing the risk of injury.
At first, the unique terminology used in CrossFit may seem strange and confusing, but once you become familiar with them, they serve an important purpose and can even add a fun and engaging element to communication within the CrossFit community.
Get Comfortable with CrossFit Terms
CrossFit terminology can be hard to keep up with, but understanding the jargon and terms that CrossFitters use can help you better enjoy your CrossFit journey, as well as help you connect with fellow athletes.
CrossFit is an excellent way to improve your overall fitness and develop strength, agility, and endurance. Whether you’re just starting or have been on this fitness journey for a while, understanding the terminology is an important part of this fitness culture.
We hope this guide to CrossFit terms and workouts has given you a better understanding, and you feel empowered to tackle any CrossFit challenge that comes your way.
And remember, it is important to always take it slow, establish good form, and stay within your limits. With patience, dedication, and a willingness to learn, you will find yourself making progress in no time!