CrossWhat? CrossFit! Debunking CrossFit and its intense lingo!

Coming into a CrossFit gym can be intimidating, and not just because of the new movements, big weights and hard looking workouts. You pretty much have to come in and learn a whole new language.


Why you might ask? Cutting down lots of words into short acronyms allows trainers to shorten their explanation time. You may have noticed it can take a while to explain the workouts if your not used to them. There is a lot of information to take on when starting CrossFit!

You don’t have to know the lingo to CrossFit, your coach should explain the workouts and make you feel comfortable! But you should eventually learn them and it can be a pain to remember all those terms! So here is a list of many of the acronyms, girls and slang you’ll hear in CrossFit gyms to help you get used to the culture quicker!


WOD: Workout of the day

There is always a WOD which is generally repeated every class in a day so all members complete it. Scores and times are generally noted so you can gage how you are improving with your fitness. The WOD is different every session.

AMRAP: As Many Reps/Rounds As Possible

The WOD may be prescribed as an AMRAP. This means compete the workout in the prescribed time as many times as you can! So I may be asked to do an 8-minute AMRAP of 10 burpees, 10 squats and 10 push-ups. I may get through 6 rounds 3 repetitions in 8 minutes, which would constitute as my score.

EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute

You will be prescribed 1 or more exercises to do at the beginning of each minute. So I may be told to do a 10 minute EMOM with 10 thrusters at the 0 minute mark and 10 box jumps at the 1 minute mark. I would continue on through this fashion until 10 minutes is up.

For Time

You will be given a workout with a set number of rounds or reps which may look something like this:

For Time: 3 rounds
10 pull ups
10 toes to bar
10 v-snaps

Your score is how quickly you can do this workout in.

The ‘Girls’:

The ‘Girls’ are actually CrossFit workouts. For example, Jackie, Fran, Helen, Karen, Diane etc. These are names given to specific workouts. The reason behind this is so you remember the specific workout easier.

Fran = 21,15,9 Thrusters 95lbs, Pull ups

All CrossFitters should at least know of these benchmark workouts. The idea is a CrossFitter from Australia could ask a CrossFitter from Ireland ‘Whats your Fran time?’ and the CrossFitter from Ireland should know what the hell the Australian CrossFitter is talking about.

Movement Standards:

Every movement in CrossFit has a ‘movement standard’ that provides an equal playing field for all athletes. Each exercise prescribes certain standards the athlete must reach during the exercise for the repetition to be counted. If the athlete does not reach these movement standards they will be given a ‘no rep’ and must complete the repetition properly again for it to be valid.

For example, during a squat the hip crease must past below the knee at the bottom of the squat and the hip and knees must open to full extension (be straight) at the top of the squat for the rep to be valid.

RX: As prescribed

If you complete a workout with out any substitutes or scaling you are doing the workout as prescribed or RX.

PR/PB: Personal Record/Personal Best

When you lift a heavy weight or complete a workout better than your previous best time or weight!

1RM: 1 Repetition Max (or rep max)

The heaviest weight you can do for 1 repetition. Usually in reference to weightlifting.


General CrossFit

CrossFit Open, Regionals, Games

CrossFitters train all year to compete at the CrossFit Open which is a world wide competition held by CrossFit Inc. Each week over 5 weeks CrossFit Inc releases a workout which you must complete within the week and post your scores online. You must have a judge and adhere to the movement standards that are set.

The top 40 male, female and teams of each region go on to the CrossFit Regionals. The top 3 male, female and teams go on to the CrossFit Games.

The Regionals are 3 days of competitive CrossFit with the best in the region tackling each gruelling workout usually 2-3 per day.

The CrossFit Games is held in Carson CA where the best from each region compete over a week with very intense out there workouts. It’s a great spectacle and these are truly amazing athletes to watch.


A CrossFit gym is an affiliate of CrossFit Inc. CrossFit owners run their own CrossFit gyms however should be part of CrossFit Inc.


The name CrossFitters call their gym. The idea being there are no machines just 4 walls and minimal equipment compared to globo gyms.


DU: Double Unders
TTB: Toes to Bar
KB: Kettle Bell
OHS: Overhead Squat (NOT Occupational Health and Saftey)
K2E: Knees to Elbow
MUs: Muscle Ups
HSPUs: Handstand Push Ups
C2B: Chest To Bar Pull ups

If you want to find out what these movements are exactly, come in for a class! Try them out yourself!

Want more? Check out our other blogs on training:

How to avoid shin splints
Loosen your hips to help you squat
10 minute full body workout at home!

And some of our blogs on CrossFit

Strong is the new Skinny
What is CrossFit?
Find out why 60% of CrossFitters are women!

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About the Author

Elle has a passion for women's fitness and helping girls improve their self-image through fitness. Her vision is to create a CrossFit gym, which allows women to learn how to move, build their strength, learn to be healthy and gain respect for their bodies showing them how amazing they really are! Find out more