CrossFit Training Terms You Need to Know Before You Go

Your Ultimate CrossFit Dictionary

CrossFit Workout Box
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If you've ever overheard the conversation of a group of CrossFitters, you probably thought you were listening to a strange new English dialect. No, "pood" doesn't refer to what happens in the bathroom, and "AMRAP" isn't the new menu item at your local sandwich shop. CrossFit really does have a culture of its own, and that includes its own special language.

The good news is, most CrossFit lingo is pretty easy to understand once you realize it's mostly filled with acronyms and abbreviations, along with a bunch of odd-sounding workout names.

But if you want to have any clue what people are talking about the first time you head to a box (that's a gym in CrossFit terms), you'll need to study up on this CrossFit dictionary.

The Most Common CrossFit Terms and Abbreviations

Aside from exercise abbreviations and the specifics of particular workouts (those are for different articles entirely), the phrases and terms you'll hear thrown around in most CrossFit boxes to describe workouts, programs, and overall culture include the following 60-plus phrases listed in alphabetical order.

  1. AMRAP (As Many Rounds as Possible): A type of workout where you try to complete as many rounds of the designated exercises and reps as you can before time runs out.
  2. ATG or A2G (Ass to Grass): A squat exercise where you lower your glutes as far as you can toward the ground in an effort to maximize range of motion.
  3. Athlete: Any CrossFit participant, not matter how new or inexperienced.
  1. Bacon Sizzle: The uncomfortable full-body wiggle you perform to get comfortable in the days following a tough workout. A nod to the inevitable delayed onset muscle soreness (see DOMS).
  2. Beast: A Crossfitter with a strong work ethic.
  3. Beast Mode: The mental and physical effect that takes place when a CrossFitter (athlete) digs deep and pushes hard through a tough workout.
  1. Box: A CrossFit gym. These gyms tend to be rugged and "garage gym-like."
  2. BTWD (Beyond the White Board): A website and app where you can log your CrossFit workouts and results. Plays off the fact that boxes use whiteboards to record results during workouts.
  3. BW or BWT (Body Weight): An exercise that only uses your bodyweight for resistance.
  4. C2: Refers to the C2 rowing machine popular in many CrossFit boxes.
  5. Chipper: A routine featuring a large number of exercises and repetitions. The term came about because you have to "chip away" at the workout.
  6. Coach: The term used to denote a certified CrossFit trainer or instructor.
  7. CrossFit Games or CF Games: The annual CrossFit competition culminating in a nationally-televised event where participants perform exercises from traditional CrossFit workouts in an effort to be dubbed the fittest man or woman on earth. Any CrossFit athlete can take part in the early stages of competition. Only the best progress toward the Games.
  8. CrossFit HQ or CFHQ: The original CrossFit box located in Santa Cruz, CA, and still operated by CrossFit founder, Greg Glassman. Daily workouts published on CrossFit.com originate from the CrossFit headquarter.
  1. CrossFit Journal: The program's official, subscription-based online publication.
  2. CrossFit Lung: The unbearable coughing and fire-like burning through the chest that takes place after a particularly tough workout. This is almost always worse during cold, dry weather.
  3. CrossFit Open: The first phase of the CrossFit Games where any CrossFit athlete can compete online or through their local box for a shot to progress to CrossFit Regionals.
  4. CrossFit Regionals: The regional qualifying round of the CrossFit Games.
  5. CTB or C2B (Chest to Bar): A pullup where athletes are to pull their chest all the way to the bar.
  6. DFL (Dead F'ing Last): A slang phrase and abbreviation used when an athlete's workout score places them last.
  7. DNF (Did Not Finish): A score given when an athlete fails to complete the prescribed work during a workout with a time limit.
  8. DNS (Did Not Start): The score given if an athlete can't start a workout for any reason.
  9. DOMS (Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness): While not associated only with CrossFit, DOMS refers to the soreness that often sets in one to two days after a tough workout.
  10. EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute): A workout where an exercise is prescribed to be done at the start of every minute for a certain number of minutes. For instance, a workout might call for 10 kipping pullups EMOM for five minutes. At the start of every minute , athletes must perform 10 kipping pullups. By the end of the five minutes, the goal is to have completed a total of 50 kipping pullups.
  11. Firebreather: The top-level CrossFit athletes who always seem to complete their workouts and still have energy to cheer on their fellow CrossFitters.
  12. For Time: A style of workout that emphasizes speed. Essentially it pushes CrossFit athletes to perform the workout as fast as possible. Scores are based on time to completion.
  13. GHD (Glute Hamstring Developer): A special piece of equipment designed specifically to target the glutes and hamstrings.
  14. Goat: An exercise you aren't very good at...yet.
  15. Gorilla: Like the "beasts" and "firebreathers," this person has no problem pushing hard through even the toughest workouts.
  16. GPP (General Physical Preparedness): The phrase used in CrossFit in reference to overall physical fitness.
  17. Greg Glassman: The founder of CrossFit.
  18. GTG (Grease the Groove): A kind of gross-sounding phrase referencing the performance of many submaximal sets of an exercise spaced out throughout a day. For instance, you might perform six sets of 25 air squats, for a total of 150 air squats completed by the end of the day.
  19. H2H or HTH (Hand to Hand): A combat technique (as in, hand to hand combat) that can also refer to a specific kettlebell juggling technique passing the kettlebell from hand to hand.
  20. KB (Kettlebell): A bell-shaped piece of strength training equipment commonly used in CrossFit workouts.
  21. KTE (Knees to Elbows): A hanging ab exercise where athletes hang from a bar (as if about to perform a pullup), then draw their knees up as high as possible, aiming to touch their knees to their elbows.
  22. Met-con: An abbreviation for "metabolic conditioning," a style of workout designed to enhance cardiovascular endurance, often through the use of high intensity interval training.
  23. Pood (Pd): A measurement for the weight of kettlebells. One pood is roughly 36-pounds.
  24. PR (Personal Record): An athlete's best-ever performance of a given workout or exercise.
  25. Pukie the Clown: A truly terrible CrossFit "mascot" that highlights the negative outcomes that can occur when athletes overdo it during their workouts. In other words, you might vomit.
  26. Rack Position: The placement of a weighted bar when it's supported by the hands just in front of the chest, resting across the collar bone and anterior deltoids.
  27. Rep: An abbreviation for "repetition," a word that signifies a single full completion of a given exercise.
  28. ROM (Range of Motion): A term that describes how much flexibility an athlete has at a given joint. Range of motion can vary from individual to individual and joint to joint. One goal of CrossFit is to maintain and increase ROM to enhance overall fitness.
  29. Rx'd as Rx'd: Rx is the abbreviation for "prescribed," so when a workout uses the phrase "Rx'd as Rx'd," it's supposed to be perfomed exactly as written, without any adjustments or modifications.
  30. RM (Repetition Maximum): The maximal amount of weight you can lift for a given number of repetitions. For instance, your RM for one repetition will be greater than your RM for 10 repetitions.
  31. Score: Every CrossFit workout is a competition, and athletes are scored based on their total number of reps performed during a workout. Ahtletes can track their scores and compare their results to the greater CrossFit community on CrossFit.com.
  32. Set: A full series of repetitions. For instance, if a workout calls for 10 air squats to be performed in a row, a full set is completed when all 10 air squats are done. Most workouts are phrased something like, "Perform three sets of 15 reps air squats."
  33. SPP (Specific Physical Preparedness): How CrossFit refers to skill training, or how good an athlete is at a particular component of skill-based fitness. For instance, SPP might assess how fast an athlete can complete an exercise in comparison to other athletes.
  34. Stabilize the Midline: Another way of saying, "tighten your core." It's a way to remind athletes to pay attention to the muscles that support and stabilize the spine to encourage good form during challenging movements.
  35. The Board: A whiteboard or chalkboard where daily workout scores are tracked at each CrossFit box.
  36. Touch and Go (TnG): A style of training that discourages pausing or resting between repetitions during a set.
  37. TTB or T2B (Toes to Bar): A particularly challenging core exercise where the athlete starts by hanging from a pullup bar, then uses his or her core and hips to draw their feet all the way up to touch the bar.
  38. Tabata: Tabata training is a specific type of high intensity interval training where athletes perform a series of eight rounds of 20 seconds work followed by 10 seconds rest. A full Tabata takes just four minutes to complete. Work periods are performed at the highest intensity possible.
  39. Tabata This: A very specific Tabata workout protocol where five total Tabatas are performed - one each for squats, rowing, pullups, situps, and pushups. A one-minute running rest period is allowed between each Tabata. The total workout lasts just 24 minutes.
  40. The Hero WODs: These tough workouts are named after fallen servicemen and women as a testament to their heroism and strength. Hero WODs are released periodically by CrossFit Headquarters, and as of October 2016, there were more than 160 different Hero WODs. You can learn about the servicemen and women they're named after on the CrossFit FAQ page.
  41. The "Girls": These workouts are well-known, standardized workouts created by CrossFit Headquarters as a way for athletes to track their progress over time. The original six "girls" released in 2003 included Angie, Barbara, Chelsea, Diane, Elizabeth, and Fran. The remaining nine - Cindy, Grace, Karen, Jackie, Nancy, Isabel, Mary, Helen, and Linda - were released over time. These types of benchmark workouts aren't performed very often.
  42. The "New Girls": Additional benchmark workouts released by CrossFit Headquarters, only differentiated from the original 15 by their later introduction. New Girl workout names include: Annie Eva, Kelly, Lynne, Nicole, Amanda, Gwen, Marguerita, Candy, and Maggie.
  43. Unbroken (UB): A type of workout where sets, reps, or exercises are intended to be performed all in a row without any rest. If you fail to continue "unbroken," you must start over from the beginning.
  44. Uncle Rhabdo: Another gross, unofficial "mascot," that depicts the horrible side effects that occur when an excessively-difficult workout goes horribly wrong, resulting in the very serious condition, rhabdomyolysis.
  45. WO or W/O (workout): A simple abbreviation for the total day's work.
  46. WOD (workout of the day): The official workout performed at a CrossFit box on a given day.
  47. YBF (You'll Be Fine): A supposedly encouraging turn of phrase that should make athletes just a little bit worried. Will you be fine, really? The answer is probably, yes, but not without expending a whole lot of work and effort.
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