CrossFitters march to the beat of a different drum—not to mention speak an entirely different language. Coaches and athletes use jargon and abbreviations to describe the exercises and techniques that make up a particular WOD—excuse us, “workout of the day”—while guys less familiar with CrossFit slang laugh it up when their buddies talk thrusters, pistols, and poods. There’s no Rosetta Stone for CrossFit, but we took a stab at defining 15 of the most oft-used CrossFit terms to get you up to speed. Reference this list the next time you’re struggling to decipher the words AMRAP or MetCon written on the white board at the box.
1. Workout of the day (WOD): Plain and simple, this is the set of modalities that your coach uses to put you through hell on any given day.
2. As many rounds as possible (AMRAP): Complete a circuit as many times as you can within a given time frame. For example, six-minute AMRAP: 5 deadlifts, 10 pullups, 20 double unders. When the six minutes is up, record your total rounds completed. Note: AMRAP may also mean “as many reps as possible.”
3. MetCon: Short for metabolic conditioning, this CrossFit devil is usually a few exercises repeated AMRAP-style. The “Cindy” workout of the day (20 minutes of 5 pullups, 10 pushups, and 15 squats) is a good example. Some boxes offer MetCon-only classes for anybody who wants to steer clear of the heavy lifting associated with standard CrossFit WODs.
4. Thruster: Thrusters feel like the bane of all CrossFitters’ existence, especially during “Fran” when they’re done 45 times with complementing pullups. To do this move, grab a barbell and start in front rack position—standing position with the bar resting against the front of your shoulders; hold the barbell with a hook grip. Drop into a full squat position while keeping the barbell at shoulder level. Return to standing position in an explosive (thrusting) motion and push the weight up over your head. Bring the barbell back down to your shoulders and repeat.
5. Double under (DU): While jumping rope, allow the rope to pass under your feet twice while you’re still in the air. As an alternative, you can do three single unders for every DU that is required (e.g. 20 DUs = 60 SUs).
6. Pistol: No, this has nothing to do with gun control, so everyone please relax. A pistol is a one-legged squat, which helps to isolate each leg and build lower-body strength.
7. Snatch: Get your minds out of the gutter. The snatch has many variations (power, hang, muscle), but the overall goal is to use a wide grip to lift a barbell from the floor to an overhead position in one fluid and lightening-fast motion. Tip: Keeping the bar closer to your body when hoisting it up allows for better balance.
8. Chipper: Everyone who does CrossFit is in a chipper mood all the time—oh wait, that’s not right. “Chipper” refers to a WOD that you have to chip away at in order to finish. It consists of a series of multiple movements (usually 5 to 10) where each athlete is trying to finish the entire thing as fast as humanly possible.
9. Kipping: Kipping implies the use of explosive strength in order to gain momentum when performing pullups, hand stands, pushups, and dips. For example, kipping pullups are completed without dropping from the bar. This modality starts on the pullup bar with a powerful hip drive, explosive kick, and strong pull from the arms in order to create enough momentum to get your chin up over the bar.
10. RX: When a WOD is performed RX’d, that means the athlete performs all modalities using the prescribed weight and reps. In CrossFit, all WODs can be scaled down to meet your fitness level, but the goal is to get to a place where the RX is challenging, yet doable.
11. Ass to grass/ground (ATG): ATG ensures you’re getting as low as possible when doing front, back, or air squats.
12. CrossFit total (CFT): CFT allows an athlete to get an accurate idea of how strong they are by testing themselves in arguably the three most functional CF modalities: back squat, strict press, and deadlift. CFT is the best of three attempts at these three exercises, and the sum of the max weight performed in each movement will give you your score.
13. Tabata: Tabata is a work-rest method associated with many CrossFit WODs. Here’s an example: For 20 seconds, complete as many reps of a given exercise (situps, pullups, pushups, etc.) as possible. Then rest for 10 seconds and repeat this seven more times for a total of eight intervals. After your four minutes are up, your score is the least number of reps for any of the eight intervals.
14. Pood: Sounds gross, but a pood is actually a Russian unit of measurement used for kettlebells. One pood =16 kg/35 lbs; 1.5 pood = 24 kg/53 lbs; 2 pood = 32 kg/71 lbs.
15. PR’d: You’ll hear “PR” when an athlete achieves his or her personal record on a lift.
Did we leave any important lingo off our list? Drop us a note on Facebook and let us know what we missed.
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