Are you new to the world of Crossfit and feeling a little overwhelmed by all the Crossfit terms and lingo being thrown around the gym?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone! It can be intimidating to walk into a new fitness environment and not understand the language being used by seasoned Crossfitters.
But don’t let that hold you back from getting in on the action and achieving your fitness goals.
To help you out, we’ve put together a beginner’s guide to Crossfit lingo.
In this post, we’ll demystify some of the most commonly used terms in Crossfit so you can hit the ground running (or lifting, as the case may be).
From AMRAP to WOD, we’ve got you covered. So grab your water bottle and let’s get started on learning the Crossfit lingo!
Our List of the Most Common Crossfit Terms
You will use this mat for sit-ups and other abdominal exercises. Typically, it is made of foam and actively features a small arch in the center to support the lower back and enable a full range of motion.
You did those at school… don´t remember?
Well, then here we go: An air squat is a type of exercise that involves squatting down and standing back up without the use of any external weight or equipment.
To perform an air squat, you start by standing with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands out in front of you. You then lower your body down by bending your knees and hips, as if you were going to sit back into a chair. #
Make sure to keep your chest up and your back straight as you lower down. Once your thighs are parallel to the ground, push through your heels and stand back up to the starting position.
Air squats are a great way to build strength and mobility in your lower body, and they can be done anywhere with no equipment needed.
As Many Rounds As Possible. A type of workout in which you try to complete as many rounds of a given set of exercises as possible within a specified time limit.
When you hear “amrap workout” you know that it´s going to get tough again.
Ass To Grass / ATG
The term “ass-to-grass” actively describes a deep squat where the hips go below parallel, aligning the top of the thigh with the ground.
Your Coach will tell you when you are doing your back squat not low enough by yelling “ass to grass“!
As Fast As Possible / AFAP
This term describes a workout that must be completed as quickly as possible.
A type of strongman exercise in which you lift and carry heavy, round stones.
A CrossFit workout that consists of seven movements which are performed consecutively without putting the barbell down:
- Power clean
- Front squat
- Shoulder press
- Back squat
- Another shoulder press
The bench press is a strength training exercise that involves pressing a weight upward from a lying position on a bench.
Many people use it as a popular exercise to build upper body strength and muscle, especially targeting the chest, triceps, and shoulders.
Athletes use benchmark workouts to actively test and measure their physical fitness levels.
Typically, individuals perform a specific set of exercises in a specific order during benchmark workouts, which are designed to challenge their strength, endurance, and overall fitness level.
You can use benchmark workouts to actively track your progress over time and observe your improvement.
Athletes and fitness enthusiasts often use benchmark workouts to gauge their fitness level and establish goals for future training.
Some examples of benchmark workouts include the “CrossFit Total,” “Fran,” and “Elizabeth.” These workouts typically involve a combination of weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, and cardio exercises, and are meant to be performed at a high intensity.
Rubber or rubber-coated metal weight plates that serve as equipment in Olympic weightlifting and powerlifting.
They allow for dropping from overhead or high platforms without causing damage to the floor or other equipment.
A term used in CrossFit workouts to refer to a specific task or exercise that must be completed before starting the main portion of the workout.
A term used to refer to a CrossFit gym or affiliate. Crossfit boxes are the home for any Crossfit athlete and it is also the place where all the magic happens.
A box jump is a type of plyometric exercise that involves jumping onto and off of a box or platform.
To perform a box jump, you will need a box or other stable platform that is tall enough to challenge your leg strength and power, but not so tall that it is unsafe or too difficult.
Stand facing the box with your feet shoulder-width apart and your hands by your sides. Bend your knees and swing your arms back, and then explosively jump up onto the box, landing with both feet on the top.
Step back down or jump back down from the box, and then repeat the movement for the desired number of reps.
Box jumps can be challenging because they require a combination of leg strength, power, and coordination.
They are often used as a way to improve lower body strength and power, and they can be incorporated into a variety of workouts.
A bodyweight exercise that involves squatting down, placing your hands on the ground, jumping your feet back into a plank position, doing a push-up, and then jumping your feet back up to your hands and standing up.
A basic element for many bodyweight workouts and also a great way to build your cardiovascular endurance!
Perform a pull-up variation by actively bringing your elbows out to the sides (resembling wings) and lifting your chest up to the bar.
Butterfly pull-ups are the reason why so many people spill so much hate on Crossfit.
At a certain point you will stop trying to explain to keyboard-fitness gurus that butterfly pull-ups are just another version of pull-ups…
Chest to bar
A chest-to-bar pull-up is a type of pull-up exercise that involves pulling your chest up to touch a bar.
At a certain point you will stop trying to explain to keyboard-fitness gurus that butterfly pull-ups are just another version of pull-ups…
A type of CrossFit workout that involves a series of exercises that must be completed in a specific order, with the goal of finishing as quickly as possible.
Chipper workouts typically involve a mix of cardio, strength, and bodyweight exercises.
Usually, Crossfit-certified trainers, coaches are the people giving you instructions during a Crossfit class.
Your Coach is the ruler of your Crossfit box! Respect your coach and trust your coach! Be polite! Don´t talk while your coach talks! Don´t interrupt your coach! Don´t piss your coach off!
You can ask your coach any Crossfit-related question – he or she will give you the right answer!
If you haven´t started Crossfit yet, these are the people you admire for their physical fitness.
If you already started living the Crossfit life: that´s you! See you at the nearest Crossfit box!
CrossFit Headquarters (Crossfit HQ)
CrossFit headquarters, also known as CrossFit Inc., is the company that owns and operates the CrossFit brand.
It was founded in 2000 by Greg Glassman and Lauren Jenai, and is headquartered in Santa Cruz, California.
CrossFit Inc. is responsible for creating and promoting the CrossFit methodology and brand, as well as overseeing the CrossFit Games and other CrossFit-related events and initiatives.
It is also responsible for certifying CrossFit trainers and affiliates, and for providing educational resources and support for the CrossFit community.
Every year in the first quarter, the CrossFit organization actively holds the first stage of the CrossFit Games, a worldwide competition open to anyone.
The CrossFit Open qualifies the top athletes to compete in the final stage of the CrossFit Games, an annual worldwide competition held in the summer.
CrossFit movements are the specific exercises that are used in CrossFit workouts.
These movements can include a wide variety of exercises, such as squats, lunges, push ups, burpees, jumping jacks, running, rowing, and much more.
The idea behind CrossFit is to perform a constantly varied mix of these movements at high intensity, in order to improve overall fitness and prepare the body for any physical challenge.
A coach or instructor typically leads participants through a series of exercises in a group setting for CrossFit workouts.
You can modify the workouts to suit different fitness levels, demonstrating their scalable design.
CrossFit Regionals is a stage of the CrossFit Games season that follows the CrossFit Open. It is a three-day competition held in multiple locations around the world, with the top athletes from each region qualifying to compete.
The top athletes from the CrossFit Regionals will advance to the CrossFit Games, the final stage of the CrossFit Games season. The CrossFit Regionals are typically held in May.
A strength training exercise in which you lift a barbell off the ground to a standing position.
A type of skipping in which the rope passes under the feet twice for each jump.
Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. The muscle soreness that occurs a day or two after a workout. Many Crossfit workouts will give you that very feeling!
Every Minute On The Minute. A type of workout in which you complete a set of exercises at the beginning of each minute and then rest for the remainder of the minute.
You use a foam cylinder for self-massage to help loosen tight muscles and improve flexibility.
Complete the workout described by this term as quickly as possible.
In a front squat, which is a type of squat exercise, you hold the barbell across the front of your shoulders instead of on your back as you would in a traditional back squat.
To perform a front squat, you start by placing the barbell across the front of your shoulders and grasping it with your hands in a clean grip (palms facing up).
You then lower yourself into a squatting position by bending your knees and hips, keeping your chest upright and your core tight.
As you squat down, you should push your hips back and keep your weight on your heels. When you reach the bottom of the squat, you should pause briefly and then push through your heels to return to the starting position.
The front squat is a great exercise for building leg strength and improving mobility in the hips and ankles.
It can also be easier on the lower back than a back squat, as it requires less mobility in the spine.
You perform these sit-ups on a special machine called a glute-hamstring developer (GHD).
A type of squat in which you hold a dumbbell or kettlebell in front of your chest with both hands.
Ground To Over Head
A movement in which you lift a weight from the ground to overhead.
A type of push-up in which you lift your hands off the ground at the bottom of the movement.
Handstand push-ups are a type of exercise that involves performing a pushup while in a handstand position.
To do this exercise, you will need to first kick up into a handstand position against a wall or with the help of a spotter.
Once you are in the handstand position, lower your body down towards the ground by bending your arms, and then push back up to the starting position by extending your arms.
Handstand pushups can be challenging because they require a strong core, upper body strength, and balance. They are often used as a way to build strength and improve overall fitness.
High-Intensity Interval Training. A type of workout that alternates between short bursts of intense activity and periods of recovery.
A bodyweight exercise in which you lie on your back with your arms and legs extended and lift your head, shoulders, and feet off the ground, rocking back and forth while keeping your body straight.
A grip used in Olympic weightlifting in which you wrap your thumb around the barbell and place your fingers over the top of your thumb.
Another term you might recall when thinking back to your days at school:
A jump rope is a piece of exercise equipment that consists of a long, thin rope with handles on either end.
You use it to engage in the activity of jumping rope, which involves swinging the rope around your body and jumping over it as it comes around.
Jump ropes can be made of a variety of materials, such as leather, plastic, or nylon, and they can vary in length, thickness, and weight.
They are often used for cardiovascular exercise and to improve coordination, footwork, and overall fitness.
These devices are portable and can be used almost anywhere, making them a popular choice for both gym workouts and home workouts.
Kettlebell swings are a strength and conditioning exercise that involves swinging a kettlebell between your legs and then up to chest level or overhead. The movement is performed with a hip hinge, meaning that you push your hips back and bring your chest forward as you swing the kettlebell between your legs. The exercise works the muscles in the hips, glutes, and lower back, as well as the shoulders and arms. Kettlebell swings can be performed with a single kettlebell or with two kettlebells at the same time. They are typically done for high repetitions as part of a conditioning workout.
A type of movement used in certain bodyweight exercises, such as pull-ups and toes-to-bar, in which you use momentum to assist in completing the rep.
Knees To Elbows
Knees to elbows are a bodyweight exercise in which you hang from a bar and bring your knees up to your elbows. Knees to elbows are a scaled version of the toes-to-bar exercise.
Metabolic Conditioning. A type of workout that focuses on improving your body’s ability to perform work for an extended period of time.
Metabolic conditioning, also known as metabolic training or metabolic resistance training, is a type of exercise that focuses on improving the body’s ability to produce energy and burn calories.
It is designed to increase the body’s metabolic rate, which is the rate at which the body uses energy.
Metabolic conditioning workouts typically involve performing a high number of exercises in a short period of time, with minimal rest between sets.
This type of training can be done using a variety of exercises and equipment, such as bodyweight exercises, cardio machines, weights, and more.
The goal of metabolic conditioning is to challenge the body’s energy systems and improve overall fitness, strength, and endurance. It is often used as a way to burn fat, increase muscle mass, and improve cardiovascular fitness.
Muscle Ups are one of those exercises everybody longs to be able to perform, but only a few really succeed. You know muscle ups from countless calisthenics videos that leave you in awe.
If you work really hard, muscle-ups might become one more tool in your skills-inventory.
A term used to indicate that a rep (repetition) of an exercise was not performed correctly and does not count.
You don´t want to hear your judge call “No Rep” during a competition…!
A time at a CrossFit gym when members can come in and work on their own programming or skills.
A type of squat in which you hold a barbell overhead with your arms extended while squatting down and then standing back up. The overhead squat can be very challenging for those who lack mobility in their shoulders hips and ancles.
Posterior Chain Exercises
The posterior chain refers to the muscles that are located on the back side of the body, including the muscles of the back, glutes, and hamstrings. These exercises are exercises that target these muscles and are designed to strengthen and improve the function of the posterior chain. Some examples include:
- Good mornings
- Glute bridges
- Hip thrusts
- Romanian deadlifts
- Kettlebell swings
These exercises are often included in strength training programs because they can help to improve posture, stability, and power in the lower body. They can also help to reduce the risk of injury and improve overall athletic performance. It is important to use proper form and a weight that is appropriate for your fitness level when performing posterior chain exercises to avoid injury.
Pukie the Clown
Pukie the Clown is the unofficial Crossfit mascot and a fictional character that has been adopted by some members of the CrossFit community as a humorous symbol of the intensity of their workouts.
The toughest workouts can really push you close to puking…
Pull Up Bar
A pull up bar is a piece of exercise equipment that consists of a horizontal bar that is mounted to a wall, ceiling, or stand. It is used for the exercise known as the pull up, which involves pulling your body up towards the bar using your arm and back muscles.
Pull ups are a great way to build strength and muscle in the arms, back, and core, and they can be modified to suit different fitness levels by using bands or other assistance.
The term used to refer to the area where barbells and other equipment are stored in a CrossFit gym.
“Rack position” is a term used in weightlifting to describe the position of the barbell on the front of the shoulders, with the elbows bent and pointed forward.
Exercises such as the front squat, thruster, and clean and jerk actively utilize this position.
The rack position allows the lifter to keep the bar close to their center of gravity, which helps to maintain proper form and control of the barbell. The rack position is also important for safety, as it allows the lifter to catch the barbell in a stable position if they are unable to complete a lift.
Range Of Movement
The full range of motion of a joint during an exercise.
A term used to describe the maximum number of reps you can complete with a given weight.
One complete execution of an exercise.
Elastic bands that provide resistance for strength training exercises.
Overexertion or overtraining can actively cause a condition where muscle tissue breaks down and is released into the bloodstream, potentially leading to kidney damage.
A ring dip is a bodyweight exercise that involves using rings (such as gymnastics rings) to perform a dip movement.
To do a ring dip, you hold onto the rings and start with your arms straight and your feet off the ground.
You then lower your body down by bending your elbows and shoulders until your arms form a 90-degree angle, and then push back up to the starting position.
Ring dips are a challenging upper body exercise that works the triceps, shoulders, and chest muscles. They can be scaled by using a band to assist with the movement or by performing the exercise on a bar or bench.
Rope climb is a CrossFit exercise in which you climb a rope to the top and then lower yourself back down.
This exercise requires a high level of upper body strength and grip strength, as well as coordination and technique.
To perform a rope climb, you can use a variety of grips, including the J-hook grip (wrapping your leg around the rope), the S-wrap grip (wrapping your leg around the rope and crossing it over the other leg), and the legless climb (using only your arms to pull yourself up the rope).
Rope climbs can be modified by using a shorter rope or using a towel or a resistance band to assist with the climb.
Rounds For Time
A type of workout in which you complete a set number of rounds of a given set of exercises as quickly as possible.
A rowing machine is a type of exercise equipment that simulates the action of rowing a boat.
It is a popular choice for indoor cardio exercise because it provides a low-impact, full-body workout.
Rowing machines typically consist of a sliding seat, foot pedals, and handles attached to a resistance mechanism, such as a flywheel or hydraulic cylinder.
An indoor machine that simulates the motion of cross-country skiing.
A strength training exercise in which you push or pull a sled with weight on it.
A bodyweight exercise in which you step up onto a box or other elevated platform and then back down.
A sumo deadlift is a variation of the traditional deadlift exercise in which the feet are positioned wider apart and the hands grip the barbell with a narrow, shoulder-width grip.
The sumo deadlift typically involves a greater range of motion and places more emphasis on the quadriceps muscles, as well as the adductor muscles of the inner thigh.
In powerlifting and strength training, people commonly use it to actively target these muscle groups and enhance overall leg strength and power.
To perform a sumo deadlift, you will need to stand with your feet wider than shoulder-width apart and toes turned out slightly.
From this position, you will grip the barbell with a narrow, shoulder-width grip and keep your chest up as you lift the bar off the ground and stand up straight.
It is important to maintain proper form and keep the back straight and neutral throughout the movement to avoid injury.
A type of HIIT workout in which you perform an exercise for 20 seconds at maximum intensity followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated for a total of 8 rounds (4 minutes).
The Girls workouts
A series of CrossFit workouts that are named after women, typically with more difficult or advanced movements.
Toes To Bar
A bodyweight exercise in which you hang from a bar and bring your toes up to touch the bar.
Touch And Go
A term used to describe a movement in which you do not pause between reps. You will rather just quickly let your weight touch the ground and then you continue with the movement.
A term used to describe a set of reps in which you do not stop or rest between reps.
A bodyweight exercise in which you throw a medicine ball against a wall and catch it, then squat down and repeat. Wall balls will push your heart rate to previously unknown levels!
People wear a weight-added vest actively to increase the difficulty of bodyweight exercises.
Workout of the day / WOD
The “workout of the day,” or WOD, is a specific exercise routine that is the prescribed workout for a particular day.
In the context of CrossFit, participants actively use it to combine various exercises in the WOD, which is designed to challenge their strength, endurance, and overall fitness.
The WOD can include a variety of exercises, such as weightlifting, bodyweight exercises, cardio exercises, and more, and can be customized to the individual’s fitness level.
The goal of the WOD is to provide a challenging and effective workout that helps to improve overall fitness.
CrossFit gyms typically post the WOD online or on a whiteboard, actively encouraging participants to track their progress and strive to improve their performance over time.
A type of diet that emphasizes the intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats in specific ratios in order to achieve optimal health and performance. The diet is based on the idea of eating in “zones” to maintain a balance of nutrients.
We hope that we could shed some light on some strange terms that you might have heard already!
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Maybe you would also like to learn more about strongmen training? – we have an article about just that topic right here.
Or are you interested in how to get started with Crossfit? Then head over to this article here!