One thing that caused me a bit of anxiety and confusion as I was starting CrossFit was all the lingo!
It had me thinking, “I am in the military- I am used to speaking in acronym.. But wow!” It is hard enough to get my brain to function when I’m working out, but now I have to remember these acronyms and this lingo?!
Have no fear, friends, it isn’t that hard! 🙂
Here is what each acronym and phrase means, plus I will explain how to do the workout and provide an example of an existing CrossFit workout!
AMRAPs are honestly my favorite type of CrossFit workout. It literally stands for “As Many Rounds as Possible.” In this type of workout, you are given a few different exercises to perform and you do them like a circuit until time runs out. Make sure you keep track of how many rounds you complete and then how many reps you complete from the last round (if you don’t finish the last round in its entirety).
One example of an AMRAP is the hero WOD “Matthew Locke.”
Typically the best way to get a good score on an AMRAP is to take minimal rests in between rounds.
Every Minute on the Minute. This is probably my least favorite, depending on the actual workout. There have been some EMOMs that just haven’t challenged me at all.
Anyhoo, an EMOM is pretty self explanatory once you learn what “EMOM” stands for. You’re given a minute to perform one, two, or maybe even three exercises. If you finish before the minute is up, that is your rest time. Once a new minute starts, you do it all over again.
EMOMs tend to be deceiving. You look at one and think, “oh yeah, that’s easy,” but then ten rounds in, you’re dying and barely get to rest before the minute is up!
The WOD “Chelsea” is an EMOM.
Rounds for Time (no fancy acronym, yay!)
Rounds for time is a fancy-schmancy way of saying do a certain amount of rounds, as fast as possible. Looking at it from a competition standpoint, this type of workout is basically a race. Whoever gets done first is considered the “winner.”
Whenever I do these types of workouts, I always track my time because in a few months, I like to do it again to see how I improve.
For example, “DT” is one of these workouts. I did DT for the first time two months ago and did it in 15 minutes with 55lbs. Last week, I did it again and my time was 11:37 with 65lbs!
MetCon is also known as metabolic conditioning, which is a popular way to train to maximize fat loss. It is, quite literally, high intensity interval training (HIIT).
People will be like, “yo the WOD sucked” and non-CrossFitters are wondering, what the heck is a WOD? A wad of tissues? A wad of toilet paper? Why did it suck?
Nope, WOD literally stands for “Workout of the Day.” Most CrossFit boxes (see below) create a WOD every day for their classes and also so people participating in their open gym hours can have something to do if they aren’t doing their own thing. It is pretty fun to come in by yourself but know that more than half of the people (or more) who worked out that day did the same thing as you.
Box (so to speak)
Literally a CrossFit gym. Why are they called boxes? No clue!
In some workouts, you’ll see a “buy in,” which means that you just have to do the buy in exercise once. For example, you might start an AMRAP workout, but the first exercise will be a “buy in of 50 sit ups.”
Hopefully this was helpful and maybe makes CrossFit seem a little less intimidating for those of you who want to try it! It can be intimidating to go to a new place and have absolutely no clue what people are talking about.
Are there any other CrossFit terms that confuse you that I didn’t cover? Let me know!
I wear a lot of hats: NASM Certified Personal Trainer, Weight Loss Specialist, and Fitness Nutrition Specialist. A writer with a B.A. in English and Professional Writing. A fur mom and a wife. A mental health advocate and a septic shock survivor. An Airman and an athlete. I live in South Florida and am in love with the ocean. People can typically find me either in the gym or at home, writing or reading.