Your Guide to CrossFit Lingo

Hey, wanna go to the local box and do a Metcon WOD? I heard it’s AMRAP with double-unders! I wonder if we can RX it …

Did you just understand that? Because we just threw some CrossFit lingo your way. Seasoned CrossFit athletes know the lingo, and it can often sound like its own language to newcomers to the sport. Some may even find it intimidating! Don’t fret, because we’ve got you covered.

1 rep max: This is short for one-repetition maximum, which means the heaviest amount of weight you can lift one time and one time only. This is usually done with moves like deadlift, cleans, and front and back squats.

AMRAP: This stands for “as many rounds as possible.” It’s a form of circuit training and gives you a set of moves with reps and then you do that circuit as many times as you can in the time allotted. So, for example, you may have an AMRAP with 15 minutes allotted time, with one round as the following: 40 double-unders, 40 box jump-ups, 40 kettlebell swings. You then measure how many rounds you complete in 15 minutes!

Box: A box = CrossFit gym. Why are they called boxes? Well, honestly, CrossFit gyms just resemble just big open boxes. Warehouse-esque, so to speak.

Chipper: This kind of workout combines a lot of moves a lot of times — and you “chip” away at them.

Double-unders: What would it be like to jump once and have a jump rope go around you twice? That, my aspiring CrossFit athlete, is a double-under.

EMOM: Every minute on the minute! For this type of workout, every time a minute starts, you do a specific exercise or set of moves. Once you’ve done the move(s), you rest until the next minute starts. Then you do it all over again for the prescribed amount of time.

For time: Simply put, this means that the workout you’re doing will be timed. And posted on a board at the gym. In other words, go for speed!

The Girls: The CrossFit Girls may sound lovely — Fran, Chelsea, Annie — but they’re known as benchmark workouts that are tough and are done time and time again. If you see any females’ name as a WOD, know you’re in for a tough one. As you get fitter, it is fun to see your times improve. Check out the full list of The Girls on BoxRox. Why are they named after girls, you ask? According to CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman, he named the benchmark workouts after girls (in similar way that storms are named after girls) by the National Weather Service. He felt that because these workouts are so physically demanding that they leave you feeling as though a storm hit you.

Hero WOD: These are really challenging workouts that are named after military servicemen, police or firefighters who have died in the line of duty. They serve to remember the sacrifice these people made. Check out these examples on WodWell. 

Kip: Kip or kipping is basically using full-body momentum to do a move. You’ll see it used mostly with pull-ups, but also with moves like handstand push-ups and toes-to-bar (there’s some bonus CrossFit lingo/moves for you there!).

Ladder: A ladder is a workout where you increase the reps by one for each round. So if you’re doing a ladder workout of power cleans and burpees, you’d do 1 rep of each for round 1, 2 reps of each for round 2, 3 reps of each for round 3 and so on and so forth.

Metcon: This simply stands for metabolic conditioning. Which also means, this workout is most likely short but going to take you to the highest level of cardio you can go.

Rx: This means “as prescribed,” meaning that you did the workout as originally planned — with no modifications to movements or weight. For example, a workout could involve a deadlift, with an RX weight of 205 lbs for men and 155 lbs for women. If the athlete lifts that weight, they RXed the workout. If they lower the weight, they would be scaling the workout (see below).

Scaled: This means when a workout is completed with modifications, whether it’s lowering the prescribed weight or tailoring the workout movement to better align with the individual athlete’s strength and fitness levels. All CrossFitters, even seasoned athletes, scale workouts from time to time.

Strict: Now that you know what kip means, strict is basically the opposite of it. So when you do, say, a strict pull-up, you don’t use any momentum to get your chin above the bar at all.

Tabata: Hey, we have a whole post on this special type of interval workout!

WOD: This CrossFit lingo term is an easy one and probably the most used of all: Workout of the Day (WOD)!