10 Of The Most Common Terms You’ll Hear At CrossFit

by | Mar 2, 2016 | Fitness

By Thamar Houliston

You know you’re a CrossFit junkie when you live for these 10 phrases.

To help you navigate your way through your next CrossFit convo, we’ve broken down the most used lingo:

1. The Box

When people say “I’m going to ‘the box’”, it’s not a reference to the Coco Pops they secretly have stashed in their drawer. They actually mean the gym – the place where heavy metal meets floor and floor meets face after the WOD…

2. WOD

The WOD is the Workout of the Day, which is kept secret until the very day of its arrival, making addicts wake up at 4.45am to ensure they can plan their strategy before class. WODs take place at the end of each class and take anywhere from three to 20 minutes.

READ MORE: How Many Kilojoules Does CrossFit REALLY Burn?


No, this is not referring to the T-rex-like shape your arms will be in after attempting to do 100 push-ups. Rather, it means As Many Reps As Possible. So if the WOD is an AMRAP, you need to complete as many repetitions as possible in the allocated time.


The EMOM is the sneaky bugger that will hit you harder than a wall ball to the face. It means that during the workout, you’ll do a prescribed movement Every Minute On The Minute. So minute one might be rowing and minute two will be box jumps… then repeat.

READ MORE: “How CrossFit Helped Me Change My Life And Lose Over 30 Kilos”

5. Tabata

A Tabata is a workout where you work for 20 seconds then rest 10 seconds, work 20 seconds, rest 10 seconds – for four minutes in total. If you get a hollow rock Tabata, then good luck sitting up in bed the next morning.

6. Barbell

If someone asks you to grab a barbell, then look for the metal pole in the corner of the box. This piece of equipment is used for all Olympic lifts. The standard female barbell is 15kg as opposed to the men’s 20kg one – but never call them ladies’ or men’s bars as CrossFitters are the least sexist people on the planet – until someone wears really tiny booty shorts, of course.

READ MORE: 5 Workouts That Burn More Kilojoules Than A Spin Class

7. Snatch

Yes, we know you have a nice snatch honey, but don’t make the mistake of confusing what is probably the toughest Olympic lifting movement with your lady bits. Here, you snatch the bar from the ground to overhead, finishing in a squat. Done right, it’s beautiful to experience.

8. Clean and Jerk

No, no, no! This isn’t a reference to any sort of shower experience! The clean and jerk is an Olympic lift that happens in two stages. The clean consists of lifting the barbell explosively from the floor onto your shoulders and the jerk is when you press it up overhead.

READ MORE: “I’ve Helped Hundreds Of Women Transform Their Bodies—This Is The Best Way To See Results”

9. Scaled versus RX

If you’re a beginner (get in the corner) you will most likely scale the workout to a weight that you are comfortable with and a progression to the actual movement. So, for example, if you can’t do a 25kg snatch, you will perhaps use the 15kg barbell. And if you can’t do a pull-up, you’ll do a jumping pull-up instead. The RX people are the real McCoy – the ones who eat testosterone for dinner and have mastered the movement. It’s us against us!

10. The Open

Once a year for four weeks, all CrossFitters go into a coma called The Open and you won’t see them again till 16.5 (5th workout of 2016) is complete. It’s a sort of virtual CrossFit Games: the Open allows competitors to register online and compete on their own or at local CrossFit boxes.

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