FUNCTIONAL FITNESS TERMS
Ab Mat – A soft leather cushion placed in the small of your back as you work through those sit ups. Give it a wipe after, they can get a little sweaty! Also used on occasion for HSPU
Affiliate – Officially attached to the CrossFit organization. An affiliated gym is recognized by CrossFit to have passed their six stage application process. Affiliation is only given to those who have become CrossFit certified trainers.
Air Squat / AS – A squat with just your bodyweight for resistance.
Airdyne / Assault Bike – An essential piece of kit that’s effective for beginners right through to high performing athletes. The Airdyne / Assault bike uses air for resistance and can be used for interval training as well as recovery.
AMRAP – As many rounds as possible. Your WOD is going to have a fixed time and you’ll have to complete as many rounds of the prescribed movements in that time. Keep track of your rounds, it’s easy to lose count!
As Fast As Possible / AFAP – Get the rounds and reps done as fast as you can. “For Time” may well be used in place of AFAP. Occasionally used as "As Far As Possible" in some programming.
Ass To Grass / ATG – Breaking parallel and full depth are two different things. Ass to grass denotes getting your behind as close to the deck as possible. Why? It helps with getting comfortable when trying to get “out of the hole” and the increased depth demands more work from your legs. Achieving this depth must not come at a cost of form, pay close attention to your movement and if "butt wink" is observed, seek some advice from your coach.
Athlete – That will be you. The guy or girl that turns up session after session in search of continued progression.
Atlas Stones – A strongman movement that has made appearances in CrossFit competitions. The movement involves a heavy concrete “atlas” (a big ball of concrete) being lifted from the floor and passed over the shoulders.
Back Squat / BS – A squat performed with the barbell placed across your shoulders behind your neck. Keeping a neutral spine, you should descend and ascend in a straight line, bending at the knees. Full range of motion is expected to count the rep. The hip crease must fall below the knee.
Bar Facing Burpee / BFB – A burpee that is completed facing the bar finishing the rep with a two-footed jump over the bar to the other side. Bar Muscle Up / BMU – A muscle up that is completed using the bar. See “muscle up” for a video guide.
Bear Complex – The bear complex consists of 1 power clean, 1 front squat, 1 push press, 1 back squat & 1 push press. All completed without letting go of the bar.
Bench Press / BP – A compound lift that focuses on upper body strength.
Bodyweight / BW – Used as a way of measuring your progress should weight loss/gain be a personal goal. Bodyweight workouts are also very popular where your bodyweight is the only resistance needed across different movements.
Box Jump / BJ – Box jumps are an athletic movement working on explosive power. Reps will consist of different heights; 20 inches, 24 inches and 30 inches. A rep will begin with a two-footed stance with no momentum from a run-up.
Box Jump Over / BJO – Much the same as the box jump but the repetition is counted once you have passed over the box to the opposite side to where you started. Full hip extension at the top of the movement is not necessary here.
Bro Reps – CrossFit movements have strict standards to ensure consistency across the board. A “bro rep” is a repetition that is counted but does not meet the guidelines. Josh Bridges performance in 16.4 caused Bro rep outrage!
Bumper Plates – Created using thick, hard rubber which allows a loaded bar to be dropped from a height without the risk of damaging the plates.
Burpee Box Jump Over / BBJO – A repetition starts with a burpee then, as you stand you upwards, you explode onto the box in front of you and then jump down the other side. 1 rep down. Box heights may vary.
Burpee Over Bar / BOB – A repetition consists of a burpee completed with a two-footed jump to the other side of the bar. You can carry out the reps facing the bar or laterally. The barbell must have full height plates on either side.
Burpees – A gymnastic movement that frequently appears in Functional Fitness programming and the main ingredient in some horrific WODs. Starting from a standing position, you’ll bend down, placing your hands beneath your chest as you extend your legs backwards into a plank. From here you perform a push up before bringing your legs back towards your hands. Place your feet and then finish the rep in the upright position with a small jump and your hands together above your head. These get pretty ugly as the reps go on.
Butterfly – The butterfly is a movement that uses the downward momentum of a pull up to aid in efficiency and speed. It’s the fastest method to cycle through the reps but tricky to master!
Buy In – A workout with a “buy in” will have exercises that are completed prior to the workout itself but will be included in your time/score.
C2 - The concept 2 rowing machine. This rowing machine is most popular throughout Functional Fitness boxes. Some of my darkest Functional Fitness moments have been spent aboard a C2 rower. Try a max effort 500m, let me know how it goes. Shudders.
Calluses – CrossFit workouts are very intense on your hands. Over time your skin will build up hard spots around your palms. I use this callus removal tool + moisturiser when needed. Your hands will get used to the movements over time.
Cash Out – A workout with a “cash out” will have exercises that are completed after the workout itself but will be included in your time/score.
Chalk – If you see big white clouds, you’ve used too much. The addition of chalk when necessary will provide extra grip for all movements.
Chest To Bar / CTB / C2B – One of the variations of pull-up used in CrossFit workouts. A chest to bar requires greater power and strength given the increased range of motion required for your chest to touch the bar and count the rep. These reps can be carried out in a strict, kipping or butterfly movement.
Chin Up / CU – Hold onto the bar with a supinated grip (palms facing your body). From a full extended position, you’ll pull with everything you’ve got until your chin passes above the bar. 1 down, 49 to go.
Chipper – This title is given to a particular type of WOD with lots of repetitions across varying movements. You start at the buzzer and chip away at the reps until you finish.
Clean – An Olympic weightlifting movement that requires speed, power and coordination. A key movement that develops your strength and explosive power and when combined with good flexibility, agility and balance, showcases an impressive feat of strength.
Clean & Jerk – Predominantly performed with a barbell, this movement is a composite of two weightlifting movements, the clean and the jerk. With good form and proper technique, this movement is an effective element to any fitness program.
Cluster – A barbell movement that involves a squat clean into a thruster. Each repetition starts from the ground.
Coach – Your go-to guy or gal when you hit a session. Full of wisdom, experience and advice for all things CrossFit.
Complex – A strength circuit consisting of a set of two or more barbell movements completed without letting go of the barbell.
CrossFit Box – A second home for many. This is where you will find the CrossFit community. The name stems from the tradition that “Boxes” are found in industrial units.
CrossFit Games – An annual, worldwide competition that any CrossFitter can enter. Where will you place? 324,000 people registered in 2016. I managed to finish in position 6543. Just missed the podium, damn.
CrossFit Journal – An internal publication priced at $25 a year for unlimited access. Here you can find information on inspirational stories, CrossFit news, workouts, movements and more.
CrossFit Open – The world’s premier test of fitness (their words, not mine). Lasting for five weeks with as many workouts, the online competition accurately ranks the fitness of hundreds of thousands of athletes around the world. 324,000 people registered in 2016. I managed to finish in position 6543. Just missed the podium, damn.
CrossFit Total – The sum of your heaviest lifts in the squat, shoulder press and deadlift. You get three attempts at each lift. This is one of the heavier benchmark WODs.
Deadlift / DL – One of three powerlifting exercises that CrossFit makes essential in its programming. You, the athlete will take a loaded barbell from the ground to the hips in a one smooth, red faced, vein popping movement.
DNF – Did not finish. This happens, everyone has off days, right? I make note of every workout I DNF and make sure I go back at it in a few weeks.
DOMS – Delayed onset muscle soreness – As the name suggests, muscle soreness that gets you a couple of days later after those energetic squats. Stairs may be a struggle but you'll live. Have a good stretch if you have time.
Double Unders / DU – With a skipping rope a DU consists of the rope passing through two rotations to every one jump. A great measure of conditioning and composure. Let the speed of the rope come from your wrists, not your shoulders to help reduce fatigue.
EMOM – Every minute on the minute. A programming method where you will perform an exercise/set/reps every 60 seconds. Throwing in a handful of thrusters EMOTM as you work through a chipper is particularly cruel.
Firebreather – A term given to those athletes at the top of their game that rinse through workouts like it’s a warm up. A term given only to those that put the hours in, day and night to perform unholy acts of physical prowess.
Foam Roller – Doesn’t it sound lovely and soft? Sit on one of these after a few squats, you’ll tell me otherwise. A tool that’ll find every sensitive spot as you elegantly roll around on the floor. The technical term is Myofascial release achieved using your new found friend, the foam roller.
For Time / FT – A workout “for time” will be reps of varying movements as quickly as possible. It's these workouts where you have to make every second count.
Front Squat / FS – A squat performed with the barbell resting across the front of your shoulders. The key to a comfortable front squat is having your elbows in line with your shoulder muscles to alleviate stress on your wrists. Good flexibility through your hips and ankles is also essential.
Games Competitor – The creme de la crème of CrossFit athletes. 40 men and women each year earn this title as they head to the games to compete for the title of “Fittest On Earth”.
GHD Sit-Ups – An extreme sit up using the glute ham developer. The movement involves you reaching for the ground behind you/overhead and then exploding through the movement to touch your toes. Abs like slabs in no time.
Gloves – For athletes in competition, professionals who require smooth hands and those that dislike tears, blisters and rips, gloves for CrossFit are necessary.
Goblet Squats – A squat that involves holding a weight close to your chest at chest height. Kettlebells are frequently used for goblet squats in CrossFit programming.
Greg Glassman – The evil professor. Owner and creator of all things CrossFit. He created programming that prepared his athletes for the “unknown & unknowable”.
Ground To Over Head / GTOH / G2OH – A repetition consists of getting a weight from the floor to overhead in any manner you wish. Some movements to achieve this could be a power snatch, power clean and push jerk or the clean & jerk whatever you feel comfortable with.
Gymnastics – Described as a set of exercises that display your ability in physical agility and coordination. CrossFit uses many gymnastic movements; an example would be the muscle up (mine are far from agile or coordinated). Many of the elite (Firebreathers) have gymnastic backgrounds which lay great foundations for CrossFit.
Hand Release – A push-up variation where you must release your hands from the ground as your chest and hips touch. You then place your hands back down and complete the rep. To see the push-up standard check out the guide referenced here.
Handstand Push-Up / HSPU – A test of your body’s ability to press your own bodyweight as resistance. Find a comfortable position for your hands, a rep starts with full extension, lowering your body until your head reaches a platform in line with your hands and finishes as you press out for one rep.
Hang Clean/Snatch & HC/HS – A variant of the clean/snatch. The hang denotes that you start the repetition standing straight with the bar resting at your hips. This drill will help you with your speed in getting under the bar. Look out for the "power" variants HPC/HPS.
Hero WOD’s – CrossFit Hero workouts are the toughest workouts done in memory of fallen heroes.
HIIT – High-intensity interval training. A training technique where your work time is short but in “intense” intervals. Try rowing for 30 seconds max effort followed by 30 seconds rest (on the c2 this is a “Custom workout”).
Hollow Rocks – A tough gymnastic movement that is easier said than done. With your hands and feet in the air, you have to move through a rocking motion whilst keeping your arms and legs in position.
Hook Grip – The hook grip is a method of gripping the barbell. You will grip your thumb between the bar and your fingers. It takes some time to learn and be prepared for sore thumbs (it gets easier) but once that bar is locked in, it can only go where you want it to!
IIFYM – If it fits your macros. This is a popular dieting method where you can eat a “flexible” range of foods as long as your intake is within your prescribed macronutrient numbers for a given time period.
Kettlebell / KB – A rather large and very dense object. You’ll be swinging this around to either shoulder height (Russian swing) or above the head (American swing). If you are rattling through many reps with pumped forearms, chalk up as things can get tricky as you fatigue.
Kettlebell Swings / KBS – Two variations. The American kettlebell swing will have you take the kettlebell from your standing position to directly overhead with the bottom of the KB facing the ceiling. Russian kettlebell swings are slightly less taxing with the repetition finishing as the KB passes shoulder height.
Kinesio Tape – A popular method of rehabilitative taping used amongst CrossFitters. The taping promotes the body’s natural healing process whilst giving stability and support to the affected muscles and joints.
Kipping – The use of your body’s motion to aid in completing a repetition. A common point of conversation between CrossFitters Vs everyone else. Efficient and effective kipping requires coordination and timing; when mixed with your strength and power you’ll unlock rep ranges you thought were a distant dream.
Knees To Elbows / K2E / KTE – Hanging from the bar you will bring your knees to your elbows. A great movement to use for building strength if you haven’t yet owned toes to bar.
Lifters – Weight Lifting Shoes. They offer stability with a drop from heel to toe. The platform of the shoe allows you to squat deeper with an increased range of motion of the ankle which is highly beneficial when squatting, jerking and snatching. If they don’t make you lift heavier, at least you look good in heels eh lads?
Lunge – Placing one foot in front of the next ensuring that the trailing knee makes contact with the ground to count the rep. There are many variations of lunges including front rack, dumbbell and overhead. Overhead lunges were the choice of lunge in the CrossFit Open workout 16.1.
Macro’s – Short for macronutrients. There are three major macronutrients required in a humans diet for optimal health. These macros are proteins, carbohydrates and fats.
Max Effort / ME – Give whatever it is, everything that you have got. Everything. If this is cardio based this is where you will find a real battle between your mind and your body. Max effort can also be used for strength based movements. Don’t sacrifice that perfect form though!
Medicine Ball – The piece of kit you use for wall balls. For men it's 20lbs and women 14lbs.
Metcon – Metabolic conditioning. This is the structured pattern of work & rest periods to provoke the desired reaction from your body. Here we are looking to maximise the efficiency of a particular energy system.
Mobility – Your mobility will affect your ability to carry out many of the CrossFit fundamental movements efficiently. Consistent stretching and range of motion work are necessary to increase your body’s mobility.
Muscle Up – A gymnastic movement where you will move through a pull up to a dip in one smooth movement. Here technique prevails as the movement once mastered will allow for fluid reps. Try and get your hips as close to the bar in the upwards movement before exploding through to the bottom of the dip.
No Rep – A repetition that does not meet the CrossFit standards. Example are squatting where the hip crease does not pass below the knee or a pull up where your chin does not pass the bar from which you hang. Respect your judge, their say is final.
Olympic Bar – The Olympic Bar. 2.2 metres and 20 kilos of joy. I have a favourite bar at my box. Sling on some plates and prepare for the movements ahead. You can be imaginative with the bar, it’s not just for lifting.
Open Gym – A part of most boxes programming where time is allocated for you to use the facility to work on anything you wish. This is a great time to attack weaknesses in your CrossFit performances.
Overhead Squat / OHS – Because squatting isn’t hard enough... We add a barbell overhead to make things that much harder. The overhead squat is a measure of strength and flexibility.
Paleo – A popular nutrition program donned by many CrossFitters around the world. In short, it's eating like our ancestors did. Think caveman. If he/she didn’t eat it, then neither can you. Check out this guide over at Nerd Fitness, it covers everything you’ll need to know. Do you need to eat like this to be good at CrossFit? Nope!
Parallettes – A tool that can be used to dial in some great strength training using just your bodyweight. You can use them for push ups, dips and more advanced movements. Personal Best/PB & Personal Record/PR – Completely personal to you. This is your BEST weight lifted, quickest time or the most number of reps you could achieve. Personal bests are set to be broken; keep note of yours to unlock that feel good moment in months to come when you beat it!
Pistols – One legged squats but with a cool name. A tricky movement to master but with practice you’ll get it! Good ankle mobility here is key to keeping your centre of gravity over your heels.
Pood – A Russian measurement of mass commonly used for kettlebells. 1 Pood is equal to approximately 16.38 kilograms.
Power Clean/PC & Power Snatch/PS – The power part refers to you being so damn strong that you throw the weight around and complete the rep without having to break parallel (hip crease below the knee).
Pukie The Clown – A CrossFit mascot that depicts a clown that has pushed the physical boundaries and winded up making themselves ill.
Push Jerk / PJ – Get the bar moving upwards with the power from your legs. As the bar moves upwards you will then sit under the bar. Use the weight of the bar to push yourself under the bar using your arms.
Push Press / PP – A push press is a strict press but with a little help from your legs to get the bar moving. Your feet should be firmly planted on the ground whilst your arms and shoulders send the bar above your head to complete the rep. As your shoulders fatigue, you can utilise other muscle groups to work through the last couple of reps. Gains.
PVC Pipe – The PVC pipe is a near weightless object (similar dimensions to that of a barbell, so very relevant) that is perfect for drilling good technique before advancing onto a weighted barbell. It is also a great tool for stretching.
Rack – A rack can be used for taking a loaded barbell at desired positions higher than the floor. You may also be told to “rack your weights” which means you tidy up after yourself by placing your equipment back where it is safely stored.
Range Of Movement / ROM – This term relates to “a measurement of movement around a joint”. We are talking about flexion and extension. Unlocking the movement in your ankles can help with your squat positioning. Good shoulder mobility will make that jerk feel comfortable. This takes time and consistency but the benefits are endless. Rebounding – A speed and efficiency method of performing box jumps.
Rep Max / RM – The maximum weight you could lift/press/squat over a given rep range. 1RM’s don’t count unless they are filmed and uploaded to Instagram 😉
Repetition / Rep – A single completed movement as prescribed by CrossFit standards. Shortened to rep across the board. Avoid bro reps at all costs.
Resistance Bands – Large rubber bands varying in width and depth. Great tools for stretching before workouts, assisting during workouts with moves such as the scaled pull up and also working on range of motion with resistance.
Rhabdomyolysis – A breakdown of muscle fibre which may occur through severe exertion. Some cases of this have been attributed to CrossFit programming although any form of intense exercise could cause this.
Rings – Gymnastic rings are used for a range of movements within a CrossFit box. They are great for building strength movements such as bodyweight ring dips and rows as the rings move independently demanding your body to stabilise through each rep. I find that the rings for muscle ups are less taxing on the hands.
Rope Climbing – Normally hanging from the rafters where you’ll gracefully ascend. Climbing a rope is not as easy as some make it look. Check out this YouTube guide from Top Dog/Firebreather Jason Khalipa on rope climbing techniques. He recommends shin skins for protection in ascending & descending the rope. Remember, what goes up, must come down.
Rounds For Time / RFT – A scoring structure for CrossFit workouts. RFT denotes completed rounds and reps of specified movements within a given time limit.
Rx – A term used for an athlete completing a workout as prescribed. Movements are carried out according to the CrossFit standards. If you scale any of the movements, complete reps with partial range of motion or complete reps using assistance; this is not Rx.
Scale / Scaled – The key to successful CrossFit programming (and what makes it increasingly popular) is that ALL workouts can be scaled in an effort to make the workout challenging to each athlete based on their own ability.
Score – This is what you exchange your blood, sweat and tears for. Your score may be a time, a weight or rounds and reps. Get it on the whiteboard, in your notepad and make sure you beat your score next time around.
Set – A set is a collection or number of repetitions for a given exercise. As an example, your strength programming requires a total of 20 repetitions. Not easy in one sitting. Break this down into 4 SETS of 5 repetitions with adequate rest in between to hit your 20 reps.
Shoulder To Overhead / STOH / S2OH – A repetition will consist of taking a weight from your shoulders to overhead in any way you wish. You can strict press, push press, push jerk, split jerk, squat jerk, whatever feels good for you.
Skipping/Speed/Jump Rope – Skipping is used for conditioning and found in many of the CrossFit workouts. The jump rope is a humble tool but responsible for a lot of bad language. Double unders aren’t easy and very frustrating to learn.
Sled Push/Pull – The sled is used with push and pull movements, appearing in CrossFit programming (where space allows) and has featured in the CrossFit games. It demands all out power and strength to move a weighted sled across specified distances.
Snatch – An Olympic weightlifting movement. Taking the barbell from the ground to overhead in one, smooth, continuous, beautifully satisfying motion. Some other terms you may hear are squat snatch, power snatch, split snatch and muscle snatch. Each has their own benefits with the “squat snatch” being most commonly used in weightlifting competitions.
Split Jerk / SJ – The split jerk is a movement allowing you to take the bar from your shoulders to locked out overhead. The “split” refers to your leg positioning as you catch the jerk as you will have one leg forward of your body and the other trailing.
Step-Ups – A step up used when an athlete is either to fatigued to jump or does not have the ability to complete a box jump. Step-ups are a great way of scaling box jumps. The jump up and step down method is increasingly popular as it reduces the possibility of injury.
Strict Press / SP – A compound lift that is upper body focused whilst your midline battles for stability. “Strict” denotes that no additional motion is given using leg power, your legs must not move to count the rep.
Sumo Deadlift High Pull / SDHP – One of the 9 foundational movements of CrossFit. A movement that is known for developing overall strength & power.
Superman – The superman is a core exercise where you lay face down on the floor and lift both your hands and feet clear of the floor. You then hold for a specified time.
Tabata – A blend of CrossFit and circuit training. It's short but intense making it popular with those conscious of time. Dr Tabata (the guy behind it all) carried out controlled testing of his training methods which gave a 28% increase in anaerobic fitness levels on those taking part.
The Girls – Another name given to the benchmark workouts. The girls consist of Angie, Barbara, Chelsea, Diane, Elizabeth, Fran, Grace, Helen, Isabel, Jackie, Karen, Linda, Mary & Nancy. Designed to measure your performance and improvement through repeating these workouts, irregularly within your programming.
The Ranch – The Ranch, based in Aromas, California played host to the first year of the CrossFit games. It is the family property of Dave Castro’s parents.
Thruster – Consisting of a barbell loaded front squat that continues into an overhead press in one fluid movement. One of the most physically demanding movements I have ever encountered. Frequently combined with burpees 🙁
Timer – Mounted up on the wall for all to see, either counting up or down towards your finish time and that post workout feel good feeling. If you’re carrying out qualifiers, be sure to keep the timer in view!
Toes To Bar / TTB / T2B – A gymnastic movement that sees you hanging directly beneath the bar at full stretch, from here you will then attempt to touch the bar that you are hanging from with your toes.
Toes To Ring / TTR – Similar to TTB but instead of a bar you use gymnastic rings. The added difficulty of the instability of the rings makes this movement that much harder to master.
Touch And Go / TNG – If you are strong and feeling like a boss you will work through your reps without dropping the bar. Touch ‘n’ go will shave time off that all important score! Use wisely, burn out your forearms and that grip strength might disappear until after the session!
Turkish Get-Up / TGU – Taking a kettlebell from a laying position on the ground position and then moving through specific stages finishing with the kettlebell overhead. Add weight as you master the technique for a measure of core strength.
Tyre Flips – If you’re lucky enough, your box will have got hold of some huge industrial size tyres! Flipping the tyre is an all-out power and conditioning workout that’ll have your heart racing.
Unbroken / UB – Perform the entire rep count without pausing between reps, dropping the bar or letting go of the rings.
Wall Balls / WB – A test of strength, stamina and pure grit. A wall ball repetition is counted every time you propel a weighted ball (20 lbs) to a 10-foot target above you. The tough part; catching it on the way down and squatting with every rep.
Wall Walks – The wall walk is an upper body strength exercise which sees your shoulders and triceps take a beating. You start face down on the floor with your feet resting at the bottom of the wall. You then “wall walk” up the wall, moving your hands closer to the wall until your chest touches the wall to count the rep.
Weighted Vest – As the name suggests it’s a cruel garment of clothing used in CrossFit programming. Murph, a Hero WOD makes the most of a weighted vest making an appearance at the CrossFit Games.
WOD – Workout of the day. This will be up on the whiteboard, posted online or in your scruffy notebook. Regardless of what program you follow, the WOD is what’s prescribed for today.
Zone Diet – The zone diet is a portioning strategy for your daily intake of food. The recommendations laid out in the zone diet are a good starting point and can be tweaked for you to achieve your peak performances.