crossfit glossary

Crossfit Glossary: Vocabulary, Acronyms and Abbreviations

The first time I stepped into a box, CrossFit Vancouver, I had no idea about the community I was stepping in to. Here was a box of 4 walls with pull-up apparatuses, ropes, rings and a myriad of other items hanging from the ceilings.  I couldn’t believe it, where were the treadmills, bench presses, exercise bikes and the like?  (and where were the mirrors?  LOL!)  Around the space I saw coaches training people with dowels, bands and rollers.  “Where am I? What is this place?” kept ringing through my head.

It didn’t take me long to realize that I found myself in a new world of “fitness“.  This world could be summed up in 100 words…

CrossFit:  World Class Fitness in 100 WordsWorld Class Fitness defined in 100 words:

  1. Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
  2. Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds.  Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
  3. Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy.  Keep workouts short and intense.
  4. Regularly learn and play new sports

Over the past few years, by way of the postings, CrossFit Journal (CFJ) articles and numerous whiteboards spattered in the boxes I’ve trained at, I’ve found that there is one common language.  A language filled with new words, acromyms and abbreviations; and for the “new” to CrossFit can be a steep learning curve.  To assist with minimizing this curve, I’ve put together a list of some of the commonly used language found in CrossFit gyms around the world.

Enjoy your trip into this new found land of CrossFit, after all, it isn’t about the destination, but rather the journey it takes to get there.

CrossFit Glossary:  Common Vocabulary, Acronyms and abbreviations

  • AMRAP:  As Many Reps (sometimes Rounds) as Possible
  • ATG:  Ass to Grass
  • Box: CrossFit gyms are typically referred to as a ‘box’ because they are traditionally located in industrial warehouses.
  • BP: Bench press
  • BS:  Back squat
  • BW (or BWT): Body Weight
  • C&J: Clean and Jerk
  • C2: Concept II rowing machine
  • CFB: CrossFit Breakout
  • CFJ:  The CrossFit Journal
  • CFSB: CrossFit Strength Bias. A program developed by Jeff Martin and Darrell White, explained here. You’ll need a CFJ subscription.
  • CFT: CrossFit Total – consisting of max squat, press, and deadlift.
  • CFWU: CrossFit Warm-up
  • CLN: Clean
  • DHP:  Dead hang pull
  • DL: Deadlift
  • EMOM:  Every Minute On the Minute
  • Firebreather: An elite-level CrossFit athlete
  • FS: Front squat
  • GHD: Glute Ham Developer is a machine designed for Posterior chain exercises to develop strength in glutes, lower back erectors, hamstrings and calves. It may also be used for Sit-Ups.
  • Global (Globo) Gym:  the world-wide accepted norm for what a gym is i.e. 24 Hour Fitness, Fitness World, YMCA, etc
  • GPP: General physical preparedness, aka “fitness.”
  • GTG: Grease the Groove, a protocol of doing many sub-maximal sets of an exercise throughtout the day
  • H2H: Hand to hand; refers to Jeff Martone’s kettlebell “juggling” techniques (or to combat).
  • Heroes: Several CrossFit benchmark workouts that are named after actual military, law enforcement and firefighters that have died in the line of duty. These workouts are typically very difficult as a way of honoring these heroes. Unfortunately, the list of Hero WODs continues to grow.
  • HRPU: Hand Release Push Up. Complete a push up by descending into the bottom of the push up. Once chest touches the ground, lift hands completely off the ground and then push hands back to the floor to press body back up to top position.
  • HSPU: Hand Stand Push Up. Kick up into a handstand (use wall for balance, if needed) bend arms until nose touches floor and push back up.
  • HSQ: Hang squat (clean or snatch). Start with bar “at the hang,” about knee height. Initiate pull. As the bar rises drop into a full squat and catch the bar in the racked position. From there, rise to a standing position
  • IF: Intermittent Fasting
  • K2E: Knees to Elows. Similar to T2B described below.
  • KB: Kettlebell
  • KTE: Knees to elbows. Similar to TTBs described below.
  • MEBBMaximum Effort Black box, term coined by Mike Rutherford. Search the forum for it. Originally laid out in one of the early Performance Menu issues.
  • MetCon: Metabolic Conditioning workout
  • MP: Military press
  • MU: Muscle Ups. Hanging from rings you do a combination pull-up and dip so you end in an upright support.
  • OHS: Overhead Squat. Full-depth squat performed while arms are locked out in a wide grip press position above (and usually behind) the head.
  • PC: Power clean
  • Pd: Pood, weight measure for kettlebells
  • Pood: Unit of weight measure for kettlebell (1pood = 35lbs)
  • PP: Push press
  • PR: Personal Record
  • PSN: Power snatch
  • PU: Pull-ups, possibly push ups depending on the context
  • Rep: Repetition. One performance of an exercise.
  • RM: Repetition Maximum. Your 1RM is your max lift for one rep. Your 10 RM is the most you can lift 10 times.
  • Rx’d/as Rx’d: As prescribed. WOD done without any adjustments in weight and/or movement as it is programmed.
  • Scaling: modifying or adjusting either weight and/or movement in a WOD
  • SDHP: Sumo Deadlift High Pull
  • Set: A number of repetitions. e.g., 3 sets of 10 reps, often seen as 3×10, means do 10 reps, rest, repeat, rest, repeat.
  • SN: Snatch
  • SPP: Specific physical preparednesss, aka skill training.
  • SQ: Squat
  • SS: Starting Strength; Mark Rippetoe’s great book on strength training basics. Available right here.
  • Subbed: Substituted. The CORRECT use of “subbed,” as in “substituted,” is, “I subbed an exercise I can do for one I can’t,” For example,if you can’t do HSPU, you subbed regular pushups.
  • T2B: Toes to Bar. Hang from bar. Bending only at waist raise your toes to touch the bar, slowly lower them and repeat.
  • TGU: Turkish Get-Up
  • The Girls: Several classic CrossFit benchmark workouts that are given female names. The names of these workouts are arbitrary and not named after actual girls.
  • TTB: Toes to bar. Hang from bar. Bending only at waist raise your toes to touch the bar, slowly lower them and repeat.
  • WO (sometimes W/O): Workout
  • WOD: Workout of the day
  • YBF: You’ll Be Fine (liberally applied in spray form)

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