What Are The ABCs of CrossFit?

Have you ever heard of CrossFit? If you have, do you really know the ABCs of the discipline? Read along to find out more.
What Are The ABCs of CrossFit?

Last update: 21 November, 2020

CrossFit was initially intended for members of the armed forces and firefighting personnel. It’s based on high-intensity exercises that are capable of engaging the entire body. You must first know the ABCs of CrossFit before fully practicing it.

Greg Glassman is the official creator of the CrossFit brand. If you want to teach CrossFit you must be a licensed coach or trainer. From its inception as a training method for specialized workers, CrossFit has been transformed into a discipline that’s practiced by fitness lovers regardless of their occupation.

The ABCs of CrossFit

If CrossFit has caught your attention and you’d like to try it out, you must first learn a few things. When you find yourself inside a gym where this discipline is practiced, you’ll often hear coaches and trainers use many terms that you may have never heard before.

These terms are part of the ABCs of CrossFit. Don’t worry, you’ll be able to learn the terminology of the discipline as you continue to practice it.

ABCs of CrossFit: a typical session

CrossFit is a training method that includes a variety of high-intensity exercises. A typical session engages large body segments.

CrossFit involves a combination of disciplines including gymnastics, weightlifting, and metabolic training which is also known as HIIT (High-Intensity Interval Training).

Crossfit kettlebell exercise


If you’ve started CrossFit you’ve probably already heard the phrase, “You’ll have to go to the box to train”.  The ‘box’ refers to the place where the training takes place.

The box is a dedicated space where there’s specialized equipment to exercise correctly.

Workout of the Day (WOD)

Have you heard about the workout of the day? The WOD is the routine that the day will focus on.

The following are other commonly used terms:

  • Fran: a fran is a combination of two exercises; thrusters and chin-ups. Perform the fran in three descending series. For example, a series of 21, 15, and 9 repetitions respectively.
  • Tabata: this is one of the most intense WODs in CrossFit. It consists of performing exercises for 20 seconds with a 10 second rest period between each exercise.
  • Cindy: this routine consists of a maximum of 20 minutes where the practitioner will try to do as many sets of pull-ups, push-ups, and squats as they can. Each exercise should consist of 5, 10, and 15 repetitions respectively.

ABCs of CrossFit: repetitions and equipment

Have you heard terms you didn’t know while at a CrossFit gym? The following terms are used frequently in the box:

  • Dumbells.
  • Kettlebell.
  • Row.
  • AMRAP: as many rounds or reps as possible.
  • EMOM: this abbreviation means every minute, on the minute. EMOM consists of carrying out a certain number of repetitions over the span of one minute. After finishing a repetition, rest until the next minute begins before starting again.
  • MR: maximum repetition.
  • No rep: invalid repetition.
Chin up exercise ABCs

Advantages of CrossFit

Did you know that CrossFit offers a series of important benefits? This is despite the fact that many consider it to be a complex training method with several contraindications.

Firstly, it’s an exciting way to train without falling into the boredom of monotony. It also stimulates a high degree of motivation due to the characteristics of its trainers. CrossFit is usually a group discipline and this stimulates each participant to strive to improve.

CrossFit can also help participants reach their physical goals.

Already thinking about CrossFit?

It’s important to prepare regardless of the training method you decide to carry out. However, keep in mind that it’s normal to learn slowly when it comes starting a new discipline.

Now that you know the ABCs of CrossFit, you’ll be able to find a trainer who will lead you on the path towards good health.

All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.

  • Hak, P. T., Hodzovic, E., & Hickey, B. (2013). The nature and prevalence of injury during CrossFit training. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. https://doi.org/10.1519/jsc.0000000000000318
  • Partridge, J. A., Knapp, B. A., & Massengale, B. D. (2014). An investigation of motivational variables in CrossFit facilities. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research. https://doi.org/10.1519/JSC.0000000000000288
  • Emberts, T., Porcari, J., Doberstein, S., Steffen, J., & Foster, C. (2013). Exercise intensity and energy expenditure of a tabata workout. In Journal of Sports Science and Medicine.

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.