What is a WOD?: Crossfit Abbreviations for Dummies

by ~jenniferlynn on February 1, 2013

in CrossFit

Inspired by my last post in rambling off my Crossfit workouts without realizing that half of the readers may not even know what is a WOD, I opted to put together a very basic list of what some Crossfit abbreviations and terms are so you can reference anytime you read my posts. 😉

Crossfit for Dummies via @winetoweights What is a WOD? What does RX or AMRAP mean? What is EMOM? Different Crossfit terms can be confusing! Read to find out what all of it means! For more #Crossfit posts, check out http://www.winetoweightlifting.com/category/crossfit/

What is Crossfit all about?

While I would love to dedicate a whole post to this question alone, this post is mostly just to keep you up on the jargon; I’ll break it down in more detail another time!

In the shortest definition possible, Crossfit is the “sport of fitness.” Crossfit combines elements of cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy, using a combination of fast-paced functional movements, Olympic lifts, and gymnastics.

What are all those Crossfit Abbreviations?

WOD: Workout of the Day

Although Crossfit combines many other elements, one of the key characteristics is a daily workout, hence the “workout of the day”. These are either done “AMRAP” (see below for definition) in a certain amount of time; or complete a circuit as fast as possible.

Crossfit for Dummies via @winetoweights What is a WOD? What does RX or AMRAP mean? What is EMOM? Different Crossfit terms can be confusing! Read to find out what all of it means! For more #Crossfit posts, check out http://www.winetoweightlifting.com/category/crossfit/

Benchmark WOD

Workout that is used as a baseline to measure progress, usually named after girls, such as Fran, Diane, and Grace.

AMRAP: As many reps as possible

AMRAP workouts are timed with a fixed time limit in which you need to do As Many Reps (repitions) As Possible. The higher the number, the better!

EMOM: Every minute, on the minute

Another type of workout with a fixed time limit is EMOM, or every minute on the minute. These workouts are also scored as how many reps you can do overall, but note that as time goes on your rest periods will likely get shorter!

RX: As prescribed

The goal for any crossfitter is to be able to do the workouts RX’ed, or as prescribed. Since Crossfit workouts can be scaled based on abilities  the goal is to work your way up to what the workout is supposed to be like. Examples of scaling could be using a lighter weight, completing less repetitions, or doing assisted pull-ups.

PR: Personal Record

With any workout or lift, the goal is to strive for a PR, or personal record. This is a great way to measure progress and track results!

More Terms:


C&J: Clean and Jerk
FS:Front Squat
PU: Pull-up


DB: Dumbbell
KB: Kettlebell


BW: Body-weight – using your body-weight, such as air squats
RM: Rep Max – maximum amount of weight that you can move for one repetition  can also be used as 5RM, such as maximum weight moved with five repetitions in a row

Are there any other terms you’ve seen that you are clueless about? What else would you love to know about Crossfit that I can answer for you? 🙂

Twitter: KatSnF
February 1, 2013 at 12:09 pm

lol WOD would you do?! ;op
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Danielle @ itsaharleyyylife
Twitter: itsaharleyylife
February 1, 2013 at 12:47 pm

sometimes when I don’t know what one of the letter abbreviations mean I youtube it and then it hits me real fast… (:
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Twitter: JackiRHayes
February 1, 2013 at 2:17 pm

Danielle that is so funny, because that is what I would do before almost every WOD. My box would post these strange abbreviations for movements. I liked checking youtube because not only did I know what the movement was, but I knew how to do it.
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Megan February 1, 2013 at 3:22 pm

Recently I’ve been seeing AHAP on our WOD cash-outs. I went to bed one night wondering WTF it stood for, by the time I stepped in the gym at 6am, I realized it was As Heavy As Possible!

~jenniferlynn February 5, 2013 at 4:46 pm

It is totally becoming a second language.. 🙂

Megan February 5, 2013 at 5:40 pm

For sure -and I’m trying to live up to the AHAP. Today we had a set of Russian KB swings post-WOD and since there was only time 5 rounds instead of 10 I upped my weight to 60lbs! It was heavy!!

~jenniferlynn February 5, 2013 at 6:00 pm

Meg, I hope to be half as strong as you someday 😉

NJ Paleo February 1, 2013 at 3:39 pm

This is funny! Typically before a workout there is at least one person who asks “what is___”! It takes a little time to learn what each term means!

~jenniferlynn February 1, 2013 at 3:55 pm

NJ- Are you on Twitter or do you blog?

Twitter: inmyheadspace
February 1, 2013 at 4:24 pm

Thanks for the cheat sheet! I feel like I understand a lot better now!

Joanna Broadbent February 2, 2013 at 4:06 am

Good to know! Some of these I didn’t know. I do not CrossFit, but I have so many friends who do and it is nice to keep up on the lingo ;-)Thank you lady!

Twitter: fromtracie
February 2, 2013 at 9:41 am

This is good. I have some friends on facebook who do CrossFit, and they are always using these abbreviations.
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Kim@Co-Pilot Mom February 3, 2013 at 2:31 pm

I have seen these abbreviations before and wondered about them – great info to know!
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Twitter: mast2mar
February 4, 2013 at 6:31 pm

Next time you post a crossfit post, I think I will be cross referencing this one! Thanks for ‘demystifying’ it!
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penny February 5, 2013 at 2:32 pm

Loved reading this. On occassional have wonder what some of those abbr mean. thanks so much for explain it in understanding terms .
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Laura Hubbard August 15, 2013 at 1:15 am

So I don’t know if this is a crossfit question or not, but I don’t know the answer and maybe someone does.

What do the numbers in parenthesis mean in, for example, this 5x deadlift (275/143lb) or 10x Push Press (115/63lb)?

It’s probably a stupid question. thank you!

~jenniferlynn August 15, 2013 at 8:02 am

Not stupid at all!

Those would be the prescribed weights for men and women, respectively. So your goal could be to workh your way up to be able to do the suggested weight!

Does that help?

keith December 5, 2014 at 9:25 am

Thanks for giving some of the basics. I just got into Rowing this week buying a Concept2 rower. Been an avid road cyclist for a number of years. But just started with the crossfit. Didn’t know what WOD was until today. So I will copy and paste what you posted so I can keep the “LINGO”, just in case.

~jenniferlynn December 5, 2014 at 10:17 am

Congrats on trying out Crossfit! Come back in a bit and let me know what you think!

There are plenty of other Crossfit resources out on my site, too.. I suggest checking out this article, too!

Arthur September 11, 2015 at 11:02 am

Great post.
There’s also AFAP (as fast as possible). Several benchmark WODs are supposed to be done AFAP (e.g.: Karen, Jackie, Isabel, Grace…).

Mark K December 8, 2015 at 11:25 am

I assume post time for the WOD means complete the rounds as quick as possible with proper form? In other words, it’s more cardio?

~jenniferlynn April 7, 2016 at 10:57 am

Hey Mark, yes! Exactly.. goal is fastest time, where some other workouts, it’s how many you can do within a specific timeframe.

John Douge October 11, 2016 at 8:17 pm

What does “20 Hang Power Clean, 175/125” mean? I especially don’t get the 175/125 part.


~jenniferlynn April 21, 2017 at 11:59 am

Hi John!
Sorry, 175 pounds for men, 125 pounds for the ladies!

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