What's the wod?

The WOD is the workout of the dayWe post 6 workouts per week (Monday - Saturday).

Some insights and thoughts on sets and reps: 

  • The WOD descriptions are very literal; don't read into them. If it says "squats" it means just that, "air squats", no added weight unless it says back or front squats.
  • A "rep" or repetition is one iteration of a movement. One press, one squat, etc. A "set" is a group of reps 10 reps = 10 presses, 10 squats. 3 sets is do a group of repetitions, rest, repeat, rest, repeat. So, 3 sets of 10 (reps) is 10/rest/10/rest/10. The rest interval is up to your recovery time and the goal of the WOD. Obviously, if it's a timed WOD, you want to rest less. 
  • Also, rest and reps are frequently inverse. Sometimes a WOD says deadlift 3-2-2-1-1-1. This means a set of 3 reps, a set of 2 reps, another set of 2, a set of one aka a single. This few reps indicates a maximal load and indicates longer rest times.
  • Back to literal: if the WOD says 21-15-9 reps of squats and pull-ups in rounds (or any other exercises as given) you do 21 of exercise 1 and 21 of exercise two, then 15 of the first exercise and 15 of the second exercise, and finally 9 of the first and 9 of the second exercise.
  • Remember, if you need to adjust the weight used in a workout or break up the "sets" into more manageable numbers then do so! This is all about working at your own level and getting better than you were the day before.

Is this for me?

Absolutely! Your needs and the needs of olympic athletes differ by degree, not kind. Increased power, strength, cardiovascular and respiratory endurance, flexibility, stamina, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy are each important to everyone from the world's best athletes to our grandparents. The truth is that the very same methods that elicit optimal response in the elite athlete will optimize the same response in the elderly. Of course we can't load up your grandma with the same squatting weight we'd assign to an Olympic skier, but they both need to squat. In fact, squatting is essential to maintaining functional independence and improving fitness. Squatting is just one example of a movement that is universally valuable and essential yet rarely taught to any but the most advance athletes. This is a tragedy. Through painstakingly thorough coaching and incremental load assignment, CrossFit has been able to teach anyone who can care for themselves to perform safely and with maximum efficacy the same movements typically utilized by professional coaches in elite and certainly exclusive environments.

What if I don't have time for all this?

It is common to feel that because of the obligations of career and family that you don't have the time to become as fit as you might like. Here's the good news: world class, age group strength and conditioning is obtainable through an hour a day six days per week of training. It turns out that the intensity of training that optimizes physical conditioning is not sustainable past forty-five minutes to an hour. Athletes that train for hours a day are developing skill or training for sports that include adaptations inconsistent with elite strength and condition. Past one hour, more is not better!

What if I can't use the recommended weight?

Use a weight that's manageable to you, or use a percentage of the weight prescribed. Assume the "generic" male crossfitter weighs 175 lbs and the prescribed weight is 96 lbs. You could pick a weight that's approximately 55% of your body weight to be comparable. 

Is the wod enough? should i do more?

Part of the CrossFit philosophy includes pursuing/learning another sport or activity and many cross fitters are also martial artists and competitive athletes in a variety of disciplines. 

However, if you work the WODs hard, you will find yourself at an improved level of fitness, and for lots of us, the WOD is our primary "sport."

If you pursue another activity, you will need to balance your work/rest cycles and be sure to allow for recovery. Sometimes you will need extra days off or to consider a WOD as "active rest" done at a lower intensity.

Will I/Can I get big doing CrossFit?

If you train the WODs hard, eat right, and get lots of sleep you will definitely gain lean mass, lose fat, and yes, you will build muscle mass with the CrossFit protocol. 

Let's look at CrossFit and bodybuilding for a moment. Here is a hierarchy of training for mass from greater to lesser efficacy: 

1. Bodybuilding on steroids | 2. CrossFitting on steroids 

                         3. CrossFitting without steroids  |  4. Bodybuilding without steroids

The bodybuilding model is designed around, requires, steroids for significant hypertrophy. The neuroendocrine response of bodybuilding protocols is so blunted that without "exogenous hormonal therapy" little happens. 

The CrossFit protocol is designed to elicit substantial neuroendocrine whollop and hence packs an anabolic punch that puts on impressive amounts of muscle though that is not our concern. Strength is our concern. Natural bodybuilders (the ones that are not on steroids) never approach the mass that our athletes do. They don't come close. 

Those athletes who train for function end up with better form than those who value form over function. This is one of the beautiful ironies of training.

WHat are those funny acronyms you guys use?

CrossFit Acronyms and Abbreviations

AMRAP: As Many Reps (sometimes Rounds) as Possible
BP: Bench press
BS: Back squat
BW (or BWT): Body weight
CFT: CrossFit Total - consisting of max squat, press, and deadlift.
CFWU: CrossFit Warm-up
CLN: Clean
C&J: Clean and jerk
C2: Concept II rowing machine
DL: Deadlift
FS: Front squat
GHR(D): Glute ham raise (developer). Posterior chain exercise, like a back extension. Also, the device that allows for the proper performance of a GHR.
GHR(D) Situp: Situp done on the GHR(D) bench.
GPP: General physical preparedness, aka "fitness."
GTG: Grease the Groove, a protocol of doing many sub-maximal sets of an exercise throughtout the day
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.
KB: Kettlebell
KTE: Knees to elbows. Similar to TTBs described below. 
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
PR: Personal record
PP: Push press
PSN: Power snatch
PU: Pull-ups, possibly push ups depending on the context
Rep: Repetition. One performance of an exercise.
Rx'd; as Rx'd: As prescribed; as written. WOD done without any adjustments.
RM: Repetition maximum. Your 1RM is your max lift for one rep. Your 10 RM is the most you can lift 10 times.
SDHP: Sumo deadlift high pull
Set: A number of repetitions. e.g., 3 sets of 10 reps, often seen as 3x10, means do 10 reps, rest, repeat, rest, repeat.
SN: Snatch
SQ: Squat
TGU: Turkish get-up (See exercise section)
TTB: Toes to bar. Hang from bar. Bending only at waist raise your toes to touch the bar, slowly lower them and repeat.
WOD: Workout of the day
YBF: You'll Be Fine (liberally applied in spray form)

What's the official CrossFit warmup?

The official CrossFit warmup is as follows: 

3 rounds of 10-15 reps of

Samson Stretch (do the Samson Stretch once each round for 15-30 seconds)
Overhead Squat with broomstick

Note that for a workout that's dip or pullup-centric, you might want to do something else in the warmup.

What about abs? We never do crunches...

Abs (the core) work to stabilize and support the body with most CrossFit movements: squats, deadlifts, the olympic lifts, burpees, pushups, pull-ups (especially kipping), etc. These movement patterns place greater emphasis on the abs working in concert with the rest of the body and will result in stronger muscles than the isolation of crunches. Additionally, the standard CF warmup includes 3 x 10-15 "situps" and those can be whatever you desire, although the full range glute-ham situp is recommended.

what's a tabata?

For twenty seconds do as many reps of the assigned exercise as you can - then rest for 10 seconds. Repeat this seven more times for a total of 8 intervals, 4 minutes total exercise. The score is the least number of reps for any of the 8 intervals.

How much weight for squats?

If not specified, squats are your body only (aka "air squats"); back squats and front squats use the weight indicated (or adjusted as necessary to complete the WOD). 

pullups vs. chin ups?

Use whatever grip is strongest for you - palms facing, palms away, palms parallel. You can mix them up. If you can'd do many (or any) work on negatives (jump up to top position; lower slowly) or work on ring rows until you are stronger. 

How do i burpee?

To perform a burpee with a pushup, you will begin in a squat position with hands on the floor in front of you. 1). Kick your feet back, while simultaneously lowering yourself into the bottom portion of a pushup. Your arms will not be extended. 2). Immediately return your feet to the squat position, while simultaneously pushing "up" with your arms. You will perform a pushup as you return your feet to the squat position. 3). Leap up as high as possible from the squat position, 4). Repeat, moving as fast as possible.

What kind of situp should i do for the wod?

Whatever you like; we recommend picking one style and sticking with it so you can compare performance over time. Lots of folks like the ab-mat. Some us do "military" sit-ups, which come in a couple of flavors. Hard-core: hands behind head, feet anchored, knees at 90 degrees. All the way back until base of shoulder blades hit the floor; up to near vertical. Or "Air Force" version: arms crossed in front, hands on shoulders or arms; feet and legs as above. Down position same as above; up to where elbows touch knees or thighs. Hands must stay on shoulders or arms. "Janda" sit-ups are tough; you place a bar, board, partner's hands, or whatever behind your calves. Keep your feet flat on the floor; dig in with your heels and pull back hard with you calves against the bar. This should de-activate your hip flexors, thereby making your abs work harder.

what's a pistol? How do i do it?

A pistol is a one-legged squat. Stand on one leg, with the other leg out in front and parallel to the floor. Hands go out in front to help balance. Sit back and down, as if sitting in a very low chair. At the bottom your support foot is flat and your hamstrings/glute is resting on your calf. Now stand back up to the starting position. That is one rep. 

what's with the kipping pullups? isn't that cheating?

Kipping allows more work to be done in less time, thus increasing power output. It is also a full-body coordination movement when performed correctly, which applies more functionally to real-life application of pulling skills. Last, but not least, the hip motion of an effective kip mirrors the motion of the olympic lifts/kettlebell swings, adding to it's function as a posterior chain developer.

what's the difference among the clean (and snatch) types?

Squat clean aka Full Clean aka Clean = start from the floor, catch in a full squat.
Hang clean = start from the hand position (above or below the knees), catch in a full squat position. 
Power clean = start from the floor, catch in a quarter or half squat position aka the power position.  
Hang power clean = start from the hand position above or below the knees, catch in the quarter or half squat. 
"Hang" describes where you start. 
"Power" describes where you catch.

What's the height of the wallball target?

Standard height is 10'. Scale if needed.

what's the weight of the wallball?

Standard weight is 20#. Scale if needed.

Here are some frequently asked CrossFit questions. Don't be overwhelmed.

There is a ton of information here for you to read through and come back to whenever you need. 


Is CrossFit for me?

What if I don't have time for all this?

What if I can't use the suggested weight?

Is the WOD enough? Should I do more?

Will I/can I get big doing CrossFit?

What are all those funny terms?

What's the official CrossFit Warm-up?

What about abs?

What's a tabata?

How much weight for squats?

Pullups vs. chinups?

How do I burpee?

What's a pistol?

What's with the kipping pull ups?

Types of cleans and snatches.

What's the height of the wallball target?

What's the weight of the wallball?