CrossFit For Dummies

What does all that jargon on the whiteboard mean?

Before you start reading, this I am in no way calling anyone a “Dummy!”  However, I know it feels (or has felt) that way when we’ve had to ask our coach a question about anything CrossFit related, so be sure to forward to this to a friend.  We’ve all been a newbie at one point or another, and it’s good to remember to be patient when someone new asks you a question.  Even when it’s the most obvious thing!

This blog post is dedicated to all the new CrossFitters out there that have walked into a CrossFit gym and had no clue what all the jargon meant.  I remember one of my first Kettlebell WODs had weight that was at 1.5 poods.  My first thought was, “What the crap is this?”  I asked my buddy Corey (My best friend with whom I started CrossFit who now owns Mercer Island CrossFit) and turns out he was clueless just as I was.  So what did we do?  Yep, we headed straight to to figure out what the heck a “pood” was.

To save all you new CrossFitters some time, here is a list of some terms we use within the gym to help you get started:

CrossFit Terminology Made Easy


WOD– Workout of the Day

AMRAP– As many rounds as possible or reps as possible

Metcon– Metabolic Conditioning (aka Metcon)

POOD– Weight of the kettlebell. (1 pood = 35lbs, 1.5 pood = 44lbs, 2 pood = 70lbs)

Box– CrossFit gym

Chalk– Helps with grip and studies show it increase strength;)

“Tabata”– Named after Dr. Tabata who design an interval typed of workout doing 20 seconds of moving and 10 second of rest for 8 rounds. (Total of 4 minute per exercise)

“CrossFit Total”– Strength WOD that includes your 1RM (Rep Max)

Rack Position– Bar resting on your collar bone and anterior deltoids (front shoulder) support by hands.

Back Squat– Squat with barbell on your back.

Front Squat– Squat with barbell in the “Rack Position” (see above).

Overhead Squat– Squat with barbell held overhead.

HSPU– Handstand Push-up

Double Unders– Jump rope skill.  You jump once and the rope makes 2 revolutions

Power Clean– Olympic Lift.  Barbell starts on the ground and end in the rack position (see above).

Hang Clean– Olympic Lift. Barbell starts by hanging from your hips and end in the front squat position.

Squat Clean– Olympic Lift. Barbell starts on the ground and ends in a front squat.

Power Snatch– Olympic Lift.  Barbell starts on the ground and ends up over head.

Hang Snatch– Olympic Lift. Barbell starts by hanging from your hips and ends up over your head.

Squat Snatch– Olympic Lift. Barbell starts on the ground and ends up in the overhead squat position.

Burpee– Gymnastic move that you drop to the ground, do a push-up, jump into a squat and then jump. Best overall movement of CrossFit because it has the move range of movement.

Box Jump– Jump onto a box

Wallball Shot– Using a medicine ball drop into a front squat position and standing up using the momentum to push to ball to hit the target on the wall.

This list isn’t EVERYTHING you will encounter, but it’s a great start.  At the very least you won’t look like a deer in the headlights when you see Olympic lifts or acronyms on the whiteboard.

I repeatedly tell my athletes to ALWAYS train with a coach and NEVER resort to doing it on your own.  For example, if your child is potty training, do you let them teach themselves or do you help?  You help.  Anyone can pee on their own, but it will be a lot more effective if someone told them where and how, right?!  Of course I’m right!  Same thing goes for lifting.  Our job is to teach you what you need to know to reach your goals, and then help you get there. So after reading this, I hope you head to the box and feel more confident about hitting the WOD.  Don’t be “that guy” who has no clue — be “that guy” who has done his homework and is ready to learn more.

For more tips about starting CrossFit and finding a box, check out “3 Tips Everyone Needs Before They Start CrossFit” or simply email me,


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