How To Talk CrossFit

Boxes, WODs, AMRAP, OMEM… what ARE CrossFitters talking about? We decipher some of the basic terminology

PIC: Rose Physical Therapy Group

You may not pass as a local, but commit these basic CrossFit terms to memory and you should get by in the weird and wonderful land of WODs.

What is a CrossFit box?

No sniggering at the back, a box is the name for a CrossFit gym – although don’t expect a sauna and elliptical trainer here. CrossFit boxes tend to be basic but fit for purpose with weightlifting equipment, pull up bars and the like. If there are showers, then you’ve got yourself one swanky box.

What is a WOD?

WOD stands for workout of the day so, quite simply, whichever hellish workout the coach is dishing out that day.

What does AMRAP mean?

AMRAP stands for as many rounds as possible. An instructor will give you a circuit to perform – say burpees, kettle bell swings and box jumps – and they’ll give you a timeframe, 10 minutes for example, to complete as many rounds as you can.

AMRAP can also stand for as many reps as possible. This means that instead of a circuit you have one exercise to repeat until your time’s up – as many kettle bell swings as you can in five minutes, say.

What does OMEM mean?

It’s just one letter off a horror movie, which is apt as OMEM is a pretty ghoulish workout. It stands for On the Minute, Every Minute (see also EMON– same thing, words in a different order).

This means that every minute for a certain amount of time you perform a prescribed number of reps of an exercise. However long is left on the clock after you’ve completed the exercises is your rest period. The faster you go, the longer your rest time.

What does metcon mean?

Metcon is a metabolic conditioning workout. Short, fast, high-intensity cardio training that’s designed to improve your fitness and burn fat, fast.

What is a thruster?

Stop with the double entendres already. This is a move that was named by CrossFit and it’s a compound exercise, that works all the major muscle groups, . Standing with a barbell against your shoulders, you drop into a squat and as you power up, you push press the weight above your head. At this point you can probably roar if you want too.


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