Crossfit Dictionary: Master the Language of CrossFit

CrossFit has become an increasingly popular fitness program over the years. People of all ages and skill levels are turning to CrossFit for its combination of aerobic, weightlifting, gymnastics, and other exercises that push the body and mind in new ways. While this type of workout may be unfamiliar to some, it is important to understand the terminology used in CrossFit workouts so you can make the most out of each session. This article will introduce you to the basics of a CrossFit dictionary and help you navigate through the many terms and concepts associated with this unique form of exercise.

What Is a CrossFit Dictionary?

A CrossFit dictionary is essentially a glossary of terms related to the CrossFit lifestyle. It includes definitions for movements, equipment, time domain descriptors, metric/imperial units, scaling options for difficulty levels, and more. Knowing these terms will help you better communicate with your coaches and fellow participants as well as give you insight into how different components of CrossFit work together. Additionally, having a comprehensive understanding of these words and phrases can lead to improved performance on challenging exercises and greater success overall.

Warm-Ups & Cool-Downs

Warm-ups and cool-downs are both crucial parts of any effective workout routine. In CrossFit, warm-ups involve dynamic stretching and light cardio designed to get your heart rate up and prepare your muscles for more strenuous activity. On the other hand, cool-downs are meant to bring your heart rate back down after an intense workout and also serve as a way to relax your muscles and prevent injury. Common examples of warm-up activities include jogging, jumping rope, high knees, mountain climbers, burpees, etc., while common cool-down activities include foam rolling, stretching, walking, etc.

Exercises & Movements

The term “exercise” is often used interchangeably with “movement” in CrossFit, but there is actually a distinction between them. An exercise is any physical activity done repeatedly or continuously for the purpose of improving health or fitness, while a movement is any single instance of an exercise (e.g., doing one rep of a deadlift). Exercises are commonly broken down into two categories: compound exercises (e.g., squats, bench presses) which involve multiple muscle groups working together; and isolation exercises (e.g., bicep curls), which target only one specific muscle group at a time.

Equipment & Props

CrossFit workouts typically require a variety of props such as weights, bands, boxes, and medicine balls to perform various exercises effectively. Knowing the names of these items—as well as what they look like—is essential if you want to make sure you have everything you need before starting a workout. Some of the most common pieces of equipment used in CrossFit are barbells, dumbbells, kettlebells, TRX straps, jump ropes, rings, pull-up bars, medicine balls, resistance bands, boxes, plyo mats, wall balls, AbMats®, weight vests, and assault bikes.

crossfit dictionary

Time Domain Descriptors

Time domain descriptors refer to how long an exercise should be performed or how much rest should be taken between sets/reps/rounds. These descriptors range from EMOM (every minute on the minute) and AMRAP (as many reps as possible) to Tabata (20 seconds on/10 seconds off for 8 rounds) and Rest Day (no exercise scheduled). Having a good grasp of these terms will help you plan ahead for your next CrossFit workout and allow you to adjust intensity accordingly.

Other Notable Terms

Other notable terms found in a CrossFit dictionary include form check (a verbal cue given by the coach during an exercise to ensure proper form is being followed), failure point (the point where an individual cannot complete another repetition without sacrificing form), tempo (the speed at which an exercise is performed), tempo run (running at a steady pace for an extended period of time), snatch grip (hand placement when performing Olympic lifts), box jump (jumping onto a box or elevated surface), and wall ball (a weighted ball thrown against a wall).

Metric/Imperial Units

In addition to regular terms and acronyms used in CrossFit workouts, there are also several metric/imperial units associated with certain exercises and drills. Examples include meters (m) for running distance; kilograms (kg) or pounds (lbs.) for weightlifting; repetitions (reps) for counting the number of times an exercise is performed; minutes (min) or seconds (sec) for timing; rounds (rds) for determining total duration; and sets (sets) for indicating the number of series within a workout.

Lifestyle & Culture Phrases

There is also a set of lifestyle and culture phrases that are frequently heard in the gym setting. For example, PR (personal record) is a term used to describe achieving a higher score than previously accomplished; WOD (workout of the day) refers to the daily prescribed workout; RX (prescribed) means completing a workout exactly as written; “Good job!” or “Nice work!” are encouragements offered by coaches or peers; 5…4…3…2…1! counts down from five to one before beginning a set; and #Gains expresses appreciation for making progress in an exercise or program.

Scaling Options for Difficulty Levels

CrossFit is a great option for individuals who want to challenge themselves regardless of their current level of fitness. To accommodate varying levels of experience, there are different ways to scale exercises according to ability. Modifying sets, reps, weight load, rest periods, and intensity are just a few ways to increase or decrease the difficulty of a particular workout. Being familiar with the different scaling options available can help beginners start off slow while allowing advanced athletes to continue progressing.

Glossary of Commonly Used Acronyms

Finally, there are several acronyms associated with CrossFit that come up frequently during conversations or discussions about training techniques and strategies. Some of the most common ones include ROM (range of motion), HIIT (high-intensity interval training), AMRAP (as many reps as possible), RFT (rounds for time), SNT (speed, agility, strength and power), CFP (cross functional programming), EAMT(enhanced active mobility technique), FITT Principle (frequency, intensity, time, type), OMEMO (one move every minute on the minute), OTM (on the minute), TTB (toes to bar).


At first glance, it can seem overwhelming trying to learn all the terms associated with CrossFit. However, becoming familiar with these words and phrases is an important step toward getting the most out of your workouts and truly mastering this unique style of fitness. Hopefully this post provided some helpful information on what a CrossFit dictionary entails and how knowing these key terms can benefit your journey in pursuing optimal physical health.

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