Let’s start with some terminology so you feel comfortable with the local lingo.
Box – a CrossFit gym is called a “box”. So when you hear someone say that they’re going to the “box” they’re talking about a CrossFit gym.
Rx – rx is an acronym for the word prescribed, and in CrossFit rx is used when an athlete is using the exact weight that is called for during the workout.
Snatch – get your head out of the gutter! A snatch is a movement where a weight is explosively moved from the ground (in most cases) all the way to overhead in one movement.
Clean – a clean is a movement where a weight is explosively moved from the ground (in most cases) to shoulder level.
Jerk – this is like an Overhead Press where the weight starts at shoulder level, but is done explosively where you get to use your legs to heave the weight overhead, plus you get to drop under the weight to help straighten your arms, and then stand up tall to get a complete repetition.
C&J – this is a Clean (like above), but includes a Jerk after getting the weight to your shoulders.
Wallball shots – not at all like the shots you’re probably used to… this is a movement that involves standing facing a wall, holding a medicine ball at chest level, doing a full squat, and throwing the medicine ball to a predetermined height on a wall, then catching the medicine ball. These are usually repeated an unheard of number of times and make you want to lay on the ground afterwards!
AMRAP – as many radishes as possible! Just kidding! It stands for “as many rounds as possible” and would be used in a sentence like “10 minute AMRAP of: 20 pushups, 30 squats….etc”.
Rounds – a round represents a series of exercises done without rest.
Box jumps – this doesn’t mean that you have to jump onto the top of the gym! Hehehe! A box jump is just jumping onto a box (usually wooden) of a predetermined height.
WOD – stand for Workout of the Day, not World Of Darkness! I know that’s what you were thinking!
GHD – is Glute Hamstring Developer, and who doesn’t want those developed?!
OHS – is Overhead Squats. Because regular squats aren’t hard enough so let’s hold weight over our heads…
DL – is Dead Lift
DU – is Double Unders with a jump rope. If you played double dutch in grade school than you’re set!
MU – is Muscle Ups. A pull up where you pull yourself so forcefully that you go right into doing a dip.
SDHP – is Sumo Deadlift High Pull. Which is a deadlift with your feet spread like a sumo wrestler where you pull the weight all the way up to chin level.
PR – is Personal Record. These happen a lot in CrossFit!
Tabata – this is a style of workout where you spend 20 seconds performing an exercise, and then 10 seconds resting, for 8 rounds (4 minutes). This can be a very painful 4 minutes. Don’t let the time deceive you!
KB – is Kettle Bell. A heavy metal ball with a handle for swinging (usually between your legs). Yup, watch out guys!
Burpee – start from a standing position, drop all the way into the bottom of a pushup position (lying on the floor), do the pushup, jump back onto your feet, and then jump while clapping your hands behind your head.
I could definitely keep listing terms, but this should be all you’ll need to feel comfortable hanging with any CrossFit crew.
Next the easiest way to get started is to find a local CrossFit gym/box and walk right in! From there I would make sure that the local CrossFit box has a beginners class (what some boxes call “essentials”). This is where you’ll be taught the movements that are essential to your CrossFit success. Some boxes might require a number of personal training sessions instead of an “essentials” or beginners class which is equally cool. Just be wary if there’s no beginners requirement because this could mean that the box owner doesn’t pay much attention to form which could lead to injury. That brings up another point… you should ALWAYS ask your coach for more instruction if you don’t feel comfortable with any movements. Always speak up! It’s your body!
Now if you don’t have a CrossFit box near you then you’re not completely out of luck. I actually spent my first year of CrossFitting without ever stepping into a CrossFit box to workout (with the exception of my certification class). This just means that you’ll have to learn the exercises on your own through videos and practice. It’s really not a big deal at all. There are so many great CrossFit videos online that you just have to hold yourself accountable to know your own body and practice the movements like you see them.
For video learning I would suggest starting with the www.CrossFit.com site. Most of the posted WODs/workouts will include a video that will demo the workout for you. Pay close attention to the form that the professionals are using.
Here’s an example of a CrossFit workout/WOD that I did in my apt gym.
If you have any questions about the movements please post them in the comments section of this blog or shoot me an email.
Now get outside (or wherever) and have fun CRUSHing a CrossFit workout by working hard! 🙂