Your Beginner’s Guide To CrossFit
Have you ever read a book and felt like you understood nothing the author was talking about? And I mean nothing—zero. That happened to me last weekend. I got lost in the jargon. I kept reading more, hoping the next section would be more relatable and help clear up things for me. Then, halfway through the book, I read one word: CrossFit. Immediately, I was in my zone. I understood every single word he was talking about. And I was really excited to keep reading because now I had a reference point I could go back to if I got lost again.
As I write this, I have to take a second to laugh out loud. Because I remember starting CrossFit and having no idea—zero—what anyone was talking about when I walked into the gym. That’s why this blog post exists. I want to make navigating the world of CrossFit easier for you. This may not be an exhaustive as guide to the lingo you will hear in and around the gym most days, but it should be a resource to build your confidence when walking into a new gym and understanding what in the world people are talking about.
Let’s start at the top and work our way through.
This is a portmanteau combining two words: metabolic and conditioning. Now forget “metabolic conditioning” and replace that in your mind with: “this is a workout where I sweat a lot, give some high fives, and have a great time!” Metcons are where higher intensity work gets done. Want to lose weight? Metcons help you burn a significant amount of calories in a fun and exciting way. Want to build muscle? Metcons are where much of your strength work will be done and your muscles will quickly grow. Want to increase your energy? Again, you’re in the right place. Metcons are short workouts (typically between 4-20 minutes) that help you release all the chemicals in your brain that leave you feeling accomplished, confident, and ready for another day!
“Workout of the Day.” This is an all-encompassing phrase. Typically, the WOD refers to everything you do from the start to the end of class. Pro Tip: saying “WOD” is a lot like saying “LOL” or “NBD” out loud. You can do it. But it may be better to just leave it to to text messages and Instagram.
“Every Minute On The Minute.” You walk into the gym to begin the WOD and your coach says: “Today we have a 10-minute EMOM of push ups and air squats.” All that means is that for ten minutes the class will alternate every minute between push ups and air squats. These workouts are typical for building comfort in a movement. This is a really fun way to workout as it can be fast and productive while also keeping you engaged the whole time.
“As Many Rounds As Possible.” An AMRAP will typically look like this:
AMRAP x 5: 5 Push Ups / 5 Air Squats / 5 Sit Ups
Translation: For five minutes, you will try to get as many rounds of those three movements completed as you can. Once you complete your sit ups you will start back at push ups until the clock says the five minutes are over.
This is another fun way to workout because you can adjust your approach based on how you feel that day. Had a rough day at work? Move through this AMRAP with what you have in the tank. Just wrapped up the greatest day of your entire life? Awesome. Push it today. AMRAPs are a great way to measure progress. If last time you did this workout you completed three rounds, try for four on your next attempt!
This is NOT the goal of any workout at Wrought Iron Gym. Do the opposite! Have fun. Make friends. Get healthier and fitter and just be happy.
You’ll hear this the first day you step into the gym. It means: sleeping, eating, and overall feeling rested and ready for another workout. You may Google “recovery tips” and then find yourself with a $200 supplement bill because many articles claim the only way to appropriately recover is to use supplements. I’m here to save you $200. When thinking about recovery, start with three simple questions:
- Did I sleep 7-9 hours last night?
- Did I eat pretty good foods overall yesterday?
- How do I feel today?
If the answers to all of those questions are “yes” then you are nailing recovery. If not, aim to get a little extra sleep tonight and eat a little more food tomorrow and you should recover pretty well from there.
CrossFit isn’t nearly as complicated as you may read on the internet. As coaches, we want to help you with the learning curve. Schedule a Free Intro where we go over your health and fitness goals. We want CrossFit to do for you what it has for so many of the members you’ll interact with every class. Ask them for their stories and learn even more about the impact it can have in your life!