Give CrossFit a Try at Home
Samantha Wilkinson, MS, RDN, LD
Have you been wanting to try CrossFit, but are a bit intimidated by the movements or plethora of terminology? Try out these quick, bodyweight, CrossFit-based workouts to get you used to the flow and wording. Having a little bit of a base prior to walking into a box will make your Basics class/first class that much easier and enjoyable. Believe me, it’s A LOT to learn initially, but eventually it becomes second nature. Us CrossFitters are still learning new stuff every day! There’s also a list of commonly used CrossFit terms/abbreviations following the workouts for you to use as a reference.
10 minute AMRAP
(Complete As Many Rounds As Possible in 10 minutes of):
10 Air Squats
15 Ab Mat Sit-ups (if you don’t have an ab mat, sub for anchored sit-ups)
**If you feel that the workout is too easy, simply go faster! Remember, CrossFit is all about constantly varied, functional movements performed at a high intensity!
5 RFT (Rounds For Time) of:
200 meter run
(You can use a garden box, bench or the second to last step of your stairs – be sure to stand up fully at the top of each step-up)
**Again, if it seems too easy, increase the intensity and go faster. If you feel comfortable, you may perform box jumps instead of step-ups ONLY after you’ve done a few workouts and feel confident enough to do so.
If you were to perform these workouts as written, you would have Rx’d the WOD (see below for explanation). However, both workouts listed are also easily scalable. One way to scale is to change the number of reps. For example, in the first WOD (workout of the day), you could change the rep scheme to 3-6-9. For the second WOD, you could cut the rounds down to 3, or keep the prescribed amount of rounds and cut the run down to 100 meters. There are endless possibilities for scaling options just between these two WODs and that’s what makes CrossFit so user-friendly!
Walking Through the Door
Once you decide to take that next (scary) step and enter a box, you’ll see WODs written out with certain weights listed or movements. For example, a Crossfit benchmark WOD, known as Fran, is one of the toughest, most coveted workouts written (Crossfit’s benchmark WODs are named after girls, and their Hero WODs are named after fallen soldiers/police/firemen, and are long, grueling workouts to represent the sacrifice these men and women made). If you meet a new Crossfitter for the first time, odds are one of their first questions will be “What’s your Fran time?”. It is programmed to test you at your limit, and most elite athletes can complete it in just over 2 minutes (that’s REALLY fast). Fran is a WOD for time, with a rep scheme of 21-15-9 of barbell thrusters at 95# for men and 65# for women (regardless of how much you weigh) and pull-ups (you can easily find a demo of this or any other Crossfit workout with a quick Google search or by visiting Crossfit’s main site: crossfit.com). This rep scheme means you would do 21 thrusters, then 21 pull-ups, then 15 thrusters, 15 pull-ups, 9 thrusters, and 9 pull-ups as fast as you are capable of going (rest is allowed in any Crossfit workout, just know you don’t get that rest time given back to you for your score). The pull-ups are to be unassisted, meaning no resistance band or box for help, and the barbell thrusters must be performed with the desired range of motion, which is hip crease below knee during the front squat, ending with a full lockout of the elbows with ears past elbows and barbell overhead. You would see it written like this on the whiteboard as you entered class:
“Fran”, For Time
If you completed this workout as written, in say 8:17 minutes, you would still receive an Rx. It doesn’t matter how fast or slow you did it, you still Rx’d Fran. Of course from here, ways to scale include, using a lighter weight for thrusters, using assistance for pull-ups, or scaling the rep scheme down to 15-12-9. There are still many more ways than even that. It all depends on your ability and comfort level. Now if you have shoulder issues, for example, you could sub out the movement completely so as not to aggravate the shoulder further.
CrossFit is made for everyone! Just scale appropriately, and make sure you find a box with a competent, experienced coach who can help teach you how to do so. Don’t let the false reputation that CrossFit causes injury mask your chance to try it out. The usually culprit for injury is either a stubborn athlete or a coach who shouldn’t really be coaching, not the programming.
Below is some common CrossFit terminology you will run into:
(some of these terms crossover into other fitness modalities)
AMRAP: As Many Rounds (sometimes Reps) As Possible
ATG: Ass to Grass (usually when referring to squats and range of motion)
Box: where Crossfitters meet to work out, a.k.a. gym
C&J: Clean and Jerk
DUs: Double Unders
EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute.
G2OH: Ground to Overhead
GHD: Glute-Ham Developer
GPP: General Physical Preparedness
HSPU: Handstand Pushup
KTE: Knees to Elbow (while hanging from pull-up bar)
Met Con: Metabolic Conditioning
MUs: Muscle Ups
OHS: Overhead Squat
PP: Push Press
PU: Pull-ups or sometimes Push-ups
RFT: Rounds For Time
ROM: Range of Motion
Rx’d: As Prescribed; As Written; no adjustments/scaling made to WOD
RM: Rep Max
SDLHP: Sumo Deadlift High Pull
T2B: Toes to Bar (while hanging from pull-up bar)
TGU: Turkish Get-Up
WOD: Workout of the Day