A beginners guide to the whiteboard!

Programming Glossary!

There is a lot of jargon and a number of phrases that are used a lot in CrossFit that I thought I would explain for you guys so that you have a reference for when you come into the gym and see certain things on the board. CrossFit is very new to some of you and it can seem we have a language of our own at times chatting about AMRAPs and EMOM’s all the time!

So here is a list of certain things I thought you might like explained:

AMRAP – As Many Rounds As Possible.

Eg. AMRAP 10 – 20 Burpees/Run 400m. You complete this as many times as you can in 10 minutes. Every time you do 20 burpees and run 400m you count a round.

EMOM – Every Minute On the Minute. At the top of each minute you do the prescribed exercise.

Eg –

EMOM 12 –

Even Minute: 5 Handstand Pushups.

Odd Minute: 5 Deadlift

Each minute you alternate through these exercises. Once you have done the reps prescribed you rest until the next minute starts. If you can’t do the prescribed number of reps in the minute then you need to lower the weight or drop the amount of reps you are doing if it is a bodyweight movement.

AFAP – As Fast As Possible. This just means go as hard as you can, no pacing or holding back just go beast mode!!! This indicates lactate intervals. Not fun!!

WOD  – Workout Of The Day. The workout that we put on the whiteboard each day.

Olympic Weightlifting  – The Snatch and Clean and Jerk. Movements that we are slowly teaching you over time that are excellent for strength and conditioning depending on rep scheme and loading. Difficult to master to say the least!

These include:

GTOH – Ground to overhead. Can be either power clean and push jerk or a snatch but is most often a clean and jerk.

Power Variants – Power Clean or Power Snatch. These are variants of the olympic lifts where we do not go below parallel when we catch the bar.

‘For Time’ – A set amount of work is given and you must do it as fast as you can. Sometimes within a time cap.


5 Rounds for time:

10 Thrusters

10 Pullups

At 85% – This indicates the intensity of which you work at during conditioning pieces. It is hard to quantify but if you imagine 50% as an easy pace you could maintain a very long time, like walking and 100% as something you could only maintain a very short period of time, like sprinting. Then 85% is somewhere in between. It is a beautiful thing to observe, perfectly paced movement so that the athlete continues to work at the same pace for the whole workout.

Strength prescription:

This is how we write our strength prescription out on the board. The letter followed by the number denotes which movement comes first. The sets and reps are written as sets x reps.

So for the below example we would do 3 back squats, then rest 60s before starting 5-8 strict pullups. After this we rest 2 minutes before going back into the squats.

A1. Back Squat – 5×3 Rest 60s

A2. Strict Pullups – 5×5-8 Rest 2 mins

If it were set as below, with different letters we would do all of our squat sets before moving onto doing our pullups.

  1. Back Squats – 5×3 Rest 2 mins
  2. Strict Pullups – 5×5-8 rest 2 mins

If a rep range is recommended as with the pullups above then we always aim to hit the higher number. If we can’t then we are allowed to drop to the lower number but if we drop below the lowest number then we have to scale down in terms of weight or movement.

Hopefully this will help you to understand some of our jargon and prescriptions on the board!