The best thing you can do is read, search, and read some more before asking questions about CrossFit. Start with the What is CrossFit? and How To Start pages, review the Exercises & Demos, and dig through the discussion board.
Meanwhile, here are some of the most common questions people ask about CrossFit workouts:
Part of the CrossFit philosophy includes pursuing or learning another sport or activity, and the demands of those sports will affect what you can do in each WOD. If you pursue another activity, you will need to balance your work/rest cycles and be sure to allow for recovery. Sometimes, you will need to take extra days off, or to consider a WOD as "active rest" done at a lower intensity.
In general, if you work the WODs hard, you will find yourself at an improved level of fitness.
The CrossFit protocol is designed to elicit a substantial neuroendocrine wallop and hence packs an anabolic punch that puts on impressive amounts of muscle, though that is not our concern. Strength is.
Those athletes who train for function end up with better form than those who value form over function. This is one of the beautiful ironies of training.
The "official" CrossFit warm-up is in the April 2003 CrossFit Journal.
3 rounds of 10-15 reps of:
Samson stretches (do the Samson stretch once each round for 15-30 seconds)
Overhead squats with broomstick or PVC
This warm-up is only a general idea, and coaches and athletes can easily adjust it or create their own versions in order to prepare them for a specific workout.
Visit the Exercises & Demos page for videos of common CrossFit exercises.
For 20 seconds, do as many reps of the assigned exercise as you can, then rest for 10 seconds.
Repeat this pattern seven more times for a total of 8 intervals, or 4 minutes of total exercise.
The score is the least number of reps scored in any of the intervals.
Pick up two heavy dumbbells and walk for distance.
Hold a weight (dumbbell, kettlebell, etc.) overhead and walk for distance.
Use whatever grip is strongest for you—palms facing, palms away, palms parallel, mixed grip, etc.
From standing, lower the chest and thighs to the floor, then come back to standing before finishing with a jump and clap overhead. To view a demonstration of the burpee, click here. Workouts sometimes contain burpee variations, such as jumping over a bar or jumping and touching a target.
The Samson stretch is described in detail in the CrossFit Journal.
You can do any style of sit-up you like, though it's recommended you note the style in your records so you can compare performances over time. To view a demonstration of the AbMat sit-up, click here.
The pistol is often called a one-legged or single-leg squat. To view a demonstration of a pistol, click here.
"American Gymnast's Parallette Training Guide": http://www.american-gymnast.com/tt/index_163.cfm
Courtesy of Jesse Woody: "Kipping allows more work to be done in less time, thus increasing power output. It is also a full-body coordination movement when performed correctly, which applies more functionally to real-life application of pulling skills. Last, but not least, the hip motion of an effective kip mirrors the motion of the olympic lifts/kettlebell swings, adding to its function as a posterior-chain developer."
To view a demonstration of the kipping pull-up, click here.
The standard height is 10 ft. Scale as needed.
The standard weight is 20 lb. Scale as needed.
CrossFit Training posts scaling options everyday on Facebook and Instagram.
Detailed instructions on substitions and scaling can be found in the CrossFit Journal.
Yes. Remember this: In general, substitutions and scaling preserve the intended stimulus of the original workout, and creative coaches and athletes have a wealth of options. Injuries, mobility issues, training history and many other factors will influence your decisions. The CrossFit affiliate community has come up with a tremendous number of creative substitutions to accommodate just about any athlete, and online searches will reveal many options. When in doubt, consult a CrossFit trainer. Detailed instructions can be found in the CrossFit Journal.
Many movements can take the place of rope climbs. Towel pull-ups are one great option. For more realism, set one hand high and one hand low on the towel. A standard rope length is 15 ft., and a standard substitution is 15 towel pulls. "See-saw" towel pull-ups are also an option. If you have a rope but can't pull your weight, tie a dumbell or kettlebell to one end and pull the rope toward you hand over hand. You can do this along the ground or you can throw the rope over the pull-up bar and hoist the weight to the top. Use the climbing arm motion as much as possible.
When substituting aerobic exercises, use comparable time intervals. For example, if you run 400 meters in 90 seconds, row, bike, jump rope, run stairs, etc. for 90 seconds. Box jumps, cross-country skiing, heavy-bag work, kettlebell or dumbbell swings, weighted stair climbing or box stepping can also be used if other options are not available. Sumo deadlift high pulls can take the place of a rowing machine. Use 45 lb. for men and 35 lb. for women, and count each rep as 10 meters.
The "standard" substitute is either dumbbell or barbell thrusters. Because you can't throw dumbells or a bar in the air, use about twice the specified ball weight (40 lb. or so instead of 20 lb.) and do the reps as explosively as possible. Medicine balls are now widely available, and creative athletes have made their own with relative ease.
Pull-ups and dips. Common rep schemes often equate a certain number of pull-ups plus a certain number of dips with 1 muscle-up. The exact numbers will depend on the athlete. Again, the goal is to preserve the stimulus of the original movement.
A host of options exists, including assisted pull-ups, jumping pull-ups, negatives, ring rows or even pull-downs. A word of caution: Controlling volume addresses the risk of rhabdomyolysis in less-experienced athletes or those returning after time off. Increased volume of eccentric movement (negatives, for example) correlates to risk of rhabdomyolysis.
Support all or most of your body while working up to handstand push-ups. You can place your hands on the floor and your legs on a bench, ball or counter (bend at the waist). You can hook your toes over a bar in the power rack or Smith machine. You can do partial reps, building up to full range of motion; for example, stack a few books up under your head and lower to the books. Try to remove a book from the pile every workout or so until you are working from the floor. You can also substitute standing presses using absolutely no leg drive, but presses are not as good as working toward the actual motion.
Work on tuck sits (both legs tucked up to your chest), one-leg-extended L-sits (you can alternate legs) or use bands for support (set your parallettes under the pull-up bar and hang the bands from the bar, then put your legs or feet through the band).
Do 3 regular parallel-bars dips for every ring dip prescribed.
Do tuck jumps. Multiple single-unders in no way compensate for the exertion required for double-unders. Explode off the ground as quickly as possible and repeat for the required number of repetitions.
Good mornings (with or without weight) or supermans. Many other movements will work, such as lying over an exercise ball with your feet hooked under a bench or bar.
As with back extensions, there are lots of ways to do glute-ham sit-ups. Try lying over an exercise ball with feet hooked under a bench or bar. You can also use a bench in place of a ball.
In this workout you move from each of 5 stations after a minute. This is a 5-minute round after which a 1-minute break is allowed before repeating. We've used this in 3- and 5-round versions. The stations are:
The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On the call of "rotate," the athlete(s) must move to the next station immediately for a good score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is 1 point.
Tabata intervals (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times) is applied in turn to the squat, rower, pull-ups, sit-ups and push-ups with a 1-minute rotation break between exercises. Each exercise is scored by the weakest number of reps (calories on the rower) in each of the 8 intervals. During the 1-minute rotation the clock is not stopped but kept running. The score is the total of the scores from the five stations. Some performance insights and a scoring example from Mark Twight:
A total score of 53 (excellent score, by the way) is determined by adding up the lowest number of reps in any set of each exercise.
12-calorie row (use the calorie counter and call each calorie a rep)
This score is a 53.
The CrossFit Training Department's Instagram page is a great resource for tips on how to appropriately scale workouts. (https://www.instagram.com/crossfittraining/?hl=en)
We encourage everyone to post their results each day to the comments section, and we always provide a link back to the previous comments when a workout is repeated. There are also several great sites online that provide a comprehensive tracking service, such as that by our friends at Beyond The Whiteboard (https://beyondthewhiteboard.com/).
CrossFit Total Rankings
based on tables by Kilgore, Rippetoe, et al.
(Aasgaard Co, 2006)
Head right over here and read all about it!
Yes, that really is the WOD. It's a max effort strength WOD rather than a metabolic conditioning WOD. It won't leave you as "gassed" as Helen or Cindy will, but it will tax your muscles and nervous system heavily. See this thread on the message board for more discussion of the protocol, and this WOD demo for a visual.
Since CrossFit.com went up in 2001, equipment has become far easier to find. A host of online retailers cater to our community, and many general fitness stores also have what you need. Athletes in more remote locations might have fewer options, but retailers are working to address growing markets around the world. If retailers don't ship to your area, send an email asking them to start.
In the early days of CrossFit.com, athletes found many creative ways to build their own equipment. An Internet search will reveal many options, and the Equipment category of the CrossFit Journal has options as well. With homemade equipment, safety is the foremost concern.
The CrossFit Journal has instructions, and a host of variations are available through an Internet search.
Personal preference determines the damper setting. For most people, a setting of 3-4 best replicates the feel of a boat on water. Some will prefer other settings. For more info, watch this video.
That's up to you. Manufacturers now offer shoes designed specifically for CrossFit, and some athletes will use different shoes for different workouts. For example, weightlifting shoes have elevated, non-compressible heels. However, remember that the shoes don't make you fitter.
We consider these references to be utterly indispensable:
CrossFit.com—This site contains a wealth of information, and visitors are encouraged to explore. The CrossFit.com archives contain more than 14 years of workouts, including demonstrations, tips and discussions.
The Exercises & Demos page by CrossFit Training—This page contains an ever-growing library of resources to help you move with virtuosity.
The CrossFit Journal—The CrossFit Journal contains thousands of articles, including seminal pieces authored by CrossFit Founder and CEO Greg Glassman.
CrossFit Trainer Courses—Led all over the world by CrossFit Seminar Staff, these courses cover everything, from the basics of CrossFit, to advanced CrossFit principles, to special areas including weightlifting, powerlifting and running.
The CrossFit Trainer Directory—Connect with a credentialed CrossFit trainer in your area.
CrossFit Affiliates—All CrossFit affiliates have websites, and many offer excellent instructional content online for free. We encourage you to visit your local CrossFit affiliate and ask a qualified trainer your questions.
The short answer: Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
To optimize fitness, you will need to measure and record intake, evaluate performance and potentially change intake until the desired results are achieved. This approach to diet is no different than the approach to workouts.
To start, we recommend everyone give the baseline Zone Diet prescription a try for four weeks. Doing so will help you establish measurable, observable, repeatable data on your input (food) and output (performance). Once you have completed a minimum baseline term of four weeks, you may find you have to make small tweaks to the block prescription until you achieve your best performance.
This type of measured, systematic self-observation will be the best guide as to whether you should eat any type of food or implement any diet "strategy.”
For instance, experimentation will give you valuable information on grains, legumes, dairy and salt, and it can even help you plan the frequency and timing of your meals. You may need to your adjust your food intake for your lifestyle, goals, discipline, commitment level, etc. You may choose to experiment with supplementation, post-workout nutrition, fasting, and so on. You may choose to include a cheat meal, eat more fat, consume more food, etc.
Overall, diet is specific to each individual, and he or she can optimize diet by carefully tracking input and output.
Read ["Mastering The Zone"](http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0060391901/104-6212051-6913520?v=glance&n=28315 5) by Barry Sears.
The Zone website is also a good resource.
The CrossFit Journal article "Zone Meal Plans" has an easy-to-understand explanation of the Zone, as well as recipes and a block chart for the most popular foods.
These references will help you get started.
For information, visit the CrossFit Trainer Courses and CrossFit Certifications websites.
Submit this application.
Yes. CrossFit Training posts pictures and scaling options for the CrossFit.com workout of the day on Facebook and Instagram.
Visit our Affiliate page. Note that you must be a CrossFit Certificate holder (Level 1 minimum) before applying for affiliation.
Read the Requirements section on our How to Affiliate page.
As of Jan. 1, 2011, affiliation costs US$3,000 annually.
Affiliate fees are always held level. Your renewal fee will always be the same as the fee you paid initially no matter how the fees change in the future.
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Yes. We have affiliates all over the world.
Yes. We do not limit the number of affiliates in any given area.
No. Our affiliates are a confederation of legitimate fitness practitioners pooling reliable resources.
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You may own the domain, but the use of "CrossFit" in your domain is unlicensed and illegal, and CrossFit Inc. can legally force you to give it up. CrossFit only acknowledges the URL of the name that you have licensed from us.
No. Only CrossFit Inc. can credential trainers. The only way to obtain a CrossFit credential is through CrossFit Training. Visit CrossFit Trainer Courses and CrossFit Certifications for more info.
You can link to anything on CrossFit Inc. sites, but you cannot download material and host it on your own site (e.g., videos, CrossFit Journal articles, etc.).
You can use any material freely available on the site with proper attribution. You may not distribute any content from the CrossFit Journal that is not already publicly available from the CrossFit Journal.
You are encouraged to create your own T-shirts featuring your licensed affiliate name and creative slogans. Logos and/or slogans associated with CrossFit Inc. or CrossFit.com may not be used without prior permission.
As an affiliate, you can and should say that you use CrossFit methods and that you're part of the extended CrossFit family, but you may not represent yourself directly or indirectly as a representative of CrossFit.com or CrossFit Inc.
You can call yourself a CrossFit trainer. You may list your CrossFit qualification on a business card, resume, or website bio/qualifications type of page. Nothing more.
You cannot use the CrossFit name in any other business or promotional way unless you affiliate. Only affiliation gives you the legal right to use the CrossFit name for business and/or promotional purposes.
The Level 1 Trainer License is explained on page 124 of the "CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide."
You may instruct as an apprentice under the mentoring of a CF-L1 trainer. All trainers at a CrossFit affiliate must hold a CrossFit Level 1 Certificate. Apprenticetrainers (those who do not hold a CF-L1) may work under the direct supervision of a CF-L1 trainer prior to obtaining an L1 certificate.
Basic guidelines are as follows: no continents, countries, provinces, regions, states, counties, large cities, religious references, movie names, celebrity names, personal names, trademarked names, government agencies or names that are already taken.
Whatever you can muster. Great gyms have started with lots of equipment or just a few barbells.
Absolutely. If you think you've got a good video, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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No. In order for an affiliate to offer CrossFit Kids classes and use the CrossFit Kids name, affiliates must first register with CrossFit Kids and meet the minimum requirements. Email email@example.com for more information.
We love that affiliates hold competitions and would like to do everything we can to encourage such events. When planning your competition, please keep in mind these simple rules:
CrossFit no longer allows multiple affiliations. We believe it is better for an affiliate to concentrate on a single location to ensure the quality of hands-on involvement by the owner. So, in essence, the rule is: one trainer, one box.
Yes. They are on the CrossFit Exercises & Demos page.
Visit the CrossFit Journal for thousands of articles and videos.
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Visit the CrossFit Games page.
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If you think you have a good video, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Visit the RRG website.
Yes: RRG FAQ.
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