0 to 90: What The Heck Is a WOD?

0 to 90 chronicles the CrossFit adventures of a know-nothing noob. For more 0 to 90 posts, click here.

Unlock the secret and occult power of these many strange and wonderful acronyms.

Unlock the secret and occult power of these many strange and wonderful acronyms.

One of the things I’ve been absolutely blown away by during the last few months at Goose Island CrossFit is the accessibility of the program. I haven’t seen a single “Ugh, another question?” reaction from any of the instructors. Questions have been welcomed, ignorance patiently endured. 

This is helpful, because there’s a lot to learn. As with any robust system, nomenclature is necessary, time is short, and acronyms abound. So for those of you who are new, I thought I’d put together a bit of a CrossFit cheat-sheet. Here goes.

WOD: Rhymes with “odd,” stands for: Workout of the Day. Workout de jour. Daily Special. Created just for today, and not likely to come around again for a while. Workouts at CrossFit are ever-changing, so that no part of your body winds up under-developed. Remember, the goal here is picking up your grandkids at 90. You can’t do that if you have giant biceps and pencil-thin thighs. WODs typically have 3 parts: Warmup, Skill Training, and Metcon.

METCON: Metabolic Conditioning. If you’re on the outside, you see that word “Conditioning” and think smoky rooms and brainwashing techniques. In CrossFit, conditioning is where we work hard. Metcons usually consist of 2-4 intense exercises, performed as quickly as possible. If you’re my wife, the best part is that each MetCon is scored, so you can see your progress, and where you’re at compared to other members. If you’re me, the best part is that MetCons usually last 10-15 minutes, max.

"Every Minute On The Minute!"

"Every Minute On The Minute!"

AMRAP: As Many Reps as Possible: This means do something until you can’t. Or until time runs out. Or both. Lots of WOD’s have MetCon’s that include AMRAP exercises. See, you’re getting it already?

EMOTM or EOMOTM: Every Minute On the Minute, or Every Other Minute on The Minute: When the big hand hits the zero, you do the thing. We use this if we want to do heavier exercises, or things people may only be able to do one of. Being a wheezes-when-repeating-anything-longer-than-a-minute type CrossFitter, I heart seeing this acronym on the board.

@50%, @70%, @90%, Etc.: Do ___ reps at Fifty, Seventy, Ninety Percent of your max weight for this exercise. Sometimes, our WODs include MetCons in which we’re doing AMRAPs @ 50% to build our endurance, or to work on form. 

Now here's what no one wants you to know: if you say each of these acronyms backwards 10 times, you will open a portal into an alternate universe in which donuts make you thinner and watching television burns excess fat quicker than rowing! This is the true and hidden secret of CrossFit! Do not tell anyone!

Secret Decoder Ring Part 2 coming soon.