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The CrossFit Games

by Alexandra Parren

CrossFit games strength barbell

CrossFit is a type of training created by Greg Glassman in 2000 and seeks to find the fittest man and woman on earth. But what is it? How does it work?

What is Crossfit?

CrossFit is a combination of many different training principals including gymnastics, powerlifting, Olympic weightlifting, kettlebells, athletics, swimming, plyometrics and advanced conditioning. It's a notoriously tough workout and is certainly not for the faint-hearted! CrossFit sessions are divided into WODs which stands for Workout of the Day. A workout can be made up of any number of different exercises and a WOD will be posted online each week for CrossFitters around the world to follow. People will then post their results online and compare with each other. 

CrossFit Terms Explained

AMRAP: As Many Rounds As Possible

ATG: Ass To Grass (used to describe the depth hit in a squat)

BW: Bodyweight

CFWU: Crossfit Warm Up

EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute

GTG: Greasing The Groove (doing multiple sets of an exercise throughout the day, but not to failure)

HSPU: Handstand Push-Up

MetCon: A metabolic conditioning workout. Usually with lighter weights at a higher intensity and speed.

Pood: A weight measurement used by the Russians for kettlebells. 1 pood =16 kg/35 lbs; 1.5 pood = 24 kg/53 lbs; 2 pood = 32 kg/71 lbs etc.

PR: Personal Record

Rx’d: As prescribed; as written. Used to describe a WOD completed without any adjustments and with the set weights.

T2B: Toes to bar.

CrossFit Hero Workouts

There is a set of WODs in CrossFit which are named after members of the US armed forces who died during combat. These are notoriously tough workouts and are completed by US CrossFitters on Memorial Weekend. 


Michael Patrick "Murph" Murphy was a United States Navy Seal officer who was killed in Afghanistan in 2005. 

For time:
1 mile Run
100 Pull-ups
200 Push-ups
300 Squats
1 mile Run


Named after Timothy Davis of the US Air Force who died in combat in 2009.

For time:
12 deadlifts
9 hang power cleans
6 push jerks
Rx 155lbs/70kg

The CrossFit Games 

The CrossFit Games is the biggest event on a CrossFitter's calendar and promises to find the “fittest on the earth”. There are several qualifying stages for this event.

CrossFit Open is the first qualifying event, whereby each week a new WOD is released and competitors will post their scores online. There is the choice of Rx'd workouts or scaled workouts which are made slightly easier in order to be more accessible. 

The best athletes in the Open will qualify for Regionals which is a live, three-day competition held over three weekends in May each year. The top athletes from the Regionals then qualify for the games in July or August.

Throughout the games, athletes don't know which WODs are going to be announced, so they must train hard in every discipline and make sure that their weakest exercise is just as good as their strongest. 

The CrossFit Games is a huge spectacle and attracts hundreds of thousands of spectators each year. They are sponsored by Reebok and the prize money for the winning man and woman is $750,000! CrossFit is a huge sport in the US but is slowly spreading around the world, with 3 of the most elite female athletes being from Iceland. There are many CrossFit gyms (or 'boxes' as they are called) popping up throughout the UK.

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