I tried CrossFit for the first time last year and there were a lot of things I loved about it. One of the things I enjoyed learning most was the lingo. For those who aren’t familiar with CrossFit, it has its own special language. When you immerse yourself in the CrossFit universe you’ll learn phrases and terms you never knew existed. It feels pretty cool to look at the whiteboard and actually understand all those nifty abbreviations up there. It’s like learning to decipher a new secret code.


But for me, the lingo didn’t stop at the box. I liked it so much I brought it home with me. As a work-at-home mom of three, I am always on the lookout for tools to help me manage my household, and CrossFit lingo was a shiny new new hammer in my toolbox. I think this info might help other moms as well, so I thought I’d share the six CrossFit abbreviations every mom needs to know.


1. WOD


Breaking Muscle Shop

What It Means In CrossFit:

Let’s start with the basics. WOD means “Workout of the day.” This is the workout you’ll get when you attend a CrossFit class. CrossFit has come up with many different WODs, many of which feature different women’s names, like "Fran" and "Annie." Other WODs like “Fight Gone Bad” just sound badass.


What It Means For Moms:

For mom purposes we will interpret this one figuratively as a general list of tasks that need to be accomplished each day. Every mom needs a daily WOD. Keep in mind the WOD should be simple and easy to comprehend. According to CrossFit, “The WOD descriptions are very literal; don't read into them. If it says "squats" it means bodyweight (aka "air squats") - no added weight, unless it says back squats or front squats.”


So moms, when creating your daily WOD, don’t think about it too much. Focus on the tasks that have to be accomplished today (laundry, workout, dishes, sleep, shower, and other basic human activities). You might also find it helpful to have a few different WODs – for example, one for chores, one for work, and one for relaxation time. 




What It Means In CrossFit:

AMRAP means “As many reps/rounds as possible.” It’s usually combined with a certain amount of time to create killer WODS. For example, here’s a WOD from the CrossFit Games in 2013:


17-minute AMRAP of:

  • 40 Burpees
  • 75-pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 30 Burpees
  • 135-pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 20 Burpees
  • 165-pound Snatch, 30 reps
  • 10 Burpees
  • 210-pound Snatch, as many reps as possible


What It Means For Moms:

If you think that workout looks rough, try using AMRAP for the most daunting household chores. For example, instead of alternating burpees and snatches you could alternate vacuuming and dishes, like this:


AMRAP in 20 minutes:

  • Vacuum 1 room
  • Wash 10 dishes
  • Vacuum 2 rooms
  • Wash 15 dishes
  • Vacuum 3 rooms
  • Wash 20 dished


With smart programming and maximal effort, your home will be clean in twenty minutes, guaranteed.


3. ATG


What It Means In CrossFit:

ATG = “Ass to grass.” This just means when you squat, you need to go all the way down and not stop at parallel.


What It Means For Moms:

If you’re a mom you should know how to squat. You will find it’s so much easier to pick up toys, carry children, and give birth if you know how to squat and can do it without pain. My challenge to all moms out there is to work up to twenty ATG squats every day, aside from any workout you have planned.




What It Means In CrossFit:

EMOM means "Every minute on the minute." As noted in The Box magazine, “What this formula enables the athlete to do is accumulate volume and solid, consistent mechanics with loads or movements that require high levels of coordination.”


What It Means For Moms:

Based on the above description and my own experience with workouts using EMOM, this one basically tricks you into thinking you’re not doing that much work when you actually are. For this reason, I use EMOM to accomplish anything I normally have a hard time accomplishing. Here’s an example of how a mom with a busy email inbox and toddler (who enjoys touching anything that smears easily) might use this tool:


EMOM for 20 minutes:
  • Even minutes: Write an email
  • Odd minutes: Clean a window/mirror


Think of the possibilities if you can carry this WOD through to the end. You will look as picture-perfect and chipper as that lady in the photo, and if I’m calculating right, after just twenty minutes you’ll have ten sparkly windows or mirrors and will have written ten emails. It will be hard, but keep the goal in sight. (Bonus points for no typos in the emails.)


5. GTG


What It Means in CrossFit:

“Grease the Groove: a protocol of doing many sub-maximal sets of an exercise throughout the day.” My experience with this actually first came not through CrossFit, but rather when reading Pavel Tsatsouline’s book, The Naked Warrior (which every mom should read, despite the masculine undertones). The basic idea behind this protocol is similar to the EMOM principle, but applied on a daily basis.


What It Means for Moms:

Do not go to failure on any house chores or other tasks you include in your WOD(s). It might seem like a good idea at the time, but you'll regret it later. Attempting to complete tasks like cooking, cleaning, and working at maximal effort all day long is a recipe for maternal disaster. (Note: this protocol does not apply to the relaxation WOD or any WODs that involve playing with your kids.)


6. YBF


What It Means In CrossFit:

I have never encountered this one myself aside from online usage, but I like it. According to the online CrossFit lingo dictionary, it means “You’ll be fine.”


What It Means For Moms:

Remember this acronym when your baby refuses to go to sleep, your teenager misses curfew, or your toddler goes potty in the grocery cart. YBF, YBF.


Just remember life is a chipper and scaling is always allowed. Always keep the WODs varied and remember that just as in CrossFit, mom fitness is best described as “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.” And Pukie the Clown can clean up his own mess.


Photo 1 courtesy of CrossFit Impulse.

Photos 2 and 3 courtesy of Shutterstock.

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