What Does WOD Mean In CrossFit?

Anybody who’s ever been involved in organized exercise and workout routines will probably have heard of CrossFit.

Many people see it simply as a series of workout routines but in the modern day, CrossFit has developed into a full-on lifestyle management program that aims to improve the health of people who use it.

WOD is a term commonly used in CrossFit. It means ‘workout of the day’ and it really is as simple as it sounds. Each CrossFit program will have a series of workouts to be completed every day and this is your WOD.

What Does WOD Mean In CrossFit
Depending on the type of CrossFit program you’re taking part in, you might perform the same WOD more than once, several weeks apart. That’s because WODs are used to measure a person’s progress throughout the program.

Each WOD has a score which is used to track this progress. This score might be the number of reps you’re able to complete in a minute, the amount of time it takes you to complete an exercise, or basically any way of giving a numerical value to performance. 

Additionally, WODs and circuits can be a great way to keep a workout routine fresh and fun!

Are WODs Difficult?

The simple answer to this is yes, WODs are incredibly difficult. They are designed to combine several different exercises you might normally do in a gym into one workout.

They might only last about 10-20 minutes but athletes are meant to put their maximum effort and energy into each WOD.

Therefore, because you’re exerting maximum effort for a short space of time, you’ll be left feeling pretty beat by the end of a WOD.

They’re not the sort of thing you can take lightly. Without putting maximum effort in, you won’t experience nearly as many physical benefits and there’s pretty much no point bothering.

Do CrossFitters Only Do The WOD?

The answer to this question really depends on how intense a workout you can handle. All of the WODs in CrossFit are designed to be pretty brutal and even a 20 minute workout could leave you feeling completely exhausted.

New and casual CrossFitters will likely only do the WOD each day but some more serious athletes will perform their WOD and work it around other workouts they want to do that day.

The key is the intensity with which you do the WOD. Any CrossFit veteran will tell you that if you’re not absolutely finished by the end of a WOD, you haven’t done it properly.

Throw absolutely all of your effort into each WOD and you really won’t need to do any other exercise for the rest of the day.

Examples Of WODs For Beginner CrossFitters

To give you a better idea of what WODs look like, here are some examples of ones that would be appropriate for CrossFit beginners:

  • Baseline - As you might expect, this WOD is used as a baseline for a beginner’s initial ability when starting CrossFit. It involves a 500m row, followed by 20 air squats, 20 push ups, 20 sit ups and another 500m row. Of course, this WOD is best completed when you have access to a rowing machine at a gym or at home.
  • The running sandwich - As the name suggests, this exercise involved a lot of running. Start by running a quarter of a mile and follow it up by completing 40 air squats, 30 sit ups, 20 burpees and 10 pull ups. Then, to complete the sandwich, run another quarter of a mile.
  • Death by burpees - This workout has such an ominous for a very good reason. The premise is pretty simple: in one minute increments, complete as many burpees as you’ve completed minutes. For example, in the first minute you just need to complete one burpee. Then, by the tenth minute, you’ll have to try and complete ten burpees. This is a really great one for tracking progress, so make sure you keep a note of how many you’re able to do before you can’t go on.

Examples Of WODs For Advanced CrossFitters

Some of the more experienced CrossFitters out there will likely want to push themselves further as they progress through their programs. These are some of the more brutal WODs that they might be crazy enough to try:

  • Murph - Starting with one of the most intense WODs out there, the Murph is definitely one of the longer workouts. It requires running one mile, then doing 100 pull ups, 200 push ups and 300 squats. Once you’ve done all that, run another mile at the end. Naturally, the average person in the street would have no chance of being able to complete this so only go for it if you feel very confident in your abilities.
  • DT - This WOD relies on weight training exercises to improve explosive muscular strength. It entails 12 deadlifts, 9 hang power cleans and 6 push jerks consecutively, without rests between each set. The recommended weights for men and women are 70kg (154lbs) and 52.5kg (115lbs) respectively. Of course, you can always adjust the weights to suit your own abilities.
  • Cindy - It might sound easy at first but the intensity really builds up quickly over the course of this workout. All it takes is 5 pull ups, 10 push ups and 15 squats, performed over and over again as many times as possible in 20 minutes. It’s an easy enough workout to get your head around but actually getting to the end of it is anything but easy!

How To Scale WODs Crossfit

CrossFit will outline the recommended intensity of your workout for you. This could be the number of reps you’re expected to complete, the size of the weights you’re using or the distance you need to run.

However, you can easily adjust these intensities to suit your own needs. For example, if you’re carrying a small injury, you might want to scale back the intensity somewhat. Alternatively, if you’re feeling particularly confident you could always push yourself even harder.

Final Thoughts

WODs are an integral part of CrossFit culture and to experience the fullest extent of CrossFit benefits, you need to take them seriously. But now you know what WOD in crossfit means.

There’s really no point in doing them at all if you’re not going to put maximum effort into each workout so make sure you’re physically, mentally and emotionally prepared to get stuck into it!

Kevin Harris