What is Crossfit?

Written by: Club Bunker



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CrossFit for Beginners


Welcome to our Beginner's Guide to CrossFit, your ultimate resource for starting your exhilarating journey. Whether you're a complete novice or someone looking to take their workout routine to the next level, CrossFit offers a dynamic and challenging experience that caters to all fitness levels.

In this guide, we'll explore the fundamentals of CrossFit, its core principles, and how you can kickstart your training with confidence. From mastering essential movements to understanding the unique CrossFit terminology, we'll equip you with everything you need to know to embark on this transformative fitness adventure.


Get ready to push your boundaries, embrace a supportive community, and unleash your inner athlete as we dive into the invigorating world of CrossFit for beginners. Let's get started on sculpting a stronger, fitter, and more resilient you!

What is Crossfit

CrossFit is an invigorating and constantly varied workout method designed to keep you engaged and achieving optimal results. With new workouts programmed daily, each session offers a fresh combination of different movements, rep schemes, weights, and time domains, ensuring you never get bored. At the core of CrossFit is the focus on functional movements, mimicking actions we encounter in our daily lives. From deadlifts to squats and push presses, CrossFit emphasizes training movements that are essential for independent living. Intensity is a key component of CrossFit, as it is the most effective way to achieve fitness goals.The program prioritizes moving well before increasing intensity, and the goal is to push yourself within your own physical and psychological limits.

With over 5 million athletes working out at more than 14,000 locations globally, CrossFit has gained immense popularity. Each CrossFit class includes a structured warmup, a strength and skills component, the workout of the day (WOD), and a cooldown to return your heart rate to baseline levels. The group setting fosters competition, gamification, and socialization, making it a unique and engaging fitness experience.

Whether you're a seasoned athlete or a beginner, CrossFit offers a challenging and rewarding journey towards achieving your fitness aspirations.

Check out the official CrossFit website  to discover all things CrossFit.


What to Expect in your Crossfit Class

In a typical CrossFit class, you can expect the session to be structured into three main parts: the warmup, the skill or strength component, and the workout of the day (WOD).

  1. Warmup: At the beginning of each class, there will be a warmup session. The warmup is designed to prepare your body for the specific movements and exercises that will be focused on during the skill or strength portion and the WOD. It helps to increase your heart rate, improve flexibility, and activate the muscles that will be engaged in the upcoming activities.

  2. Skill or Strength Component: Following the warmup, the class will move on to the skill or strength component. During this part of the class, you will work on specific exercises or movements to enhance your skills and strength. For instance, you might practice movements like jumprope double-unders to improve your coordination and technique. Alternatively, you may engage in strength exercises aimed at making you physically stronger.

  3. Workout of the Day (WOD): The WOD is the heart of the CrossFit class. It is the main workout that challenges and pushes you to your limits. The WOD could vary from day to day and is typically a total body workout designed to be completed within a specified time frame or rep scheme. The duration of WODs typically ranges from 8 to 16 minutes, but some may be as short as three minutes, depending on the workout's intensity level.

Intensity plays a crucial role in CrossFit workouts. Even a short three-minute WOD can be incredibly intense if performed at a high intensity, leaving you feeling exhausted and challenged. The intensity of the WODs is often scaled according to an individual's fitness level, making CrossFit accessible to people of varying athletic abilities.

Many CrossFit gyms create their own WODs to keep the workouts fresh and challenging. However, CrossFit also has a collection of benchmark workouts named after women, such as "Fran," which consists of thrusters and pull-ups. Additionally, there are "Hero WODs" named after fallen service men and women, which are particularly demanding and intended to honor their memory.

Overall, a CrossFit class offers a comprehensive and varied approach to fitness, combining elements of strength training, cardiovascular conditioning, and functional movements. The community aspect of CrossFit classes also fosters a supportive and motivating environment, encouraging participants to push their boundaries and achieve their fitness goals.

Beginner CrossFit Exercises

Getting started with CrossFit can be intimidating. From an outsider's perspective, it might seem like CrossFit is only for already fit and athletic individuals. However, once you step into a CrossFit box or gym, you'll discover that the majority of CrossFitters are regular people who achieve remarkable things through consistent training and practice.

One common misconception is that you need to be in great shape before starting CrossFit. The truth is, the difference between elite-level CrossFitters and beginners lies in how workouts are adapted or adjusted to suit individual abilities. Can't perform exercises like Tia-Clair Toomey? No problem, simply modify the workouts to your level and gradually progress from there.

A significant part of this journey is mastering the basic CrossFit exercises. As you become more comfortable with these movements, the wide world of CrossFit will become more accessible and exciting for you.

Barbell Basics for CrossFit Beginners

Shoulder Press

The shoulder press (aka overhead press) is the foundation of all barbell pressing exercises. If a workout ever calls for a shoulder-to-overhead, it’s referring to any lift that will successfully bring the bar into a stable position overhead.

Front Squat

Front squat is a solid move for CrossFit beginners to master. You’ll need to recruit a lot of extra core strength for this one, since the bar position will keep your torso upright


Back Squat

The back squat is the king of lower body strength exercises. In CrossFit, the back squat is mainly an assistance exercise that helps to build incredible lower body strength to make all other squatting movements feel easier.


Overhead Squat

The overhead squat is the ultimate test of how well you’ve mastered the squat. It’s unique in its ability to expose any faults that you may have been hiding in your other squatting movements. The overhead squat is also an incredible core exercise, and is the basis for which the snatch is built.



The deadlift is a movement that will allow you to build incredible amounts of strength. the deadlift is essential for developing a strong (and healthy) posterior chain.


Introduction to Olympic Lifting for CrossFit Beginners

Push Press

The push press builds on the shoulder press. This shoulder-to-overhead variation allows you to train with heavier weights because your legs help in the initial portion of the movement.

Push Jerk

The push jerk (aka power jerk) you will be dipping then driving up with your legs to get the barbell moving vertically, while simultaneously pressing yourself down under the barbell into a partial squat. You will receive the barbell overhead in a partial squat and then stand to a fully extended position, completing the movement


Power Clean

The power clean is a great place to start when learning the basics of the clean. The difference between a power clean and full is that the power clean only requires you to receive the barbell in a partial squat.


Power Snatch

The power snatch will have your hands in a wide grip (overhead squat grip), bringing the barbell from the ground to overhead in one fluid motion. As you build your overhead squat foundation, simultaneously training your power snatch will ensure balanced development for both the pull and squat portion of the full snatch.

You can learn all this with the guidance from one of our highly trained and experience coaches in our Fundamentals Class at Club Bunker


Crossfit Terms

Before you start CrossFit, it's helpful to get familiar with the terminology. As a beginner, the terms and abbreviations might seem like a whole new language.

Here are a few common words and phrases you'll likely come across when you enter a CrossFit class:

  • WOD: Workout of the Day.
  • RM: Repetition maximum - Your 1RM is your max lift for one rep. Your 10 RM is the most you can lift 10 times.
  • AMRAP: As Many Rounds (or Reps) As Possible. Used when the workout is a circuit, and you're supposed to do as many rounds as you can within the given time cap.
  • EMOM: Every Minute On the Minute. Used for interval-style training.
  • Box: Another term for gym. When people say, "I'll see you at the box," they mean the CrossFit gym.
  • GPP: General Physical Preparedness, or the term CrossFitters use for overall fitness.
  • Metcon: An abbreviation for "metabolic conditioning," a type of training that improves endurance.
  • The whiteboard: Where CrossFit gyms write the WOD and athletes' scores.