What Is WOD? Learning Crossfit Basics

If you had ever researched the topic of CrossFit, you were definitely bombarded with dozens of abbreviations and terms you don’t understand. In fact, all newbies face this issue. And if you want to continue your journey into the “CrossFit lifestyle,” you’ll have to learn all of them. 

One of essential terms in CrossFit is WOD. If you’ve read my introductory guide to this training regime, CrossFit 101, you’ve already seen the basic vocabulary. If not, remember that it means “workout of the day.” It is used in every CrossFit class to represent the workout schedule for this particular training. It’s composed of fitness instructors for each day and group. 

In preparation for your first CrossFit training, it’s essential to research the topic, so you feel comfortable when trying something new. To find out how your first class will go, you can read the introductory article. Here, let’s focus on WOD, its components, types, and so on. 

What Is WOD? 

WOD stands for “workout of the day.” You’ll see this term written somewhere on a board in every CrossFit gym, also known as boxes. WODs are created by CrossFit coaches and given to the trainees that day.

There are lots, and lots of widely recognized WOD plans that any fitness trainer is free to use. Only experienced coaches develop their own WODs as they master this regime’s advanced rules. Besides, there are lots of great ready-to-use WODs as it is. 

Different boxes have different rules. For example, some offer only one WOD for the whole day for all groups. On the other hand, there are some gyms that have individualized approaches for several categories of trainees. Thus, they appoint a WOD suitable for each group considering their fitness level and specific group schedule. 

What Are Most Popular WODs? 

wod meaning
Muscular couple doing jumping squats in crossfit gym

I’ve already mentioned that not all WODs are created spontaneously and individually. There are a number of WOD programs by famous CrossFit coaches and influencers that most gyms use regularly. 

CrossFit 101: Everything You Need to Know

Actually, there are dozens of WOD programs, and trainers have to choose only the best of the best. Thus, I’ve also decided to compile a short list of the best WOD schedules you may (and will) face during your CrossFit journey. 


Many coaches use this WOD in their regular training rotation. Of course, the popularity depends on the personal preferences of a trainer, but FRAN has proven its effectiveness time after time. 

It has the following schedule: 

  • 21 thrusters 
  • 21 pull-ups
  • 15 thrusters 
  • 15 pull-ups 
  • 9 thrusters 
  • 9 pull-ups 

This is a typical schedule that you’ll see among most CrossFit gyms. It is often used as a periodic test to check how well trainees are progressing. While pull-ups are known to all, thrusters are a bit less popular – they are front squats into push presses. 


This one is mainly used for beginner practices. It’s an excellent compound training that allows you to engage all full-body muscles and progress rapidly. 

It goes as follows: 

  • 5 pull-ups 
  • 10 push-ups
  • 15 squats 

Your goal is to do as many circles as you can in 20 minutes. Of course, complete newbies will have a hard tie even with one set, but you’ll see quick progress. 


Grace is a particular and one-directional WOD. However, it is still one of the favorites in many gyms. It is a simple schedule of one exercise (which is not as simple as you would like):

  • 30 Clean and Jerks 

There are two standard weight options – 135 for men and 95 for women. If you are a beginner, your coach will give you fewer weights and (almost) unlimited time to complete the set. The common goal is to complete the set as fast as possible. 


Angie sounds like a pretty girl’s name, right? Well, wrong when it comes to CrossFit. Ange is one hell of a workout. It’s rarely given to complete beginners, though. So, no worries. 

It is usually this excruciating schedule: 

  • 100 pull-ups 
  • 100 push – ups 
  • and 100 sit-ups 
  • squats 

This WOD is done for time – the faster, the better. And though it’s all bodyweight, this is an incredible and hefty task to complete. 

What Are WOD Basics?

what wod means

WODs are composed of professionals in the field. A good WOD also has an objective and the set of exercises you have to complete. CrossFit is about pushing yourself to get better And it can be done in several ways: 

  • time factor – this is an objective to complete a certain circuit as fast as possible. It’s a great stimulus that shows just how much you are progressing. Your development can be measured literally in seconds. 
  • weight factor – progressive overload is a well-known approach to progressing in your workout routine. This time, we are talking about gradually adding more and more weights. 
  • repetitions factor – some WODs are created in sets/circuits. The trainees are asked to do as many sets as possible in a certain time frame.

At least one of these objectives is present in any WOD and allows them to be flexible. Thus, you can easily customize a good WOD for beginners to advanced CrossFitters by adjusting time, weights, or repetition numbers. 

CrossFit VS HIIT: Which Is Better for You?

Remember that any WOD is preceded and followed by a dynamic warm-up and stretching in the end. No CrossFit workout actually starts with a WOD, similar to those popular ones I’ve mentioned. You need proper preparation and cooldown, for safety reasons foremost. 

In Conclusion 

wod crossfit basis

All in all, CrossFit may be a confusing regime for beginners. It comes with lots of terms and specific rules. It’s super intense but uniting people of all kinds at the same time. CrossFit is more like a lifestyle than simply training. You have to live and breathe it to be able to withstand those challenging WODs!

When it comes to “workout of the day,” you’ll face a huge variety of sets. Some of them are beginner-friendly, others are challenging even for experienced CrossFitters. But they all can be gradually modified to suit the same of a particular person or trainee group. 

If you would like to try training following any of the given WODs, you should remember a few important rules: 

  • always warm-up 
  • if intensity seems too high, slow down and take a rest 
  • train the form on WOD exercises with free weights 
  • better take some time to train with a coach beforehand

CrossFit may become an all-encompassing passion in your life! If most WODs give you a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment, continue this training! 


  1. CrossFit Terminology – (First City CrossFit Monterey, CA)
  2. João Gustavo Claudino, Tim J. Gabbett,  Frank Bourgeois,  Helton de Sá Souza,  Rafael Chagas Miranda, Bruno Mezêncio, Rafael Soncin, Carlos Alberto Cardoso Filho,  Martim Bottaro,  Arnaldo Jose Hernandez,  Alberto Carlos Amadio,  and Julio Cerca Serrão1 – CrossFit Overview: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis (2018 Dec; 4: 11., PMCID: PMC5826907
    PMID: 29484512)


Irene’s fitness journey began in 2017 with attending classes to improve her health and researching the anatomy of working out. After years of investigating trendy and “up and coming” fitness regimes, she is ready to share the tips and advice she’s learned from athletes and expert trainers of the field.