Crossfit Blog

How to Read the WOD

in New Member Education The Whiteboard by Coach Poach

WOD: probably the most well-known CrossFit term. The Workout of the Day, or WOD, is different every day at CrossFit New Haven. It might take some getting used to and this post should help you navigate what you'll be doing when you come in to class.

Let's look at a very common, straightforward WOD as it would be posted on Wodify at 8:00pm the night prior. 

  1. For our standard, CrossFit class workouts you will always see, "Class WOD [DATE] - [Function] / [Energy System]". The first part is easy, but function and energy system...? Our programming is set up specifically to be constantly varied and we accomplish this by targeting different energy systems of the body, and different movement functions within those energy systems. For a full explanation on how our programming is set up check out this post about programming at CrossFit New Haven. You'll also see a link to our blog which we try to update a few times each week. 
  2. Warm Up - every class will have a Coach-lead warm up that includes some type of dynamic stretching, something to get your core body temperature up, and possibly some mobility. We'll also use this section to tell you about what movements specifically we'll be reviewing together as a class. The warm up and review will be different every day based on the WOD, and it may not be exactly what is written here. CrossFit New Haven Coaches are well-versed in the proper way to warm you up for your workout, whatever muscle function and/or energy system combo we have that day. It will always be a helpful guide for what muscles we'll be targeting that day. If you arrive early to stretch or roll out you'll know what muscles to focus on. Don't forget to check out the whiteboard for before-and-after-class stretches as well.  
  3. Strength & Skill Section - now we're getting into it! In this part of class we'll be focusing on 1 or 2 movements which traditionally consist of a primary movement, and accessory movement. While this isn't always the case, it is the most common. In the example above, we have A.1 and A.2. This means that we'll be alternating between these two movements. When reading the rep scheme, it's always written as "sets X reps," or 4 sets of 3 Push Presses and 2 Jerks. After completing the 5 reps within that set, you can give yourself a few seconds of rest, between :30 - 1:00 is usually good, and head to your Barbell Russian Twists for your set of 12 total (6 / side). You'll continue this pattern 3 more times for 4 total sets. Be sure to enter your results into Wodify either at the screens in the gym, or through the Wodify mobile iOS or Android app. When these movements come up again Wodify will automatically show you what you did on this day! 
  4. Here it is, the part of our class where we put the hammer down at the count of 3-2-1 go! We will always start the WOD together as a class so if you finish your strength & skill work early feel free to set your equipment up for the WOD, but don't start without everyone being ready and Coach giving you the green light. If you're wondering what the "Fitness & [Performance]" at the top is referencing, you can get the full explanation here. The short version is that we have two levels of workouts - Fitness, which is best suited for newer athletes still working on their comfort level with certain movements or intensity levels, or perhaps purely by choice because it's still a great workout! Performance is for those looking for constant improvement in movement efficiency, strength, speed, and overall athletic performance in addition to the baseline health benefits of high intensity exercise.
  5. Of particular note in this section when it is set up in this manner is the brackets and items underlined in yellow. These are the prescribed weights for Performance athletes who want to do the workout as prescribed, otherwise known as "RX." In order to click the RX button when entering your results into Wodify you will have to of completed the WOD exactly as listed with no modifications or scaling, and completing all reps with required full range of motion. In this situation Fitness athletes should use this as a guide on what weights to use, but shouldn't hold themselves to these. Rather, you should be selecting weights, heights, movements, etc that are right FOR YOU. If you're not sure what that is, ask a Coach and they'll help you make the right choice. 
  6. RX+ - this is an even higher level than Performance, often with higher-level movements, bar muscles ups in lieu of pull ups for example, or a heavier weight as in this example. If you're interested in learning more about RX+ and what this entails, reach out to one of the Coaches, we'd love to help get you there!
  7. For Reference Only - since our program is built to help you properly progress in strength and skill, sometimes we will give you a reference point for previous work done. In this example you'll notice in A.1 in the Strength & Skill section we're asking you to get to the same weight as the previous week where it was just push press. Since today's example is a push press AND jerk, it will only show history for that complex and is why we give you just push press for reference only at the bottom, but you won't enter anything here.

We do have some WODs that look a litter different than this. Below is an example of a WOD that may look a little different. What will NOT change are numbers 1 and 2 from above. Other differences that may come up are below:

In this example, we've split the strength and skill portions of the workout. In a class like this we will do the back squat EMOM as a class. There's a few reasons we'll do Every Minute On the Minute (EMOMs) workouts together as a class lead by a Coach - organization, timing, and safety all play a part in making sure you get a good workout. In this example we'll complete the EMOM, break down the bars, then set up for the Skill section, which we'll do together again at 3-2-1 Go. Once complete, we'll move into the WOD. 

In this WOD example, Fitness & Performance have been seperated and have different movements. If you missed it above, you can see what the difference is and which you may fall under here

 

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