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FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

GENERAL

What is CrossFit?

CrossFit is a precise combination of exercise and nutrition that has been proven to increase fitness and health for people of all ages and abilities. CrossFit is founded on the first scientifically rigorous definition of fitness: The program produces observable results that can be measured and replicated. You can do CrossFit with a credentialed CrossFit trainer or in a supportive, motivating community at a licensed CrossFit affiliate, or you can do CrossFit in your garage or home gym by studying the resources found on this site. For more information about CrossFit, click here.

Is CrossFit for me?

Yes. Everyone can do CrossFit regardless of age, injuries and current fitness levels. The program is modified for each person to help him or her safely become healthier and fitter. Grandparents and Olympians can perform modified versions of the same general workout. Learn More About CrossFit.

Do I need to be in shape to start CrossFit?

No. CrossFit is the program that will get you in shape. No matter what your current fitness level is, you can start CrossFit. As you become fitter, workouts will become more challenging. Every workout is designed to help you succeed, improve fitness and move you toward your goals. People Who Started CrossFit.

Is CrossFit safe?

Yes. CrossFit training is very safe, and sitting on your couch is actually incredibly dangerous. In CrossFit boxes, credentialed trainers provide precise instructions and coaching to help people move safely and efficiently, helping people avoid all the diseases that come from inactivity, obesity and poor nutrition.

What about nutrition?

To accomplish your goals faster, we recommend you eat a variety of healthy foods in quantities that support fitness training but not body fat. By avoiding excessive amounts of refined carbohydrates and measuring your intake of protein, carbohydrates and fat, you will see dramatic, measurable increases in health. Learn More About Nutrition.

How will CrossFit affect my health?

CrossFit LLC holds a uniquely elegant solution to the greatest problem facing the world today: chronic disease. The CrossFit program—constantly varied high-intensity functional movement coupled with meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar—can give you a pass on chronic disease. If you are not sick, know that fitness provides a great margin of protection against the ravages of time and disease. Fitness is and should be “super-wellness.” To improve or preserve your health, do CrossFit.

How will I get fitter with CrossFit?

CrossFit improves general physical preparedness (GPP). We have designed our program to elicit as broad an adaptational response as possible. CrossFit is not a specialized fitness program but a deliberate attempt to optimize physical competence in each of 10 fitness domains: cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. CrossFit was developed to enhance an individual’s competency at all physical tasks. People who do CrossFit are prepared for all challenges, whether they come in the gym, on a playing field or as part of daily life.

Where can I do CrossFit?

You can use CrossFit.com resources to do CrossFit anywhere—even with minimal equipment. To work with a credentialed coach in a dedicated, fully equipped facility, find a local CrossFit affiliate.

How do I become a CrossFit Trainer?

Start by reading the “CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide” and taking the “CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course.” The course provides attendees with foundational education to begin training others using CrossFit. CrossFit Training provides three additional levels of credentialing, as well as a host of online courses.

How do I become a CrossFit affiliate?

The steps to become a CrossFit affiliate owner can be found here. Prospective affiliate owners must hold a valid CrossFit Level 1 Certificate to apply.

Where can I find CrossFit workouts?

A workout of the day—WOD—can be found here. Each day’s workout post is accompanied by carefully selected resources and reference materials that will help you become healthier and fitter.

What if I can't use the recommended weight or perform the programmed movements in the WOD?

Use a weight that’s manageable for you or use a percentage of the weight prescribed. Replace movements you can’t do with those you can. For more information on scaling and modifying workouts, review the “CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide.” The CrossFit Journal also contains resources to help you scale the workout to your level.

Is the WOD enough? Should I do more?

The WOD is a starting point, and each person will need to experiment to determine what “enough” means. Experienced athletes with specific competition goals might need additional work to improve their fitness, while beginners might need to reduce the volume of the WOD to optimize results. The exact amount of work can be determined with the assistance of an expert coach at a CrossFit affiliate or by carefully logging your workouts and evaluating the results. The demands of sport and active living will affect what you can do in each WOD, and you will need to balance your work/rest cycles to allow for recovery. In general, if you only do each day’s WOD, you will find yourself at an improved level of fitness.

Where is that article in the CrossFit Journal?

The current version of the CrossFit Journal can be found here. The previous iteration of the Journal can be found here. Both platforms have search features, and external search engines can also be employed.

EXERCISES

Where can I find instructions for the exercises prescribed in the CrossFit.com workout of the day (WOD)?

Visit the Exercises & Demos page for videos of common CrossFit exercises. Most WOD posts contain links to demonstrations of the movements programmed in the workout. Detailed instructions for the most fundamental CrossFit movements can be found in the “CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide.” Click here to find a qualified CrossFit trainer who can teach you how to perform all movements.

What if I can't do something listed in the workout?

All CrossFit workouts can be modified for people of any age and ability. Adjusting a workout for a specific person is called “scaling,” and it allows very experienced athletes and beginners to train side by side. A skilled CrossFit Trainer can quickly adjust each workout to reflect your needs, goals and current abilities. If you are doing CrossFit.com WODs on your own, review the “CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide” for scaling instructions. The CrossFit Journal also contains resources to help you scale the workout to your level. In general, choose a load that’s manageable for you or use a percentage of the weight prescribed. Replace movements you can’t do with similar movements that are available to you. For example, push-ups can become knee push-ups as you build the strength required for the full movement. In every workout, strive for consistent mechanics before adding weight or increasing the load.

When loads are listed, do they include the weight of the bar?

Yes. The weight of the bar is included. The prescribed weight always means total weight lifted.

How much weight for squats?

If a squat load is not specified, squats should be done unloaded. This is sometimes referred to as a body-weight or air squat. For back, front and overhead squats, use the weight indicated or scale as necessary, or work with the heaviest load you can manage for the prescribed number of reps in strength workouts.

How should I do pull-ups or chin-ups?

Use the grip that is strongest for you—palms facing toward you (supinated), palms facing away from you (pronated), palms parallel (neutral, on certain equipment), mixed grip, etc.

Do I have to touch my chest to the bar on pull-ups?

Not unless the workout calls for chest-to-bar pull-ups. If it does not, your chin must only break the horizontal plane of the bar for the rep to count.

Are kipping pull-ups cheating?

Courtesy of Jesse Woody: “Kipping allows more work to be done in less time, thus increasing power output. It is also a full-body coordination movement when performed correctly, which applies more functionally to real-life application of pulling skills. Last, but not least, the hip motion of an effective kip mirrors the motion of the olympic lifts/kettlebell swings, adding to its function as a posterior-chain developer.”

To view a demonstration of the kipping pull-up, click here.

How high should I swing my kettlebell?

Unless flexibility does not allow it or the workout asks for something else, swing your kettlebell until it is directly overhead. This is sometimes referred to as an “American kettlebell swing.” For demonstration and instructions, click here.

Do kettlebell snatches start on the ground? What about dumbbell snatches?

The first rep of a set of kettlebell snatches starts on the floor. All subsequent reps are done with a swing, and the kettlebell does not have to return to the floor unless the workout specifically calls for this. Each dumbbell snatch starts with the implement on the floor unless the workout calls for a hang variation.

Can I use a rack to start movements?

In general strength workouts, squat variations and press variations are usually taken from a rack unless the workout calls for the bar to be moved from the floor. Athletes who have the skill and strength may take the bar from the ground to start strength work if they like. In conditioning workouts, the barbell is almost always taken from the floor unless use of a rack is specifically mentioned.

What does "shoulders-to-overhead" mean?

This means you may use any movement to drive the bar from the shoulders to lockout overhead. The press, push press, and push or split jerk are all acceptable. Select the variation that will allow you to complete the reps as quickly as possible.

What kind of sit-up should I do?

If the WOD post provides no additional instructions, you can do any style of sit-up you like, though it’s recommended you note the style in your records so you can compare performances over time. To view a demonstration of the AbMat sit-up, click here. If a GHD sit-up is required, the workout will name this variation. A GHD sit-up requires a specific piece of equipment. New athletes should approach this very potent movement with caution and avoid sharp increases in range of motion and volume. The GHD sit-up can be seen here.

What kind of burpee should I do?

The standard CrossFit burpee looks like this. If a variation is required—bar-facing burpees, burpees to a target, burpees with a jump over the barbell, etc.—the workout post will call for it.

Do I have to use a squat when I do a snatch or clean?

If the workout does not specifically call for a squat variation of the movement, you may use power or muscle variations.

What kind of jerk should I use?

If the workout does not specifically call for a specific variation of the movement, you may use the split jerk or the push jerk.

How do I start a set of hang cleans or snatches?

In hang variations of snatches and cleans, the barbell is deadlifted and the athlete stands tall before bending at the hips to lower the bar and start the first rep of each set. Subsequent reps in the same set do not have to be lowered to the floor and deadlifted back up.

Ring or bar muscle-ups?

The ring muscle-up is the default movement on CrossFit.com. A workout requiring bar muscle-ups will specifically call for them. If you do not have rings, you may perform bar muscle-ups (or vice versa). However, recognize that the movements are not the same, and note the variation you used in your workout log.

Should I alternate legs with single-leg squats or split jerks? Should I alternate arms with dumbbell snatches or other movements?

CrossFit.com WODs will call for alternating legs or arms when the pattern is required. If a workout does not call for alternating legs or arms, choose a pattern that will allow you to complete the reps as quickly as possible.

When a workout calls for biking, running, rowing or skiing, do I have to use special equipment?

No. You can certainly use gym equipment to complete these workouts, but we encourage you to get outside the gym as well when possible.

Are all calories and distances the same on bikes, rowers, treadmills and ski machines?

No. Similar equipment from different manufacturers can produce slightly different results, and completely different types of equipment will affect workouts in various ways. For accuracy, note the equipment you used to complete each workout so you can compare your results over time. When substituting one type of equipment for another, remember that some movements produce calories more quickly. For example, 10 calories on the rower can usually be generated much faster than on a ski machine. Similarly, 500 m on the rower is not exactly equivalent to 500 m of running. If you do not have certain equipment and make a substitution, your time or score will reflect that change.

What does SLIPS stand for?

Scales, L-sits, inversion (handstands), planks, and stretching.

What does AFSAP/AFRAP stand for?

As few sets/reps as possible.

SUBSTITUTIONS

Can I modify CrossFit.com workouts and create my own substitutions?

Yes, workouts can be adjusted to suit your exact fitness level, ability and goals. When in doubt, consult a credentialed CrossFit trainer. Remember this: In general, substitutions and scaling preserve the intended effects of the original workout. Injuries, flexibility issues, training history, day-to-day mindset and energy, and many other factors will influence your decisions. The CrossFit affiliate community has come up with a tremendous number of creative substitutions to accommodate just about any athlete, and online searches will reveal hosts of modifications for any movement. A few common substitutions are described below. Detailed instructions on scaling can be found in the “CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide” and the CrossFit Journal.

How do you choose modifications for a workout?

To start, review the “CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide” for scaling instructions. The CrossFit Journal also contains resources to help you adjust the workout to your level.

In general, choose a load that’s manageable for you or use a percentage of the weight prescribed. Reduce volume to something that reflects your recent activity level; the workout should be challenging but not excessive or overwhelming. Replace movements you can’t do with similar movements that are available to you. In every workout, strive for consistent mechanics before increasing intensity.

When in doubt, consult a credentialed CrossFit trainer.

What's the best substitute for rope climbing?

Many movements can take the place of rope climbs. Towel pull-ups are one great option. For more realism, set one hand high and one hand low on the towel. “See-saw” towel pull-ups are also an option. If you have a rope but can’t pull your weight, tie a dumbell or kettlebell to one end and pull the rope toward you hand over hand. You can do this along the ground or you can throw the rope over a bar and hoist the weight to the top. Use the climbing arm motion as much as possible.

What if I can't run, row, swim, ski or ride a bike?

When substituting aerobic exercises, use comparable time intervals. For example, if you run 400 m in 90 seconds, row, bike, jump rope, run stairs, etc. for 90 seconds. Box jumps, heavy-bag work, kettlebell or dumbbell swings, weighted stair climbing or box stepping can also be used if other options are not available. Sumo deadlift high pulls can take the place of a rowing machine. Use 45 lb. for men and 35 lb. for women, and count each rep as 10 m. Keep in mind that the effects of one movement are not exaactly the same as the effects of another. Log the modification you used so you can compare efforts.

What's a good substitute for wall-ball shots?

Dumbbell or barbell thrusters often work well. Because you can’t throw dumbbells or a bar in the air, use about twice the specified ball weight and do the reps as explosively as possible. Medicine balls are now widely available, and creative athletes have made their own with relative ease.

What's a good substitute for muscle-ups?

Pull-ups and dips. Common rep schemes often equate a certain number of pull-ups plus a certain number of dips with 1 muscle-up. The exact numbers will depend on the athlete. Again, the goal is to preserve the stimulus of the original movement.

What if I can't do pull-ups?

A host of options exists, including assisted pull-ups, jumping pull-ups, negatives, ring rows, pull-downs or negatives. A word of caution: Controlling volume addresses the risk of rhabdomyolysis in less-experienced athletes or those returning after time off. Increased volume of eccentric movement (pull-up negatives, for example) correlates to risk of rhabdomyolysis.

What if I can't do handstand push-ups?

Support all or most of your body weight while working with similar pressing movements, using assistance or shortening the range of motion. You can place your hands on the floor and your legs on a bench, ball or counter (bend at the waist), or you can hook your toes over a bar in a stable rack. You can do partial reps, building up to full range of motion; for example, stack a few books up under your head and lower to the books. Try to remove a book from the pile every workout or so until you are working from the floor. You can also substitute standing presses using absolutely no leg drive, but presses are not as good as working with a variation of the handstand push-up. Finally, if you are comfortable and stable upside down, kick up and practice lowering yourself to the floor slowly and under control to build strength. A coach/spotter can also help you work the eccentric in this manner, perhaps offering assistance on the concentric portion as well.

What if I can't do L-sits?

Work on tuck sits (both legs tucked up to your chest), one-leg-extended L-sits (you can alternate legs) or use bands for support (set your parallettes under the pull-up bar and hang the bands from the bar, then put your legs or feet through the band). Work with a spotter or coach if available. To build strength, get into any L-sit position you can (tuck sit, L-hang, etc.) and slowly lower your knees or legs to the floor under control.

What if I don't have rings or can't do ring dips?

Do 3 regular parallel-bars dips for every ring dip prescribed.

What if I can't do double-unders or don't have a jump rope?

Do tuck jumps. Multiple single-unders in no way compensate for the exertion required for double-unders. Explode off the ground as quickly as possible and repeat for the required number of repetitions.

What can I sub for back extensions?

Good mornings (with or without weight) or prone back extensions (supermans). Many other movements will work, such as lying over an exercise ball with your feet hooked under a bench or bar.

What can I sub for glute-ham sit-ups?

As with back extensions, there are lots of ways to do glute-ham sit-ups. Try lying over an exercise ball with feet hooked under a bench or bar. You can also use a bench in place of a ball.

WOD

Explain The Workouts with Names (the Girls)?

Angie
For time:
100 pull-ups
100 push-ups 100 sit-ups
100 squats

First posted July 26, 2004

Barbara
5 rounds, each for time of:
20 pull-ups
30 push-ups
40 sit-ups
50 squats

Rest precisely 3 minutes between each round.

First posted September 27, 2003

Chelsea
Every minute on the minute for 30 minutes perform:
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 squats

First posted September 7, 2003

Cindy
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 pull-ups
10 push-ups
15 squats

First posted December 29, 2004

Diane
21-15-9 reps for time of:
225-lb. deadlifts
Handstand push-ups

First posted September 19, 2003

Elizabeth 21-15-9 reps for time of:
135-lb. cleans
Ring dips

First posted September 12, 2003

Fran 21-15-9 reps for time of:
95-lb . thruster
Pull-ups

First posted August 25, 2003

Grace
For time:
135-lb. clean and jerks, 30 reps

First posted June 24, 2004

Helen
3 rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
1.5-pood kettlebell swings, 21 reps
12 pull-ups

First posted August 9, 2003

Isabel
For time:
135-lb. snatches, 30 reps

First posted Novemeber 11, 2004

Jackie
For time:
1000 meter row
45-lb. thruster, 50 reps
30 pull-ups

First posted August 3, 2005

Karen
For time:
150 wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball

First posted August 7, 2008

Linda
10-9-8-7-6-5-4-3-2-1 reps for time of:
1½-body-weight deadlift
Body-weight bench press
¾-body-weight clean

First posted July 5, 2003

Mary
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
5 handstand push-ups
10 one-legged squats, alternating
15 pull-ups

First posted January 19, 2005

Nancy
5 rounds for time of:
400-meter run
95-lb. overhead squats, 15 reps

First posted December 5, 2004

Annie
50-40-30-20-10 reps for time:
Double-unders
Sit-ups

First posted April 16, 2005

Eva
5 rounds for time of:
Run 800 meters
2-pood kettlebell swings, 30 reps
30 pull-ups

First posted February 24, 2008

Kelly 5 rounds for time of:
Run 400 meters
30 box jumps, 24-inch box
30 wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball

First posted April 10, 2005

Lynne
5 rounds for max reps of:
Body-weight bench presses
Pull-ups

First posted April 22, 2004

Nicole
Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
Run 400 meters
Max rep pull-ups

First posted December 11, 2006

Amanda
9-7-5 reps for time of:
Muscle-ups
135-lb. squat snatches

First posted July 17, 2010

Gwen

Clean and jerk 15-12-9 reps

Touch and go at floor only. Even a re-grip off the floor is a foul. No dumping. Use same load for each set. Rest as needed between sets.

First posted May 25, 2003

Marguerita

50 reps for time of:
Burpee/Push-up/Jumping-Jack/Sit-up/Handstand

First posted January 15, 2014

Candy

Five rounds for time of:
20 Pull-ups
40 Push-ups
60 Squats

Maggie

Five rounds for time of:
20 Handstand Push-ups
40 Pull-ups
60 One legged squats, alternating legs

First posted July 28, 2006

Hope

Three rounds of:
Burpees
75 pound Power snatch
Box jump, 24″ box
75 pound Thruster
Chest to bar Pull-ups

“Hope” has the same format as Fight Gone Bad. In this workout you move from each of five stations after a minute. This is a five-minute round from which a one-minute break is allowed before repeating. The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On call of “rotate,” the athlete/s must move to next station immediately for good score. One point is given for each rep.

First posted June 8, 2012

Explain the Hero Workouts?

Since 2005, CrossFit has posted workouts meant to honor CrossFit soldiers and first responders who made the ultimate sacrifice. A list of all Hero WODs can be found here.

Explain Fight Gone Bad?

In this workout you move from each of 5 stations after a minute. This is a 5-minute round after which a 1-minute break is allowed before repeating. We’ve used this in 3- and 5-round versions. The stations are:

  1. Wall-ball shots, 20-lb. ball, 10-foot target. (reps)
  2. Sumo deadlift high pulls, 75 lb. (reps)
  3. Box jumps, 20-inch box (reps)
  4. Push presses, 75 lb. (reps)
  5. Row for calories (calories)

The clock does not reset or stop between exercises. On the call of “rotate,” the athlete(s) must move to the next station immediately for a good score. One point is given for each rep, except on the rower where each calorie is 1 point.

Explain Tabata This?

Tabata intervals (20 seconds of work followed by 10 seconds of rest, repeated 8 times) is applied in turn to the squat, rower, pull-ups, sit-ups and push-ups with a 1-minute rotation break between exercises. Each exercise is scored by the weakest number of reps (calories on the rower) in each of the 8 intervals. During the 1-minute rotation the clock is not stopped but kept running. The score is the total of the scores from the five stations. Some performance insights and a scoring example from Mark Twight:

  1. Lying down between exercises lowers heart rate faster than standing, sitting or walking, indicating better recovery in the short 60-second rest.
  2. Alternating upright exercise (squat, pull-up) with prone or seated exercises produces lower heart rates and allows greater overall level of work.
  3. Rowing first reduces reps on all other exercises.
  4. Rowing reps are not seriously affected if done last.
  5. Improvement happens really fast when the workout is done consistently (bi-monthly).
  6. High number of reps may be maintained for greater number of sets as fitness improves. Rep totals do not necessarily improve per set, but now I can do 6 sets of 7 pull-ups rather than doing 11, 8, 5, 4, 4, 4, 4, 4, etc., which suggests that local area endurance and lactic acid tolerance improve with this protocol.

Scoring Example:

A total score of 53 (excellent score, by the way) is determined by adding up the lowest number of reps in any set of each exercise.

18 squats

4 pull-ups

6 push-ups

13 sit-ups

12-calorie row (use the calorie counter and call each calorie a rep)

This score is a 53.

How about a worksheet to track my performance?

We encourage everyone to post their results each day to the comments section, and we always provide a link back to the previous comments when a workout is repeated. There are also several great sites online that provide a comprehensive tracking service, such as that by our friends at Beyond The Whiteboard.

OK, so I've done the CFT. How do I rank? Are there any standards?

CrossFit Total Rankings
based on tables by Kilgore, Rippetoe, et al.
(Aasgaard Co, 2006)

Men’s Class Rankings
Bwt Untrained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite
114 228 395 468 646 836
123 246 427 510 695 901
132 265 461 546 745 848
148 296 516 618 833 1061
165 322 560 672 906 1149
181 348 604 722 969 1245
198 366 637 764 1017 1305
220 385 671 807 1071 1373
242 402 700 833 1102 1411
275 413 718 856 1128 1441
319 422 733 874 1150 1466
320+ 430 748 891 1169 1494
Women’s Class Rankings
Bwt Untrained Novice Intermediate Advanced Elite
97 134 231 270 370 480
105 143 251 291 400 507
114 155 269 314 426 537
123 164 284 333 452 566
132 173 302 351 473 594
148 190 332 389 520 648
165 206 357 417 560 709
181 220 383 451 598 737
198 237 412 474 630 788
199+ 250 434 506 662 826

What's this 1-1-1-1-1-1-1 all about? Is that really the whole WOD?

Yes, that really is the WOD. It’s a max effort strength WOD rather than a metabolic conditioning WOD. It won’t leave you as “gassed” as Helen or Cindy will, but it will tax your muscles and nervous system heavily. See this thread on the message board for more discussion of the protocol, and this WOD demo for a visual.

EQUIPMENT

Where can I get _____?

Since CrossFit.com went up in 2001, equipment has become far easier to find. A host of online retailers cater to our community, and many general fitness stores also have what you need. Athletes in more remote locations might have fewer options, but retailers are working to address growing markets around the world. If retailers don’t ship to your area, send an email asking them to start.

Can I build _____?

In some cases, yes. Before equipment was readily available online, creative CrossFit athletes found ways to build the gear they wanted. You can find all sorts of plans in the Equipment category of the old CrossFit Journal or through Google searches. When building equipment, always put safety first. If you have any doubts about your creation, purchase reliable gear from a trusted retailer.

Do I need a lot of equipment?

Creative people have found ways to do CrossFit with very little equipment, and you can get very fit by using CrossFit principles to create workouts with the equipment you have. Because CrossFit encourages variation, and because you’re going to get stronger and fitter, you should ensure your arsenal of gear allows you to preserve and increase your fitness. You might need to find a bigger water-filled jug or heavier rock to lift, for example. Be creative. If you’re stumped, contact a credentialed CrossFit Trainer who can help you create a workout plan based on the equipment at your disposal.

What do I need in my garage gym?

CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman wrote the definitive article on converting your garage into a world-class strength-and-conditioning facility. Read it here. Read his follow-up article here.

ESSENTIAL REFERENCES

What are the essential references for CrossFit?

We consider these references to be utterly indispensable:

  1. CrossFit.com—This site contains a wealth of information, and visitors are encouraged to explore. The CrossFit.com archives contain thousands of workouts, including demonstrations, tips and discussions.
  2. The Exercises & Demos page by CrossFit Training—This page contains an ever-growing library of resources to help you move with virtuosity.
  3. The CrossFit Journal—The CrossFit Journal contains thousands of articles, including seminal pieces authored by CrossFit Founder Greg Glassman.
  4. CrossFit Training Courses—Held all over the world and staffed by experts, these courses cover everything from the basics of CrossFit to advanced principles to special areas including gymnastics, weightlifting and many more. CrossFit Training also offers an increasing number of Online Courses.
  5. The “CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide”—This guide complements the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course, but it is 100 percent free to download in a host of languages, and you can use it to learn more about CrossFit even if you do not plan to attend a course. The manual contains Greg Glassman’s foundational articles on the CrossFit program, as well as movement and programming instruction, and nutrition information.
  6. CrossFit Affiliates—All CrossFit affiliates have websites, and many offer excellent instructional content online for free. We encourage you to visit these websites and contact local CrossFit affiliates to find out how their credentialed instructors can help you become healthier and fitter.
  7. The CrossFit Trainer Directory—Connect with a credentialed CrossFit trainer in your area.

NUTRITION

Do I need to evaluate my diet?

Yes. CrossFit is an exercise and nutrition program, and if you do not address nutrition, you are essentially rowing with one oar in the water. You cannot out-exercise a bad diet. To reap the full rewards of the CrossFit program, work out regularly and optimize your nutrition.

What is CrossFit's diet prescription?

The short answer: Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch, and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.

To optimize health and fitness, you will need to measure and record intake, evaluate performance and potentially change intake until the desired results are achieved. This approach to diet is no different than the CrossFit approach to workouts.

To start, we recommend everyone give the baseline Zone Diet prescription a try for four weeks. Doing so will help you establish measurable, observable, repeatable data on your input (food) and output (performance). Once you have completed a minimum baseline term of four weeks, you might find you have to make adjustments to the prescription until you achieve optimal levels of health and fitness.

This type of measured, systematic self-observation will be the best guide as to whether you should eat any type of food or implement any diet “strategy.”

For instance, experimentation will give you valuable information on grains, legumes, dairy and salt, and it can even help you plan the frequency and timing of your meals. You might need to adjust your food intake for your lifestyle, goals, discipline, commitment level, etc. You might choose to experiment with supplementation, post-workout nutrition, fasting and so on. You might choose to include a cheat meal, eat more fat, consume more food, etc.

Overall, diet is specific to each individual, and you can optimize your diet by carefully tracking input and output.

How can I start learning about nutrition?

The CrossFit Journal article “Zone Meal Plans” has an easy-to-understand explanation of the Zone Diet, as well as recipes and a block chart for the most popular foods.

Review the Nutrition category in the CrossFit Journal, and visit CrossFit.com for regular nutrition content.

Read “Mastering the Zone” by Dr. Barry Sears and visit the Zone website.

COURSES & CERTIFICATIONS

How can I host a CrossFit Certificate Course at my gym?

Submit this interest form.

Which trainer credentials does CrossFit offer?

Level Credential (Abbreviation) Associated Courses or Exam
1 CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1) Level 1 Certificate Course and Exam
2 CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2) Level 2 Certificate Course and Exam
3 Certified CrossFit Level 3 Trainer (CF-L3) Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT) Exam
4 Certified CrossFit Level 4 Coach (CF-L4) CrossFit Coach Performance Evaluation

The Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT) credential is an additional offering, which is earned by meeting eligibility requirements and passing the Certified CrossFit Trainer (CCFT) examination.

What are the prerequisites for each level of credential?

Level 1
None.

Level 2
Required:
• Current CF-L1

Recommended:
• At least six months of experience training individuals and groups using CrossFit methods
• Completion of the Online Lesson Planning Course
• Completion of the Online Scaling Course
• Completion of the Online Spot the Flaw Course

Level 3
Required:
• Current CF-L2
• 750 hours of CrossFit coaching experience
• Current CPR certificate

Level 4
Required:
• Current CF-L3

CCFT
Path 1:
• Current CF-L2
• 750 hours of CrossFit coaching experience
• Current CPR certificate

Path 2:
• 1,500 hours of general physical preparedness (GPP) coaching at the collegiate or professional level
• Current CPR certificate

Once a credential is earned, how is it maintained?

Level 1—Repeat the two-day course and pass the Level 1 exam every five years.

Level 2—Repeat the two-day course, and in applicable locations pass the Level 2 exam, every five years.

Level 3—Maintain current CPR certificate. Every three years, acquire 50 continuing-education units (CEUs) and 300 coaching hours.

Level 4—Maintain current CPR certificate. Every three years, acquire 50 continuing-education units (CEUs) and 300 coaching hours.

CCFT—Maintain current CPR certificate. Every three years, acquire 50 continuing-education units (CEUs) and 300 coaching hours.

What can those who achieve the CCFT (versus the CF-L3) do with the credential?

Individuals with the CCFT credential may train others using CrossFit methods. The CCFT designation alone cannot be used to apply for CrossFit affiliation, nor does it allow for the use of the CrossFit name for business or promotional purposes. Successful completion of a Level 1 Certificate Course is required to apply for affiliation. CCFTs without a current CF-L2 may not call themselves CF-L3s, nor can they apply for the Performance Evaluation to attain the CF-L4.

How do I use my credential?

This is the title or designation that you can use after your name on an email signature, resume, or bio on a website. Designations must be formatted according to one of the two examples shown below for each level.
Level 1:
John Smith, CF-L1
John Smith, CrossFit Level 1 Trainer
Level 2:
John Smith, CF-L2
John Smith, CrossFit Level 2 Trainer
Level 3:
John Smith, CF-L3
John Smith, Certified CrossFit Level 3 Trainer
Level 4:
John Smith, CF-L4
John Smith, Certified CrossFit Level 4 Coach
CCFT:
John Smith, CCFT
John Smith, Certified CrossFit Trainer

Where can I find the Trainer Directory to verify CrossFit trainers?

Where can I find out more about each credential?

Which credential is necessary for CrossFit affiliation?

The minimum required credential to apply for affiliation is the CF-L1 (attend the Level 1 Certificate Course, pass the test and maintain the credential). Since 2002, the Level 1 has served as the first step for a CrossFit trainer. It is an introductory course that provides a comprehensive review of the core concepts and methodology of CrossFit along with an introduction to CrossFit culture and community. It is an important experience for anyone seeking affiliation with CrossFit.

Where can I find CrossFit courses?

Here or here.

What are the current costs* of each credential?

CF-L1
$1,000 (includes one test attempt), and \$150 for each test attempt thereafter within one year of course attendance
• For those who return every five years to maintain their CF-L1 status, the cost is \$500 and includes one test attempt.
• If individuals let their CF-L1 expire, cost increases to \$1,000 to revalidate.

ƒCF-L2
$1,000 (includes one test attempt, where required), and \$150 for each test attempt thereafter within one year of course attendance
• For those who return every five years to maintain their CF-L2 status, the cost is \$1,000 and includes one test attempt.
• If individuals let their CF-L2 expire, they must attend the CrossFit Level 1 Certificate Course and pass the Level 1 test prior to being eligible to attend the Level 2 Certificate Course.

CF-L3
$150 application and \$500 exam fee

CF-L4
$1,250

*Prices listed are current as of this posting. CrossFit reserves the right to update pricing at any time. Pricing is applicable at the time course registration is opened. Applicable local taxes are additional.

Which credentials allow me to say “I am certified”?

Only those with the CF-L3, CF-L4 and/or CCFT credentials can say they are “certified” trainers (CF-L3, CCFT) or coaches (CF-L4). Refer to question 5 for titles you can use with a Level 1 or Level 2 credential.

The use of the words “certified” or “certified trainer/coach” in relation to the CF-L1 or CF-L2 is a misrepresentation of the credential and therefore a violation of the CrossFit Trainer License Agreement.

Is there a curriculum test for the CF-L2, as there is for the CF-L1?

In January 2018, a Level 2 exam was added to the Level 2 Certificate Course. In applicable locations, passing the Level 2 exam is a requirement to obtain the CrossFit Level 2 Trainer (CF-L2) credential for any individual who attends the Level 2 Course on or after Jan. 1, 2018. Please see the Level 2 Participant Handbook for more details.

What if I hold an L1, 2, 3 or “Coach” credential from before 2008?

These credentials are no longer valid and must be updated by taking the current associated courses and tests.

What if I have the Coaches Prep Course Certificate?

The Coaches Prep Course (CPC) was renamed the Level 2 Certificate Course. Anyone with a CPC Trainer Certificate automatically holds a Level 2 Trainer Certificate, and this credential is valid for five years from the date of attendance. These individuals can use the CF-L2 designation and will be recognized as such in the Trainer Directory, as long as the credential is kept current or a higher level credential has not been achieved. A current, valid Level 2 credential (CF-L2) is also a prerequisite for the CF-L3.

Which credential is held by those who passed the former Level 2 performance test offered from January 2008 to January 2010?

Individuals who passed the former Level 2 performance test will be granted the CF-L2 credential. To maintain CF-L2 status, they must repeat the course every five years.

To obtain higher-level credentials, these individuals may apply to take the CCFT examination. Passing the CCFT exam automatically grants those who passed the former Level 2 performance exam the CF-L3 and CF-L4 credentials. To maintain the CF-L4 status, they must meet the same recertification requirements as the CF-L3.

Which credentials are accredited?

The Level 1 is an ANSI-accredited certificate course and the CCFT is an ANSI-accredited certification program.

Which courses or exams are available in languages other than English?

The default language for all courses and exams is English.

At the present time, the Level 1 Certificate Course, Level 1 exam, Level 2 Certificate Course and Level 2 exam are available in additional languages. Certain countries, primarily in Europe, Latin America and Asia, have a translator during the course. When translators will be available, this information will be noted on the event registration page. See Section 3.3 of the Level 1 Participant Handbook or Level 2 Participant Handbook for more information regarding language accommodations.

It is our intention to offer the higher-level courses, materials or exams in additional languages. However, there is a thorough process for translating our materials, especially tests, due to the necessity to maintain security and accuracy. We are excited by the international growth of CrossFit and appreciate your patience as we work to provide additional language offerings.

What is the distinction between a “Certificate Course” and a “Certification”?

According to American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards, providing course work, training and education toward the attainment of the knowledge being tested constitutes a curriculum-based “certificate program.” The Level 1 Certificate Course is exactly that. Over the course of two days, CrossFit staff review the conceptual framework of CrossFit methodology and its foundational movements, and participants are then tested on this material. Passing the test demonstrates that the individual learned the material taught at the course.If there is only an assessment (e.g., an exam) of an individual’s current skills or knowledge gained from an entire body of knowledge across a given profession and professional experience, it is a “certification.” This is the proper designation for the CCFT and CrossFit Coach Performance Evaluation. Individuals are tested on their capabilities across the profession of CrossFit training. Although a certification has eligibility requirements, a scope and defined parameters, no single course prepares participants for the exam. Instead, passing the exam demonstrates knowledge across a profession. Anything that is within the stated scope of the certification may be tested. More information regarding certificate programs versus certifications can be found here.

AFFILIATES

What is the process for becoming an affiliate?

Visit our How to Affiliate page. Note that you must be a CrossFit Certificate holder (Level 1 minimum) before applying for affiliation.

What are the requirements for becoming an affiliate?

Read the Requirements section on our How to Affiliate page.

What is included in being a CrossFit Affiliate?

• Legal use of the CrossFit name, logo, and promotional materials
• Legal use of the CrossFit Kids name
• Promotion from CrossFit.com
• Support from CrossFit, LLC on specific and general issues. CrossFit vigorously protects its brand and those licensed to use the CrossFit name.

What is the cost of affiliaton?

As of Jan. 1, 2011, affiliation costs US$3,000 annually.

Do affiliate fees increase?

Affiliate fees are always held level. Your renewal fee will always be the same as the fee you paid initially no matter how the fees change in the future. Please see our current pricing by currency here: Affiliation Requirements.

Do I still have to affiliate if I want to operate as a nonprofit?

Yes. By affiliating you are licensing the CrossFit name and making it legal to use that name; whether you make money from your endeavors or not, you still have to affiliate.

Can I open a CrossFit affiliate outside the United States?

Yes. We have affiliates all over the world.

Can there be more than one affiliate in one town, city, state, neighborhood?

Yes. We do not limit the number of affiliates in any given area.

Is CrossFit a franchising organization and are CrossFit affiliates franchisees?

No. Our affiliates are a confederation of legitimate fitness practitioners pooling reliable resources.

Do I need to own a gym?

No. You will, however, need one physical location. We do not license mobile affiliates.

If I purchased a URL, does this mean I own that name?

You may own the domain, but the use of “CrossFit” in your domain is unlicensed and illegal, and CrossFit, LLC can legally force you to give it up. CrossFit only acknowledges the URL of the name that you have licensed from us.

If I become an affiliate, does this mean I can credential CrossFit trainers?

No. Only CrossFit, LLC can credential trainers. The only way to obtain a CrossFit credential is through CrossFit Training. Visit CrossFit Trainer Courses and CrossFit Certifications for more info.

 

 

What material from CrossFit.com can I use on promotional items like T-shirts, my storefront, my website, etc.? How can I use the name?

You can link to anything on CrossFit, LLC sites, but you cannot download material and host it on your own site (e.g., videos, articles, etc.).

You are encouraged to create your own T-shirts featuring your licensed affiliate name and creative slogans. Logos and/or slogans associated with CrossFit, LLC or CrossFit.com may not be used without prior permission.

As an affiliate, you can and should say that you use CrossFit methods and that you’re part of the extended CrossFit family, but you may not represent yourself directly or indirectly as a representative of CrossFit.com or CrossFit, LLC

If I do not want to affiliate but I am a CrossFit trainer, how can I use the name legally?

You can call yourself a CrossFit trainer. You may list your CrossFit qualifications on a business card, resume, or website bio/qualifications type of page. Nothing more.

You cannot use the CrossFit name in any other business or promotional way unless you affiliate. Only affiliation gives you the legal right to use the CrossFit name for business and/or promotional purposes.

The Level 1 Trainer Certificate License Agreement is explained on page 166 of the “CrossFit Level 1 Training Guide.”

Can I work as a trainer at an affiliate if I'm not a CrossFit Level 1 Certificate holder?

You may instruct as an apprentice under the mentoring of a CrossFit Level 1 Trainer (CF-L1). All trainers at a CrossFit affiliate must hold a CrossFit Level 1 Certificate. Apprentice trainers (those who do not hold a CF-L1) may work under the direct supervision of a CF-L1 trainer prior to obtaining a CrossFit Level 1 Certificate.

How should I select a name for my gym?

Basic guidelines are as follows: no continents, countries, provinces, regions, states, counties, large cities, religious references, movie names, celebrity names, personal names, trademarked names, government agencies, or names that are already taken.

Can I set my own rates?

Yes.

What is the recommended equipment for starting out?

Whatever you can muster. Great gyms have started with lots of equipment or just a few barbells.

Should I send in videos and photos?

Absolutely. If you think you’ve got a good video, please contact content@crossfit.com.

To be considered for publication on our websites, please submit photos via https://www.crossfit.com/submit-photo.

Are CrossFit affiliates automatically allowed to offer CrossFit Kids classes?

Yes.

We'd like to host a local/statewide/regional fitness competition. Any guidance?

We love that affiliates hold competitions and would like to do everything we can to encourage such events. When planning your competition, please keep in mind these simple rules:

  • Please avoid the use of the words “Games,” “Open,” “Sanctionals” or “Regional,” so there is no confusion with official CrossFit, LLC-sponsored or licensed events.
  • Please do not use CrossFit, LLC logos or artwork when promoting/advertising your affiliate event. Again, we’re trying to avoid confusion with CrossFit, LLC-sponsored or licensed events.
  • Use of the trademark “CrossFit” is not allowed in the title of any event. It may only be used to refer to the affiliate hosting the event. Acceptable: Fitness Challenge brought to you by Watertown CrossFit. Unacceptable: CrossFit Watertown Challenge, CrossFit Northeast Challenge, CrossFit Challenge, CrossFit Northeast Games. Also acceptable: Connecticut Fitness Throwdown brought to you by CrossFit Watertown.
  • Run a great event, have fun, and send us photos so we can share your good times with the community.

I'm thinking of opening multiple locations. Is that allowed?

CrossFit no longer allows multiple affiliations. We believe it is better for an affiliate to concentrate on a single location to ensure the quality of hands-on involvement by the owner. So, in essence, the rule is: one trainer, one box.

We're thinking of setting up some "sister affiliates," and we'd like similar names or even to share websites and design. Is that allowed?

Yes.

MEDIA

Where can I find more media?

Visit the CrossFit Journal for thousands of articles and videos.

Are instruction videos archived or stored anywhere on the site besides with the daily workouts?

 

Yes. They are on the Exercises & Demos page.

 

Where can I find the previous iteration of the CrossFit Journal?

Click here for content published from April 2002 to December 2016. Some of this content has been updated and republished on the mobile-friendly new CrossFit Journal site.

Does CrossFit have a YouTube channel?

Yes. Click here.

Where can I find CrossFit Games media?

Visit the CrossFit Games page.

Can I host CrossFit Media on my site?

No. You are very welcome to link to our content and repost it widely, but you cannot host it yourself.

Can I use CrossFit's photos on my site/T-shirt/poster/etc.?

No. CrossFit’s photos are copyrighted and may not be used without permission.

How can I send in videos and photos?

If you think you have a good video, please contact media@crossfit.com.

To have one of your photos considered for publication on any of our websites, please submit via http://photos.crossfit.com.

RRG

Where can I find info about the CrossFit Risk Retention Group (RRG)?

Visit the RRG website.