Where Do Crossfit Workout Names Come From?

Have you ever wondered where all those unique, and sometimes strange, Crossfit workout names come from? Here’s a quick rundown of the origins of some popular WODs.


Crossfit is an intense exercise program that has become increasingly popular over the last decade with its unique combination of aerobic and anaerobic exercises. Many of these workouts are given unique names, often based on the exercises they include or the area where they originated from. It can be common for some to get lost in the list of workout names, many of which do not accurately describe the exercises. This article will provide an in-depth look at how this naming system works, and where it comes from.

History of Crossfit

CrossFit is a popular strength and conditioning program that has been popular since 2000. It is based on high intensity interval training and uses constantly varied functional movements with a particular emphasis on Olympic weightlifting. But where did the names for these challenging CrossFit workouts come from? Let’s take a look at the history of CrossFit and its workout names.

What is Crossfit?

CrossFit is a lifestyle fitness program developed by Greg Glassman and heavily focused on functional movements, or exercises that mimic activities performed in everyday life. It combines weightlifting, sprinting and gymnastics with core stability and cardio workouts. Crossfit has become incredibly popular in recent years as it gives people the freedom to build strength and improve everyday functionality while having fun during the process.

The constantly varied nature of the CrossFit program seeks to promote adaptation beyond what is possible with traditional exercise routines. Exercises vary week to week, which adds an element of surprise to each workout. Thanks to social media, CrossFit has extended its reach far beyond its original gyms and classes. The CrossFit movement inspires people of all ages and fitness levels around the world to get moving while having fun at the same time.

Crossfit workouts are known for their creative (and often playful) names — take “Fran” for example — which serves both aesthetic and practical purposes: visually, a quirky title can break up monotony; practically, each name suggests some connection between the type of exercise you’re about to do and its origins (like “Karen” referring to weightlifting legend Karen Ohlsen). While each box or gym establishes its own system for naming WODs (Workouts Of The Day), many boxes or classes take inspiration from specific sources—like games, movies or inspiring women—when naming their workouts.

Origins of Crossfit

CrossFit is a form of exercise that incorporates elements of weightlifting, gymnastics, and calisthenics into intense exercises. This high-intensity interval training workout was popularized in the early 2000s. It’s founder, Greg Glassman, wanted to create something that would bring together many different kinds of exercises in a manner that was challenging and enjoyable for all participants.

The purpose of CrossFit is to maximize one’s potential by pushing their body to its limits. By doing so, it helps athletes maximize their potential as well as provide them with an enjoyable and full-body workout routine. As such, the workouts are designed with different levels for different skill sets so beginners can start small and gradually increase intensity as they become more comfortable.

Glassman created “named” workouts—burpee pullups (aka Fight Gone Bad), Cindy (aka Barbara), Fran (aka Triple Fran), Grace (aka Isabell) —so he could reference them easily when teaching people the methods of CrossFit. It was also a way to track progress by knowing personnel best times/scores on various named movements/workouts etc. Over time these have become iconic around the CrossFit community; in addition they can act as benchmarks helping athletes track their progress over time through continued reattempting the same named workouts over multiple intervals throughout the year. In this way, these names serve to give an identity and ethos to the typical types of exercises experienced during standard CrossFit workouts and classes — making them more memorable for any athlete participating in CrossFit training or classes!

Naming of Crossfit Workouts

The naming of Crossfit workouts has become a unique language within the Crossfit community. Some of the most common naming conventions come from historic people, places and things, making each workout memorable and unique. Let’s take a closer look at the different ways Crossfit workouts are named and how they originated.

The Creative Process

Crossfit exercises often have unique and creative names, but how do they come up with them? Part of the fun of Crossfit workouts is predicting what a workout will be like based on its name. Some of the time, it’s easy to make guesses about its contents like “Amanda” (burpees, ring dips, pistols) or “Fran” (21-15-9 thrusters and pullups).

So where do these creative names come from? Most CrossFit gyms have their own naming system, usually based on mythology characters or local events. Each gym might take inspiration from its own corner of the world; for example a WOD named for a famous boxer born in Mexico could be popular in California gyms. Variations of certain Gyms also generate different workouts. A Murph might be modified to include pushups between rounds of running at some places while another location might not require them at all.

By having these creative names assigned to each workout, it gives an extra sense of identity and even nostalgia around specific moves or challenges. When a group says they conquered “Murph” they feel a special sense of pride that comes along with any difficult challenge completed as part of a group effort including physical strength as well as knowledge and experience. It’s also possible that if people associate positive memories with certain exercises through their names it helps keep people engaged in their fitness goals when circumstances don’t permit outside exercise like during rainy season or during pandemics.

Inspiration for Names

The CrossFit community loves to have fun with their workouts and one way that shows is in the unique, interesting names they come up with. Here i will explain the basic origins and structure of a CrossFit workout name in order to give a better insight into how these are created.

The majority of workout names are inspired by the branches of military and law enforcement, major events in history, important people who fought for our freedom, required pieces of equipment and even ordinary things that remind us of our fitness journey. Workout names often include references to historical figures or battles; for example, “Fran” was named after World War II veteran Frances Hargrave and “Murph” after Navy Seal Lt. Michael P. Murphy who died in Afghanistan in 2005 during an attempted rescue mission.

Workout titles sometimes declare what type of exercise they will require – such as squats or pull-ups – or refer to measures of intensity such as reps (repetitions) or rounds (completing a set number of exercises once). Additionally, time is often used as a measureable indicator — Amanda (nine minutes total) or Grace (30 clean-and-jerks for time). A combination might include mentions of both reps and time — Elizabeth (21 Squat Cleans at 135 lbs., 21 Ring Dips and 21 Pull Ups for time).

Whatever the source for its name, each CrossFit workout carries an inspiring story behind its title – no matter how difficult it may be complete!

Crossfit workouts often have unique and interesting names which can be hard to understand. These names originate from a variety of sources, ranging from mythology to pop culture. Let’s take a closer look at some of the popular Crossfit workouts, where they come from, and what they involve.


The CrossFit workout “Fran” is a combination of two exercises, pull-ups and thrusters. It’s named after the founder of CrossFit, Greg Glassman, whose middle name is Fran.

The workout itself consists of three rounds with no rest periods. The first round requires 21 pull-ups followed by 21 thrusters. The second round requires 15 pull-ups and 15 thrusters, and the third round requires 9 pull-ups and 9 thrusters. In total, the entire workout requires 45 pull-ups and 45 thrusters to complete it.

The goal of this workout is to complete it as fast as possible while maintaining good form throughout all three rounds. As such, athletes should take no more than 30 seconds between each set or exercise in order to maintain their pace and intensity level throughout the routine.

Whether you’re just getting started with Crossfit or want to perfect your existing skills, “Fran” is an excellent introductory workout that is sure to give you an intense full body challenge!


“Grace” is one of the most popular CrossFit workouts for those looking for an intense full-body workout. The workout was created by an affiliate of CrossFit named Grace, who wanted to create a brutal combination of weightlifting movements that would help athletes build strength and shape their muscles. The workout draws from Olympic weightlifting movements, such as the clean and jerk and snatch, as well as traditional bodyweight exercises like squats, push-ups and pull-ups.

The “Grace” workout involves completing 30 clean-and-jerks for time. The intensity of the movement depends mostly on the amount of weight used — generally lighter weights can be used in order to increase speed while heavier weights will put more strain on your muscles over time. Proper form is essential when performing this exercise, especially when using higher rep numbers or heavier weights.

In addition to cleaning and jerking, “Grace” also calls for mastery of other foundational CrossFit lifts. Burpees are included at the end of every round in order to increase core stability as well as overall propulsion capabilities in between lifts. Jump rope can also be added before or after each clean-and-jerk set in order to prepare joints before beginning a set or induce postexercise fatigue aftero completing one.


The workout “Murph” is an iconic CrossFit workout that has become a regular staple in the sport. It was first conceived by Navy Lieutenant Michael P. Murphy in May 2005, who at the time was serving as a Special Operator with SEAL Delivery Vehicle Team One on deployment in Afghanistan.

The original form of Murph is an intense military type of physical exercise known as a “Hero Workout” named after fallen soldiers. The hero workout consists of one Mile Run, followed by 100 Pull-Ups, 200 Push-Ups,300 Squats, and finishing with another Mile Run.

The hero workouts are completed to honor and remember those who have given their lives while defending our country and freedom. They commemorate those brave men and women through movement dedicated to those people’s memories and legacies of commitment, bravery and dedication to others. The Murph may be an extreme challenge but it’s important to remind ourselves that these types of hero workouts are not meant to be lighthearted or taken lightly — they are symbolic acts made in remembrance of men and women who gave up their own lives so we can all live free today.


CrossFit workouts are designed to provide a comprehensive full-body workout, combining a variety of disciplines from Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics and traditional strength and conditioning exercises. The wide range of exercises allows for CrossFit workouts to be tailored to individual goals, while the level of difficulty can be increased as fitness levels improve.

CrossFit is well known for giving unique and often creative names to its signature workouts. While many CrossFit workout names have their roots in various traditions, some have been created by the founders themselves or have had their names modified over time as they become more popular.

Most CrossFit workout names bear some resemblance to the actual exercise that they represent, but some are somewhat whimsical or even humorous—something that makes them particularly memorable! Ultimately, when it comes to understanding the origin of CrossFit workout names, it helps to remember that these exercises were designed with fun in mind!

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