15 Things Only CrossFitters Understand

When asked why we love CrossFit® training, most of us will tell you it’s all about the community and personal growth we’ve experienced since joining a box. In herds, people sign up to give the sport a try, and end up shouting their undying love for the fitness trend that’s been holding strong for almost a decade now. For those who haven’t yet gotten into the craze, the culture can seem a bit cult-like and confusing; we have our own language, rituals, and insides jokes. And although CrossFit really is for everyone, there are certainly things that only CrossFitters understand.

Whether you’ve been doing of the sport for 3 months or 7 years, here are 15 laugh-out-loud realities you know all too well.

1. We Have A Hard Time Interacting With People Who Don’t Want To Talk About CrossFit All Day.


While Susie from the cubicle over there wants to talk about her family’s rained-out Memorial Day picnic and Thom from floor 3 wants to complain about his wife’s mother, all we want to talk about Murph. “Dude, what was your time?”. “Partitioned or rX?”. “How did you break up the push-up reps?”. “What was the hardest part for you?”. “Bro, which hurts more your lats or your legs?”. While most of our friends and coworkers will listen to us talk about our function fitness family for a few minutes, once their interest dips, we’re at a loss. What else is there to talk about besides CrossFit, paleo, and Regionals?

2. Our Hands Are Calloused And Bloody.

Our friends and manicurists think our hands are disgusting and in need of some serious TLC. We think we never asked for their opinion (so there!). Plus, our hands are our war-wounds, our proof, and our secret badge of honor. While in the real-world we may end up wincing after shaking a client’s hand, or apologizing for the roughness of our palms on a date, we secretly love picking at the built-up skin and sharing pics of our bloody hands post toe-to-bars. If you didn’t rip, did you even really T2B?

3. We Love To Brag-Complain About How Sore We Are.


We have mastered the whine disguised as a brag. For example, “Murph destroyed my lats, I guess that’s what I get for doing 100 butterfly pull-ups in a weighted vest”. We may sounds like we are complaining about how sore we are, this is really just our go-to way to talk about the WOD we absolutely destroyed.

4. We Nervous Pee.

In 3..2.. “WAIT I NEED TO USE THE BATHROOM THERE ARE DOUBLE UNDERS IN THIS ONE” is common talk in a box on jump-roping and box jumps days. While a little pee never hurt anybody, since our box started taking Insta-stories, we’re a little more careful about hitting the toilet ahead of time.

5. Our Coworkers Go To Happy Hour After Work. We go WOD.

For us after-work sweaters, there’s a constant PM struggle: while our coworkers are heading out of the office for a much-needed margarita, we’re fast-walking it straight to the box for a WOD that will crush our souls and help us sweat out a day’s worth of anger… but there’s no nice way to break the news to our cubicle buddies that we’d rather squat and thrust than small-talk and booze… so we’re constantly thinking of white lies to get out of happy hour.

6. We Frequently Get Asked: “How Much Do You Lift?”


We love talking about how much we lift and our PR’s with our CrossFit family, but when a stranger asks us how much we lift we get self conscious. Plus, we never know what number to share! Our Squat? Front Squat? Power clean? Hang power clean? Tall clean? Thruster? Bench press?

7. We Ruin Clothes. Seriously.

Sometimes after a WOD we have to ask our fellow athletes to help us get our shirts over our heads or our sports bras up and over our giant lats. There’s nothing quite like undressing after a workout that has us sore and drenched in sweat. Moreover, denim is the enemy; that fabric is simply not made for a bottom-half that squats, deadlifts, and wall ball. While not every CrossFitter will bulk up — in fact, many slim down — with a trim waist and rounder rear, finding jeans that fit our lifter proportions is hard work. So yeah, we may or may not have ripped a few pairs of pants bending down to low or trying to make a pair from our pre-CrossFit days fit around our newly shaped bods.

8. We Love Chalk More Than 5 Year Olds.

Chalk up, people. A little hand-chalk means a better grip. A better grip means faster toe-to-bars, heavier deadlifts, and pull-ups that are on fleek. 

9. We Have A Different Understanding of Time.


Vinny goes to the gym for three hours. Vinny doesn’t believe in high-intensity interval training, and likes to stick to bicep-curls, bench pressing, and the occasional calf-raise. Vinny has never completed a workout like Fran and realized that a two minute workout can kick your butt. We are not like Vinny! We understand the potential pain-place we’ll have to enter into in a perceived short about of time. Oh, and we can count down from 10 faster than a mother waiting to put her child in time-out.

10. We’re All About The Style Points.

Some may think that a good workout requires a comfy tshirt and some baggy sweatpants, because the comfier the better, right? Wrong! We are all about that fitness flare. Think headbands that match our lifters, weight lifting belts with our box nickname engraved, wrist wraps that match our socks, and shirts (before we take them off) that have CrossFit sayings all over them.

11. We Love Skin.

Our fitness goals are all about improving our Olympic lifts, learning new gymnastics movements, or decreasing our Fran time. For us, it’s not about looking our best, it’s about being our best at the sport. And a heavy T-shirt, baggy sweats, and sweat-drenched tank can really get in the way during a long and intensive workout. In boxes, there is no shame in pulling your T off, yes, even with a tummy or beer-gut, or stripping down to spandex, even with cellulite or booty-dimples.

12. We Don’t Care If We Leave Ass-Prints On The Floor.


Sweat drips from every pore of our bodies, and the instant our skin makes contact with the floor, we leave a mark. And guess what? We don’t give a crap! Because we can’t help but collapse on the floor or sit on the nearest box as soon as the timer goes off.

13. We’ve Been Known To Film Ourselves.

I’ve never seen someone whip out an iPhone at Equinox to film themselves pumping away at the elliptical. But in CrossFit boxes, phones with video-features are all the rage. Whether a coach is having us watch our power clean in slow-mo, or we’re just trying to document a deadlift PR for the gram, we love to film ourselves lift heavy shit. Sorry not sorry!

14. We Find True Enjoyment In Watching Other People Exercise.


… This especially goes for competitive exercising. Literally, few things bring us more joy than watching CrossFit Open recap videos from our fave fittest women and men on earth on Instagram or live streaming regionals from our laptops when we’re supposed to be at work.

15. Our Friends Don’t Appreciate When We Try To Recruit Them.

“Do you want to be in the best shape of your life? Do you want to make new friends and have a built-in community that genuinely wants to see you succeed in all areas, not just at the gym? Do you like endorphins? Do you love being able to basically eat whatever the eff you want? Yep, thought so.”

We love CrossFit. We love our friends. But we LOVE our CrossFit Friends. Wouldn’t it be great if all of our friends started CrossFit and we could WOD, mobility and brunch all day everyday?? We know that anyone who gives the sport a whirl will immediately fall in love with it and camaraderie. We know that there’s just something about a group of people coming together to sweat, struggle, make progress and celebrate wins together. We know that eventually our friends will give it a try just to get us to shut up…

Featured image: @anniethorisdottir on Instagram

Editors note: This article is an op-ed. The views expressed herein and in the video are the authors and don’t necessarily reflect the views of BarBend. Claims, assertions, opinions, and quotes have been sourced exclusively by the author.