Fitness Model #1:
Most of our athletes here at Celebration CrossFit would say CrossFit has helped them feel fitter, and that it has given them countless moments of feeling like they achieved something. But, if we really want to know what is going on within our bodies, those feelings are just not enough. We need proof that we have become fitter; proof that we have achieved something we weren’t able to before. We are capable of doing that by improving our 10 general physical skills.
Fitness was, for a long time, an abstract concept. So, how are we supposed to measure increase in fitness levels if we can’t quantify them? Well, coach Greg Glassman, founder of CrossFit, used 4 models to turn fitness into a science. This is the first model used: the 10 General Physical Skills. Our goal as athletes and CrossFitters is to be proficient in all 10 skills. Consequently, we need to practice and train each and every one of them.
The 10 General Physical Skills:
1. Cardiovascular/ Respiratory Endurance: The ability of the body to gather, process and deliver oxygen.
How to work on it: Extended aerobic exercises at a moderate intensity.
Example: 30 min run at 80% of sprint speed.
2. Stamina: The ability of the body to store, utilize and deliver energy.
How to work on it: Aerobic exercises at varying intensities.
Example: During a run, sprint 100m then jog 200m, then sprint 200m and jog 300m, etc.
3. Strength: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
How to work on it: Do high sets, lower reps and heavy weights of compound movements.
Example: 6×3 back squat at 85% of 1RM.
4. Flexibility: The ability to maximize the range of motion of a given joint.
How to work on it: Spend time stretching at the maximum of your mobility at a given articulation.
Example: Hold the bottom position of your air squat and try to keep a good squatting form while doing so.
5. Power: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
How to work it: Be explosive during heavy exercises. Equal parts strength and speed.
Example: 1RM clean and Jerk. High box jumps.
6. Speed: The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
How to work it: Perform movements as fast as possible.
Example: Intervals of 100m sprint.
7. Coordination: The ability to combine several distinctive movement patterns into a singular distinctive movement.
How to work on it: Learn and practice new sports/ movements/ sequences.
Example: Play a different sport once a week.
8. Agility: The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
How to work on it: Be fast when moving from an exercise to another.
Example: As soon as you are done with a movement during a WOD, get set into a good position and start the next exercise as fast as you can.
9. Balance: The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relations to its support base.
How to work on it: Challenge your body into being stable in positions where you feel unstable.
Example: Yoga. Slack-line.
10. Accuracy: The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
How to work on it: Work on your ability to put your body, or an external object, into a desired spatial arrangement.
Example: Work on your snatch technique. Toss the med ball at the same spot every time during wall balls.
Even though we are looking to quantify our overall fitness, we can take either a qualitative or a quantitative approach to all 10 general physical skills. We can measure speed or flexibility and find a flaw in our general physical preparedness to work on. But we can also look into how do we “feel” about them. If you would like to improve your balance, while you might not be statistically unbalanced, you can still practice and improve it.
The goal here is to always strive to become a better version of ourselves (physically, in this case, but in all other areas of life as well!). At Celebration CrossFit we practice these skills everyday. So, what have you done to improve your 10 general physical skills today?
by Coach Matt Silva