The keys to understanding the methods and achievements of CrossFit are perfectly embedded in a view of fitness and basic exercise science. CrossFit makes use of four different models for evaluating and guiding fitness. Collectively, these four models provide the basis for CrossFit’s definition of fitness. Each model is critical to CrossFit and each has distinct utility in evaluating an athlete’s overall fitness or a strength and conditioning regimen’s efficacy.
We will do a series of posts discussing the 4 different models for gauging fitness, because everybody needs a little more education every now and then. These are the 10 physical skills that are focused on through our programming and workout structure. There is a method to the madness!
CrossFit’s First Fitness Model: The 10 General Physical Skills
There are 10 recognized general physical skills. They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. (See Figure 2. Ten General Physical Skills for definitions.) You are as fit as you are competent in each of these 10 skills. A regimen develops fitness to the extent that it improves each of these 10 skills.
Importantly, improvements in endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility come about through training. Training refers to activity that improves performance through a measurable organic change in the body. By contrast improvements in coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy come about through practice. Practice refers to activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system. Power and speed are adaptations of both training and practice.