CrossFit athletes specialize in not specializing. We strive to make all of our members excellent, well-rounded athletes. Our aim is not to make the strongest people or the fastest people, but to make people excellent across all of what CrossFit defines as the 10 General Physical Skills.
You may recognize these skills as listed on the wall over the weight plates:
- Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance: The ability of body systems to gather, process and deliver oxygen.
- Stamina: The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
- Strength: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
- Flexibility: The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
- Power: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
- Speed: The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
- Coordination: The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
- Agility: The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
- Balance: The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to it’s support base.
- Accuracy: The ability to control movement in a give direction or at a given intensity.
In CrossFit, we say you are not a fit person unless you’re good at ALL of these things. If you’re lacking in any one area…well, you’re not as fit as you could be. 🙂
Some of the things that we do in CrossFit translate very obviously to the above list – anything “for time” will most certainly work your cardiovascular/respiratory endurance and stamina, while any “for load” is gonna work your strength. But what about the others?
You may wonder why we do some pretty silly-seeming things in warm-ups on occasion. Weird jump rope drills, or standing on one foot and trying to grab something on the floor, or jumping through the rope ladder, or any number of weird animal walks – the list of weird things goes on and on. All of these things, believe it or not, are contributing to your overall level of fitness. These movements work coordination and agility and balance and accuracy…all things that combine to make you an overall fit person.