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Complete as many rounds as possible in 20 minutes of:
Run 400 meters
7 Muscle-ups

World Class Fitness and Defining Fitness

Alright folks, we live in Boulder, Colorado and it’s reasonable to say that our town has a skewed version of fitness and health.

Think about the body type and eating style that is championed in local magazines, athlete blogs, and by the type of athletic endeavors most commonly pursued.  It’s not an athletic frame ready to take on a 10K, pull-ups, or a hike, it’s a frame on the brink of emaciation.  One where you can see muscles, but those muscles can’t do much other than go long and slow.  And it’s not an eating plan that guides us toward longevity, it’s a plan that is constantly measured against calories burned on the trail or on the bike.  With or without meat, many of the products claim to be natural while being more processed than a Twinkie.  Countless folks walk around town with a slim frame that can run for 2 hours and recipe for a heart attack blood panel.

So why the rant?

Because I feel like I have not prepared you for the coffee shop encounter.  You all need a little background on how CrossFit defines fitness and the four models that collectively make-up a complete package to guide and evaluate health and fitness.  Why?  So the next time you’re at a coffee shop and someone gives you a hard time about your CrossFit fitness program, you have some help in your corner.

We’ll detail the four models over the next few days or you can read up a little more here.

CrossFit’s First Model of Fitness

CrossFit’s first model of fitness are the ten general physical skills.  These ten skills work collectively to develop an athlete who is trained and has capacity in a variety of areas.  An athlete is only as fit as they are competent in their weakest physical skill.  They are:

Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance
Stamina
Strength
Flexibility
Power
Speed
Coordination
Agility
Balance
Accuracy

The ten general physical skills work in conjunction with one another to train and develop a well-balanced athlete who is as flexible as they are strong.

Let’s take Julia for example.  The badass cyclist came to us in March of last year.  Prior to CrossFit her fitness regiment centered around bike rides.  Her stamina and endurance were through the roof and she easily ran past everyone in workouts with running; however, there were holes in the system.  Throw in a movement that required strength or relied on power and she didn’t fair well.  We later learned that she has suffered two herniations while riding her bike.  Was she fit at that time?  Perhaps, but not by our definition.

Flash forward to June 2011.  She’s still a badass but let’s add a few Ses to that bad ass.  She’s now a badassssss and more fit by CrossFit’s definition.  Julia can still ride her bike, long and fast.  But she can now deadlift 100 more pounds than when she started.  She can knock out double unders with the best of them – coordination, she can throw a wallball consistently to a ten foot target – accuracy, and she moves through box jumps at a speed that is hard to see, where she once struggled to produce any quick explosive reaction.  The examples go on.

Improving our capacity in each area is the key to a well-rounded fit athlete.  Increasing capacity in the areas which we are already proficient is a path toward imbalances.