In mainstream fitness programming, the focus is on bodybuilding or monostructural endeavors. You either lift weights, do cardio, or stretch and do pilates. While this may make our muscles big, sweat buckets, or lean us out, this does not create real-world functionality.

CrossFit breaks that cycle. At CrossFit Crusade, we will not only push you to train and practice the major lifts, but we will also teach you the basics of gymnastics, all while biking, rowing, jumping, and running, hard and fast. We would be silly not to because the demands of our lives vary daily, and we must be prepared for them. Because we’re tackling so many different skills daily in a CrossFit class, CrossFit uses four different models to explain the methodology: The Hopper Model, The Three Energy Systems,
The 10 General Physical Skills, and The Sickness-Wellness-Fitness Continuum. Each model helps us better understand the reasons behind what we do and why we do it in CrossFit.

Today, we are going to dive deeper into the 10 General Physical Skills. This model was presented by coaches Bruce Evans and Jim Cawley of Dynamax Medicine Balls. They determined that anything worth working on as an athlete is going to fall under one category of these 10 General Physical Skills:

  • Cardiovascular endurance

  • Stamina

  • Strength

  • Flexibility

  • Power

  • Speed

  • Coordination

  • Accuracy

  • Agility

  • Balance

These adaptations come from exposure to stress, and working on movements within these categories will improve overall fitness. The “most fit” athlete will be proficient in every area asked of them. Let’s explore the 10 General Physical Skills a bit further.

Cardiovascular Endurance, Stamina, Strength, and Flexibility

By definition, exercise science studies responses to stress in the body. The best examples are the first four skills: endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility. These are defined as “organic adaptations”. Through lifting weights, we can see your muscles getting bigger. Through consistent training, we can see you becoming more flexible. These skills will only get better through progressive overload and progressive stress on the body, which allows the body to adapt.

Power and Speed

We’ll come back to these two!!

Coordination, Accuracy, Agility, and Balance

While the first four skills on this list are more organic, the last four deal more with how the brain interacts with the body. These are defined as “neurological adaptations,” meaning they take practice to get good at it. You can’t muscle your way through a skill movement. Ask anyone who’s tried to walk on their hands! We cannot gain these skills without focused time spent on developing the coordination and balance needed to stay upright and keep moving.

Power and Speed

These middle two skills are the beautiful marriage of the first four and the bottom four. For example, power is defined as “Force x Distance / Time.” Our ability to move large loads, long distances, quickly. Speed is about how quickly we can get work done. CrossFit programming is so effective at building endurance because of its ability to express power. CrossFit emphasizes movements that express power and speed, such as squats, deadlifts, cleans, and presses. Most fitness programs cannot express these skills because to do them well requires technique and coaching.

As we discussed in the introduction, the athlete who is “most fit” will be proficient in every area asked of them. They can squat proficiently, run long distances, and walk on their hands! However, these adaptations only come when an athlete is regularly exposed to every skill. Neglecting flexibility and being unable to reach your full range of motion will limit your ability to express power just as much as it will restrict your ability to build strength.

CrossFit’s “Fitness in 100 Words” asks us to “mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow.” Mixing skills ensures that we are physically ready for whatever comes our way. While other fitness programs only offer partial fitness, CrossFit offers a guide to maximal capacity. We provide the missing link of coaching, technique, and intensity that other programs lack. Whether your goal is to win the game, protect your loved ones, or just run the annual 5k, our workouts create real-world functionality so that you can express your true potential.