09 Nov 2015 – The 10 General Physical Skills of CrossFit

Have you ever wondered why we train the way we do? Why we play with handstands and double unders just as much as we deadlift heavy, smash sprint-style workouts, and tell you to hit the target when you do your wallballs?

In its pursuit of GPP (General Physical Preparedness, i.e. ready to take on the unknown and the unknowable), CrossFit aims to develop 10 General Physical Skills. In the CrossFit definition of fitness, “you are as fit as you are competent in these 10 skills.” No idea what these skills are? Let us enlighten you!

The first four of the 10 skills are developed through “training” or “activity that improves performance through a measurable organic change in the body”, such as our Conditioning and General Strength WODs…

Cardiovascular / Respiratory Endurance: The ability of a body’s systems to gather, process and deliver oxygen, i.e. how far can you go?
Stamina: The ability of a body’s systems to process, deliver, store, and utilise energy, i.e. how long can you last?
Strength: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force, i.e. how much can you lift?
Flexibility: The ability to maximise the range of motion at a given joint, i.e. can you get into a good front rack or overhead position? How are your wall squats?

The second four are developed through “practice”, or “activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system”. Think drills, progressions, the barbell warm-ups we do before Olympic lifting sessions…

Coordination: The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement, i.e. can you jump, whilst spinning a rope in two quick circles before your feet hit the ground?
Agility: The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another, i.e. can you rebound your box jumps?
Balance: The ability to control the placement of the body’s centre of gravity in relation to its support base, i.e. how are your pistols and your handstand walks?
Accuracy: The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity, i.e. does your wall ball hit the target, or does it fly up in the air and come crashing down to hit you in the face instead?

The final two skills are developed through both training and practice:

Power: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time, i.e. your one 1 RM snatch.
Speed: The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement, i.e. your 100m TT.

Want to learn more about these 10 General Physical Skills or the definition of CrossFit? Check out our bible, The CrossFit Journal's What is Fitness, where all of these definitions were taken from. 

WORKOUT OF THE DAY

Threshold Method: Single Modality Madness*

A) 5 minutes to get as many reps as possible:
Row or Airdyne for calories

- Rest 5 minutes -

B) 5 minutes to get as many reps as possible:
Thruster (42.5 / 30 kg)

- Rest 5 minutes -

C) For time:
Run 1000m, as fast as possible

* This is what happens when Coach Phil gets to name WODs...