Continuing on with our exploration into the heart of what CrossFit is, today we’ll chat about the concepts that remain in the forefront of developing our athletes, the 10 Components of Fitness.
“Having a balanced ability across the all 10 components of fitness will ensure that you’ll be both athletic and durable.”
What does that really mean to you and me? You’ll be able to do whatever you want, whenever you want, without specifically training for it and you’ll remain pain-free.
What are the 10 Components of Fitness?
Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
- Think cardio, cardio, cardio….We’re talking about getting your blood to deliver oxygen throughout your body more efficiently.
Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
Similar to endurance, but not the same. This is having “gas in the tank” rather than being able to breathe and deliver oxygen throughout your body.
Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
Straight up ability to pick up heavy weights.
Flexibility – The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
Moving your body the way it was designed to move
Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
Emphasizes strength applied in a very short amount of time.
Speed – The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
Emphasizes raw turnover, fast as possible running, biking, rowing
Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
Moving your body in a specific pattern. Think of this as learning the pattern of movement to achieve an olympic lift
Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
Kids do this all the time, think of a 3 year-old bouncing around a playroom.
Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base.
This is keeping your center of gravity over whatever base of support you have at any given moment (this is why it’s harder to balance on one foot rather than two)
Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity
This is both knowing what to do and having the coordination to do it.
Holy smokes, that’s a lot…How do I get better at ALL of them?
Great question! Improvement breaks down to a couple different adaptations. Once is physiological (your body), the other is neurological (the pathways between your brain and your muscles). We’ll talk about them in the sections below.
Forged through Training
The components below get better because your body adapts without you having to think about any of it. By adding this new stress to your body, your body adapts, it’s as easy as that. You’ll often recognize these improvements first as you start training.
Forged through Practice
The components below get better because you build the connection between your brain and your muscles. These improve through thoughtful practice. Think about closing your eyes and standing on one leg. You will get better with practice, but it will take a lot of thought in the early stages. Building a superhighway between your brain and your muscles takes thoughtful practice, and it is often overlooked. I would contend that these components are the most vital for life outside the gym, and living independently as long as possible.
Forged through Both Training and Practice
The components below are improved with a mixture of both training and practice. We’re taking newly gained strength, stamina, endurance or flexibility and coupling it with newly gained accuracy, balance and agility and display speed and power. For example, you gain leg strength, balance and coordination, you turn into a faster sprinter.
What does that all mean to me?
It means there are multiple ways to reflect improvement and celebrate achievement. It means our training includes a super heavy back squat and also being able to stand on one foot and bounce a ball against a wall. It means there are multiple times within every hour you train with us to achieve a win for the day, week, month and year.
Sarah Skedsvold is a coach at CrossFit Icehouse. She’s committed to turning workouts into play and bolstering CrossFit Icehouse’s charge to “Build Everyday Athletes”. In her spare time she is in a constant search the absolutely perfect personal planner and calendar.