We are constantly striving to be the best athlete we can possibly be... What allows us to be our best is being well rounded. That means maintaining a strong balance between all aspects of fitness. Strength, cardiovascular endurance, balance, agility, flexibility, stamina, power, stamina, coordination and accuracy. These are the 10 domains of fitness as outlined by Greg Glassman in CrossFit's philosophy. Let's look at each in a bit more detail and what we can do to include them in our weekly program to ensure we function at peak performance.
Cardiovascular Endurance: The ability of the body systems to gather, process and deliver oxygen. These are your activities such as running, rowing, biking, burpees, ect. You want to tap into all your systems. Aerobic, glycolytic and phosphagen. So be sure to include some longer endurance activities as well as short bursts.
Strength: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination or muscular units to apply force. Using load to build strength is imperative. You'll want to do both heavy loading with low reps and lighter loads with higher reps. Include not only barbells but dumbbells and kettlebells as well. Balance: The ability to control the placement of the body's centre of gravity in relation to its support base. Standing postures in yoga, handstands and even lunges require you to tap into your body's ability to balance. Coordination: The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a single distinct movement. For example, take the burpee. It involves vertical jumping, a jump back into a push up position with a lower, back extension to raise and finally a jump to squat to finish. How seamless are your burpees?
Power: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time. You want to have big power. For instance if you are coming up out of the bottom of a heavy thruster, you want to power out quickly. Stamina: The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store and utilize energy (capacity to maintain repetitive muscular strength). How long can you keep going for? Your ability to keep up the pace for a period of time.
Flexibility: The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint. You want all your joints to move freely and without tightness or restriction. Being able to get into a front rack position for your front squat or coming to a rock bottom position in your squat.
Agility: The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another. Moving quickly from your wall balls to your barbell to your burpees.
Accuracy: The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity. Wallballs? How accurately can you continually toss that ball to the right height at a fast pace?
It's a good idea to look at all the domains and determine where your gaps are and spend some time working on it. The key is to be well balanced in all the domains. Then you'll be a true athlete and your fitness will be top shelf!