Crossfit Fitness Standards

My discussion about senior fitness with Coach Andy Handle of Crossfit Charlotte is still fresh in my mind. He asked what I wanted to get out of Crossfit? I replied that I taught a “SilverSneakers” chair based class for seniors and wanted to apply what I was learning at Crossfit to that senior class. After discovering that the class starts and ends seated in a steel chair, coach Andy said “We do Crossfit not Steel Chairs”.Woman with Dumbbells

Using Standards
Although there is not much time to teach standards during an exercise class, most people enjoy knowing why they are doing an unusual or new exercise. Form and movement are better when the trainee understands the goal of the exercise. Crossfit introductions and ramp-up classes focus on form and standards.

Crossfit’s First Fitness Standard
There are ten recognized general physical skills. They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy. You are as fit as you are competent in each of these ten skills. A regimen develops fitness to the extent that it improves each of these ten skills.
Importantly, improvements in endurance, stamina, strength, and flexibility come about through training — activity that improves performance through a measurable organic change in the body. By contrast improvements in coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy come about through practice — activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system. Power and speed are adaptations of both training and practice.

Crossfit’s Second Fitness Standard
The essence of this model is the view that fitness is about performing well at any and every task imaginable in comparison with other people. Fitness requires an ability to perform well at all tasks, even unfamiliar tasks, tasks combined in infinitely varying combinations. Nature frequently provides largely unforeseeable challenges; Crossfit says that we should train for that by striving to keep the training stimulus broad and constantly varied.

Crossfit’s Third Fitness Standard
Total fitness, the fitness that CrossFit promotes and develops, requires competency and training in each of these three physiologic pathways. Balancing the effects of these three pathways largely determines the how and why of the metabolic conditioning or “cardio” that is done at CrossFit.

There are three metabolic pathways that provide the energy for all human action. These metabolic pathways are known as the phosphagen pathway, the glycolytic pathway, and the oxidative pathway.

  • The first, the phosphagen, dominates the highest-powered activities,
    those that last less than ten seconds.
  • The second pathway, the glycolytic, dominates moderate-powered activities, those that last up to several minutes.
  • The third pathway, the oxidative, dominates low-powered activities, those that last in excess of several minutes.
  • In order to maximize these pathways the Rx (perscription) is constantly varied, high intensity, functional movement or metabolic conditioning.

    Work at getting your 500 meter row time below 2:30 minutes. Or join me in a run/walk around our 400 meter course in less than 2:45 minutes.

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    About Vic

    As a retired Commercial/Missionary pilot and administrator, I started taking SilverSneakers® classes in 2007. Although I had kept up minimal jogging and biking, I had little lean body mass and extra fat, so I started lifting weights and joined a Group Power barbell class. Later I was challenged to use free weights for heavier lifting and body weight exercises for flexibility and functional fitness. The SilverSneakers® Coordinator asked if I would train to teach the class. Little did I realize that it would take almost a year, four classes, a practical evaluation, plus an on-line 100 question test, to complete the certification. I am still impressed with the research and years of practical experience that has gone into the SilverSneakers® model.
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