What is Fitness? Ep. 1

In the first episodes of the AKA TTA series, we introduced you to the Sickness-Wellness-Fitness Continuum and provide insights on the relationship and measurability between health, fitness and CrossFit.

In the upcoming episodes, we will use three different models to define fitness even more.

What is fitness?

When doing a quick google, we see that most dictionary’s roughly describe fitness as being physically strong and healthy. But what about Usain Bolt and his incredible speed? Or an Olympic Heptathletes who is extremely skilled in a variety sports?

If we take a look at all the individuals that we consider as “fit”, we clearly see that there is more to it than being just strong and healthy. As we stated in last week’s article, CrossFit is elegantly enables individuals to move towards fitness, meaning that they can produce more work across broad time, modal and age domains.

However, without a clear definition of what fitness entails, we could never claim to make individuals more fit. Therefore, CrossFit uses three distinct models to create a framework that precisely covers our definition of fitness.

The first model relies on the ten general physical skills that are widely recognized by exercise physiologists. They are Cardiovascular/Respiratory endurance, Stamina, Strength, Flexibility (and Mobility), Power, Speed, Coördination, Agility, Balance and Accuracy. Importantly, improvements in endurance, stamina, strength and flexibility come about through training.

Training refers to 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.

Practice refers to activity that improves performance through changes in the nervous system. Power and speed are adaptations of both training and practice.

Stay tuned for the next episodes, were we will dive into the second and third model.