What is Fitness?

In this six-part series, Seminar Staff Head Trainer Jenn Hunter-Marshall explains CrossFit’s definition of fitness during the “What Is Fitness?” lecture presented at a Level 1 Certificate Course at CrossFit South Philly in 2021.

As first outlined in the “What Is Fitness?” article from 2002, CrossFit recognizes 10 general physical skills. They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, agility, balance, and accuracy.

Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance – The ability of the body’s systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen
Stamina – The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy
Strength – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force
Flexibility – the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint
Power – The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time
Speed – The ability to minimize the cycle time of a repeated movement
Coordination – The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement
Agility – The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another
Balance – The ability to control the placement of the body’s center of gravity in relation to its support base
Accuracy – The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity
You are as fit as you are competent in each of these 10 skills, and a regimen develops fitness to the extent that it improves each of these 10 skills.

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.

If your goal is optimum physical competence, then all 10 general physical skills must be considered and developed.

Previous FAQ:


Next FAQ: