The Glassman Chipper: Week 3 "What is Fitness?"

At the end of last year, I posted a blog entry on the topic of assessment.  Assessment of yourself and your training tendencies.  A few elements in the Karma CrossFit daily programming had me making a stink-face and contemplating a rest day (it was Animal Flow work and Airdyne sprints, obviously), and I was on the verge of…cherry-picking workouts.  Luckily Will was there to put me back in line.

Prompted by that experience I decided to re-align with the foundational CrossFit doctrine and wrote, “Greg Glassman published the ”WHAT IS FITNESS?" article in October of 2002.  In this article he outlined CrossFit's definition of fitness, and how it was derived.  Additionally, the article described the now iconic "World-Class Fitness in 100 Words", the 10 "General Physical Skills", and "A Theoretical Hierarchy of Development" (in our instance referred to as the "CrossFit Pyramid").  Built on a wide base of Nutrition, athletes develop and progress up the pyramid through Metabolic Conditioning, Gymnastics, Weightlifting & Throwing, and peak at Sport in order to maximize athleticism.”

Week 3 of the Glassman Chipper discussion covers this keystone article in the Crossfit library.  Coach Glassman queries the industry asking “how can you deem someone the fittest (and therefore deconstruct and replicate their method) without being able to define fitness?

CrossFit defines Fitness: Increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.

Surely when you first joined Karma CrossFit you were introduced to an abundance of new terms, new norms, and new movements.  At that time, you most likely didn’t hold preference…everything is challenging and exciting.  Over time components of workouts repeat, and you start to build bias.  It may be toward workouts with Kettlebells, or long endurance WODs, or heavy barbell movements.  The concept of the “Band of Excellence” is one in where small variances from the prescription are tolerable, but large departures pull you outside of the band.  In this case, if you start to favor movements, modalities, and workouts you in essence become a specialist, not a generalist.  As a specialist you, by default, neglect other elements in order to strengthen your focus. Through broad time and modal domains, our goal is to stay within the Band of Excellence.

Reading, and then re-reading, the “WHAT IS FITNESS?” article will definitely serve as a defragmentation scan of your CrossFit (and Karma CrossFit) experience.  As it is one of the longer articles, I’ll keep this blog entry short.

Please read, and analyze, and post to comments.