CrossFit defines fitness in 3 standards

Fitness Standard 1: Train and practice each of the ten recognized general physical skills:

Your fitness conditioning is determined by your competency in each of ten (10) areas of fitness.  In order to improve your fitness, you must train and practice all aspects of fitness.

  1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance
  2. Stamina
  3. Strength
  4. Flexibility
  5. Power
  6. Speed
  7. Coordination
  8. Accuracy
  9. Agility
  10. Balance

Fitness Standard 2: Keep your training and practice broad and constantly varied.

Most exercise participants stay within their comfort zone in the gym.  They use elliptical trainers, treadmills, resistance machines and free weights.  There is a typical number of sets, repetitions, exercises, order, routine, duration, etc.  There is often a focus on long duration exercise to improve cardiovascular performance, lose weight and shed body fat.

Unfortunately, life is always changing.  We do not always go to the grocery for the same 10 items, we do not control how much snow needs shoveling, know how many defenders are trying to stop us on a fast break or know how many of the enemy are hiding around the corner.  Therefore, it is important to train in a way that prepares us for these unforeseeable challenges.

Training in this manner will allow you to perform well in any circumstance.  Choose olympic and power lifts  like cleans, squats and deadlifts, gymnastics exercises like pull-ups and dips, and monostructural movements like running and rowing.   Choose many combinations of the exercises and the number of repetitions performed.  Always train at high intensity.

Fitness Standard 3: Train in each of the three metabolic pathways.

  1. Phosphagen pathway
  2. Glycolytic pathway
  3. Oxidative pathway

Many people like to do long duration cardio/respiratory endurance training like, 45 min on the elliptical trainer or stationary cycling for 60 min.  This puts most people in the oxidative pathway.

Are you training for a marathon or triathlon?  If you answered no, you need to train in each of the other two pathways in order to maximize your overall fitness conditioning . Duration exercise (also known as aerobic training) does improve cardiovascular function, decrease body fat and enhance weight loss.

However, aerobic training alone decreases lean muscle tissue, mass, strength, speed and power.  We stress that intensity is most important and interval training is the best way to improve cardiovascular function without compromising strength, speed and power.

Most people think their intensity is high because they sweat after being in the gym for an hour. We’re here to tell you that unless you are specializing in a duration sports like distance running or biking, your intensity is most likely not high enough, you are not improving your overall fitness conditioning and you are not maximizing your time in the gym.

World-Class Fitness in 100 Words:

  • Eat meat and vegetables, nuts and seeds, some fruit, little starch and no sugar. Keep intake to levels that will support exercise but not body fat.
  • Practice and train major lifts: Deadlift, clean, squat, presses, C&J, and snatch. Similarly, master the basics of gymnastics: pull-ups, dips, rope climb, push-ups, sit-ups, presses to handstand, pirouettes, flips, splits, and holds. Bike, run, swim, row, etc, hard and fast.
  • Five or six days per week mix these elements in as many combinations and patterns as creativity will allow. Routine is the enemy. Keep workouts short and intense.
  • Regularly learn and play new sports.

Source: http://journal.crossfit.com/2002/10/what-is-fitness-by-greg-glassm.tpl