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By: Coach Mitchell

People who are expecting to become better athletes are asking their coaches some tough questions, such as – Strength and size matter, but to what extent? How much is enough? And what types of strength are actually most applicable to sports performance? Why is it that the person who can lift the most may not be considered the best athlete?

The answer lies in the magic of CrossFit training which includes variance in training the 10 physical domains that relate directly to athletics. However, before we dive into how the CrossFit methodology creates better athletic abilities, we must first define some basic terminology.

What are athletics?

Athletics is a term incorporating human competitive sports and games requiring physical skill, and the systems of training that prepare athletes for performance.

Who are athletes?

Walk into any CrossFit gym and you will quickly notice every participant is referred to as an “Athlete”. An athlete is a person who competes in one or more sports that involve physical strength, accuracy, speed, or stamina/endurance. Athletes may be professionals or amateurs, and their purpose is to participate in athletics demanding these characteristics.

Since CrossFit is considered a sport, here at CrossFit Greenville we train these domains within each week of our programming. We make sure that we keep our members (Athletes) safe with progressions to certain movements that may not be possible at the time with the mindset to keep building on these movements to help you reach your goals!

How CrossFit Differs from Other Types of Training

What separates CrossFit from other training programs is how CrossFit approaches fitness and delivers results. Crossfit isn’t a gym regimen focused on aesthetics, nor is it biased to training one athletic quality such as endurance, or power. CrossFit trains its participants to increase their work capacity. This requires both the physical body and the nervous system be trained, therefore making its participants better athletes. CrossFit aims to train 10 fitness domains.

10 Physical Fitness Domains

Structural Adaptations

Strength, Cardio/Respiratory Endurance, Stamina, and Flexibility which are adaptations to training that alter structural components of your body.

Nervous System Adaptations

Coordination, Accuracy, Agility, and Balance are adaptations to practice that affect your nervous system.

Training Adaptations

Power and Speed are adaptations of both training and practice.

By focusing its training regime on these 10 domains, CrossFit athletes are gaining skills that transfer to their sport of choice, regardless of ability level. In other words, the skills one trains must transfer to sport in order to make the athlete better.

Measuring Results with CrossFit

CrossFit uses science to track progress. In a journal article from CrossFit.com, fitness is defined as “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains. Capacity is the ability to do real work, which is measurable using the basic terms of physics (mass, distance, and time).” By timing specific exercises and by tracking the increase of weight during specific lifts, coaches can watch their athletes increase in both strength and conditioning.

No matter the sport, being a stronger athlete who can perform at a higher percentage of the body’s ability for a longer period of time is never a bad thing. Having a sprinter holding his top speed for longer or a basketball player who isn’t winded in the fourth period all because they not only focused on their conditioning but they also focused on their strength and power simultaneously, is a win-win.

CrossFit for Strength and Conditioning Protocols

The ability CrossFit must be tailored to the members current capacity at the time. This is why we use scaling options for reps, weight or even time to make sure you get the most benefit from each workout within your given ability at the time. These methodologies is what makes CrossFit such a valuable program in the world of strength and conditioning.

The focus on CrossFit’s 10 domains of fitness will yield fantastic results for you to be prepared for any day to day activities throughout your life. It can help develop an athlete who is less fatigued late into the game, and who can push longer and harder without breaking mentally. This is an athlete who can meet and go beyond the demands of their specific sport. And, these skills also lead to accomplishments off-field, mental strength is a life skill we are wise to nurture.

CrossFit methodology is challenging classic strength and conditioning protocols. They are demonstrating at both the everyday person and professional levels, that a focus on PRs, and aesthetics, simply doesn’t transfer to their sport of choice or just to contribute to a more enjoyable and healthy life.

CrossFit has challenged and brought awareness to the amount of time, energy and importance the fitness industry places on strength and body composition over other athletic development skills like sprinting, agility, and jumping mechanics and is documenting awesome results to further influence changes in how our industry approaches training, and what its members of each gym are gaining.