Tuesday, August 30, 2011

The Ten Domains of Fitness: My View

I was benched today due to an injury and had the rare "opportunity" to sit around the house on a Tuesday evening. Instead of wallowing in my sorrow, and probably due to the fact that I didn't have to plan a WOD, I explored the Ten Domains of Fitness.

A bit of review, the 10 Domains of Fitness are:

1. cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, 2. stamina, 3. strength, 4. flexibility, 5. power, 6. speed, 7. agility, 8. balance, 9. coordination, 10. accuracy.

These domains seem a bit of a nebulous, so I (and you can correct me if I'm wrong) view them more like this:

1. Cardiovascular/Respiratory Endurance - Heavy Breathing (5k)
2. Stamina - Lasting Through a WOD (Murph)
3. Strength - Force (Max Lift)
4. Flexibility - Range of Motion (Stretching)
5. Power - Hard and Fast (Power Cleans)
6. Speed - (Sprints)
7. Agility - Quick Transition (Burpee Pull-Ups / Moving Between Exercises)
8. Balance - Control (Pistols)
9. Coordination - Multiple Movements at once (Double Unders)
10. Accuracy - Control (Wall Balls)

These domains are frequented by crossfitters - often unknowingly. In fact, if you follow the Main Site, you are getting a great balance of all ten domains of fitness. I occasionally do a Main Site WOD, and often use them as a measuring stick in my own programing.

So, what about those of us that do our own programming? We lift, we run, we do pull-ups, stretch, practice pistols, and are all hitting PR's. End of story, right? Not so much.

Like I said, I was bored and I had a little time on my hands. So, I took the past fifteen days of programming from three different sources: Main Site, my programing, and the programming from "Box X".  I set "The Ladies" and "Hero WODs" aside. I then looked at the remaining WODs - both the exercises individually, and the WOD as a whole. From that, I determined what domains of fitness was covered for that particular day. This is what I got:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 *
Me 8 9 9 3 9 5 7 4 5 3 4
MainSite 8 8 9 4 9 6 5 3 5 3 4
Box "X" 7 6 7 2 10 6 7 3 5 1 3

The top numbers coordinate with each of the ten domains. I set the named WODs aside for two reasons: 1) they tend to naturally reach many of the domains of fitness and 2) benchmarks are (in my mind) important aspect to track progress. I decided to add them as the "11th" domain.

As you can see, my programing is close to main site. (I justify the deficiency in "flexibility" because I stretch during my warm-up.) Based on these numbers, I should focus on adding additional speed components in my WODs.

There is no reason why a box has to merely focus on one or two domains of fitness  a day!

By spending a little extra time, your WODS can be more well-rounded, and effective. For example, after a "lift" day, I try to tie in a small AMRAP that integrates the lift I worked on. Also, by working on domains, such as balance and flexibility before and after a WOD, an athlete can get a more robust workout. that day. Lastly, by choosing exercises that in and of themselves touch multiple domains (take the overhead squat!) you are, in essence, doing more with less.

Why did I do this? Because CrossFit is centered on making an athlete a well-rounded, elite athlete. That's what it's all about! It's not to make an athlete either an exceptional power lifter, gymnasts, or runner; it's to make an athlete a good power lifter, gymnast and runner.  It's to make the athlete ready for the unknown, and to make the athlete excel in ALL domains of  of fitness.

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