April 01, 2003
We’ve long desired to offer a fitness competition consistent with our fitness model (See CrossFit Journal October 2002, "What is Fitness?") and have found the task fraught with difficulties.
Early we realized that the logistics of running an on-site fitness competition like STREND are both complicated and ultimately limit the number of participants. The fitness test, or competition, that we offer this month is conducted at a facility and time of the athlete’s choosing.
Our initial hope was to design a competition that would not only reflect CrossFit's broad fitness concept but would also accommodate men and women, large and small athletes, the young and seniors, and individuals of all fitness levels. Additionally, we wanted a competition that would motivate and reward fitness improvements among our fittest. Specifically, we set out to motivate an improvement in the absolute strength, relative strength, and gymnastics foundations of all CrossFit participants. Unfortunately this last consideration rendered the design troublesome for many who are other than already very fit and male. So, what we ended up with was a competition where the ability even to complete the test suggests a fairly advanced level of fitness.
Looking at the ten general physical adaptations to exercise (cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, stamina, power, speed, flexibility, agility, accuracy, coordination, and balance) we saw that advanced calisthenic and weightlifting movements present an excellent opportunity to advance neurological skills like agility, accuracy, coordination, and balance.