Written by Sarah Loogman
According to the concept of GPP modeled by CrossFit, or General Physical Preparedness, there are 10 essential skills to consider when testing or training for physical competence. These measures are – endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy.
CrossFit fundamentals teach that any deficit in one of these areas will limit the whole – a “you’re only as strong as your weakest link” concept. If you want to be the “fittest on earth,” or even just the fittest you, then making sure that you give attention to each of these areas in relationship to the others will get you there.
This isn’t an article on what each of these skills means or how to train them – in the physical sense. But the analogy that GPP provides us from the perspective of fitness training that carries into the pursuit of any goal in is what really matters. How is your life “fitness”?
The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.
How well do you gather, process and deliver the information that you take in, day in and day out? How do the words that you listen to, the people you spend time with and the things you dedicate your time to benefit the bigger picture and will they help you endure to your long term goals?
The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy.
Like endurance, stamina focuses on the long game. How do you utilize your effort and time and is it sustainable? What habits do you need to put into place in order to maintain consistency in your pursuit?
The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
How much of an impact can you or will you strive to have? How much force are you able to put behind the pursuit of your goals and how will you apply it?
The ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint.
The yogi saying, “I bend so that I don’t break,” is true! Are you rigid in your ways or are you able to adapt and change when things don’t go according to plan? Are you prepared, either practically or mentally, to steer a new course when needed or will adversity “break” you?
The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
Sometimes, life requires quick reaction. Where strength measures under controlled circumstances, we also need to have the mental capacity to “give it all you’ve got” in a single instance. When things slow down or get tough, do you have the fortitude to “power through”? When tough decisions have to be made, can you throw the proverbial punch?
The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
Faster isn’t always better, but… sometimes it is. How efficient are you at your task so that you can move on to the next stage? Are there things you do that deter you from moving forward smoothly?
The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
Big dreams often mean big responsibilities – how do you juggle them all? Learning how to multitask is essential to the high performer of any sort. How well can you manage each area of your life or each piece of your task? Should you begin to delegate certain tasks to others?
The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
How metaphorically “athletic” are you when moving from task to task? The demands of life are often broad and varied and switching gears from parent-mode to business-owner to athlete to community-member to anything else requires quick adaptation not only with how we relate to others, but even often with ourselves.
The ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base.
Balance requires that we know our “center,” or the things that ground us. What is your support base around which everything else operates? This doesn’t have to be something tangible or even be a specific goal, but what values do you hold as your gravity?
The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
At the end of the day, your effort won’t mean much if it’s misdirected. There’s much to learn from failure, but the more we can learn to target the things that actually drive us forward, the more opportunity we will have to grow. Is your effort going in the right direction and are you giving it as much commitment as you should right now?
The pursuit of fitness should be the pursuit of health and the pursuit of health is a picture that looks beyond physical exercise. But just like the physical body in that any weaknesses or imbalances can cause pain or injury, the areas of our lives in which we ignore opportunity for personal development will eventually cause us trouble, too.