CrossFit’s Definition of Fitness and Health

last rest day…..

….The fourth curiosity was so named because it couldn’t exactly fit into the defintion of fitness the way the three models could, but it was still damn important. Then one day Coach Glassman beautifully and brilliantly articulated the relationship between the fourth curiosity and the definition of fitness by expanding the definition to include health, turning the two dimensional model offitness into a three dimensional model of fitness and health, which will be explored further next rest day…..

The original 2D model of fitness is defined as ‘work capacity across broad time and modal domains.’  Recall if you will the abscissa, or y-axis, being duration of effort, and the ordinate, or  x-axis being power output, represents an accurate and precise measurement that unifies all three models of fitness, and is an excellent starting point for examination and evaluation of best practices or methods of training.  It was also only a snapshot of someone’s capacity in any given moment.  In other words, in order to increase fitness there would be no preventing someone from taking drastic or dangerous chances to increase their capacity for a given moment.

The 3D model adds the z-axis, or applicate, which represents age.  Averaging out your work capacity right now is fitness.  Averaging out fitness over your lifetime is health.  The new three dimensional model gives us an accurate and precise measurement of fitness and health that unifies the three models of fitness with the fourth curiosity.  Health is therefore defined as ‘work capacity across broad time, modal, and age domains.’  It is also as revolutionary to the definition of health as the previous 2D model was to the definition of fitness.

It is revolutionary because although there were many definitions of fitness and even more for health before CrossFit, they were either vague (absence of disease), or impossible to measure (ability to perform a task.)  Some have even said fitness and health are separate entities that can never be bridged or reconciled.  Our 3D definition is quantifiable, subject to scrutiny, accurate and precise.  It is also independent of CrossFit.  That is, it is open for the methods of any training methodology or field that wishes to extend their alternatives.  Accept or reject these definitions if you will, we needn’t them to be right or wrong, only consistent.  And it still has to measured nonetheless.

There is much debate, as there should be, about so important an issue.  

Comments #70 and #176 here.

CF Radio discussion (highly recommended)

Greg Glassman discussion.

Dive in, and post to comments.




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