How to Find and Fix the Weaknesses in Your Fitness Armour

Posted: April 17, 2008 in Articles - Fitness, Our Services
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Fitness is about progress.

You don’t get fitter if you don’t push yourself to a higher level.

The beauty of CrossFit is that it offers numerous ways to measure your current ability level across a range of skills and provides benchmark information so that you know how you measure up to everyone else.

A while back I came across CrossFit North’s (Now CrossFit Seattle) Athletic Skill Levels document. This is basically a list of goals for all of the elements of fitness organized into ability levels.

I love this document and its pretty much the cornerstone of how I focus my training and also how I go about analysing my athletes and designing programs to meet their specific needs.

Understanding the Chart

First things first… You’ll want to download our version on the Skill Levels so that you’ll be able to follow what I’m talking about. This is an almost identical document to CrossFit Seattle’s if you prefer to use that.


As you can see there are 4 skill levels across the top – Superstar, Action Hero, Super Hero and Legend.

You can see that on each line of the chart you have a different activity type i.e. squats, 400m run, deadlift etc. As you move across the columns, the goal or benchmark gets progressively harder, but is still the same type of activity allowing for easy reference as to where you need to aim next.

Using the Chart to Evaluate Strengths and Weaknesses.

The next thing to do is to print the chart out.

Now go grab yourself a highlighter.

All you now do is go through each activity and if you can do it, highlight the box. Obviously if you don’t know if you can do something schedule in some time to test yourself.

This should leave you with a chart that looks something like this

CFW Skill Levels

The great thing now is that you can start to look for patterns.

Now you can’t see particularly well on the above image, but this person has reach Legend status on the Deadlift and the Military Press, Super Hero level on the Squat, OHS and the Clean so obviously this person has the weighted strength and power exercises down pretty well.

For the above athlete, all of the gymnastic skills are sitting at the Action Hero level, which is great, but shows that this is an area that needs some work to get it up to the same level as the Weightlifting elements.

Looking at where there is a bunch of white boxes, this is where all of the MetCon and endurance stuff can be found i.e. your runs, rows and high rep work.

So for this athlete we’d tailor their program so that their Weightlifting ability will be maintained, but we’d be looking to increase the gymnastic work and really work hard on pushing the MetCon work.

Our goal is to build well balanced athlete’s who are capable across a wide range of athletic activities and in doing so, this simple tool has proven to be very effective.

In Summary

  1. Download and print a Skill Levels Chart (Get ours here).
  2. Highlight the skills you are currently capable of completing.
  3. Look for patterns – are you generally better at Weightlifting, gymnastics or MetCon? Are there any skills within these areas that are lagging behind i.e. are your pullups way better than your pushups? Is your Military Press lagging behind your Deadlift?
  4. Devise a training schedule that adresses these imbalances
  5. Re-evaluate regularly.

What are you waiting for – get cracking…

  1. bill patton says:

    what an amazing tool can’t believe i didn’t know about this before…

    one of the things i’ve had in mind for a long time for logsitall was something like this – that would evaluate you for strengths and weaknesses – i’m going to take a close look at the way this works and then try to create a one page “performance report card” based on best performances from your logbook – can’t wait to get started…


  2. Hi Bill,

    I’m honored to see you’re reading the blog.

    That would be an awesome idea for logsitall – keep me posted!


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