Athletic Skill Levels

How fit are you?

That simple question quickly gets complex. Fit for what? How fit is fit enough, and how do you evaluate your fitness? Develop fitness with sport-focused workouts, and test your fitness through competitive sports. It’s rewarding to be good at a competitive sport. But most sport-focused workouts are specialized enough to leave weak areas you may not be aware of. Unexposed weaknesses can lead to performance plateaus and injuries.

Test yourself in combat. This has some obvious disadvantages as a fitness test. Use a set of standards that encompass all components of physical fitness. We’ve developed the Athletic Skill Levels as a versatile and user-friendly tool to fill this role.

The ten generally recognized components of physical fitness are: cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, stamina, flexibility, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy, power and speed.

A varied workout program like CrossFit develops all of these components. To maximize vertical growth (development of new strengths and skills), it helps to set goals, measure progress, and aim for balance among the skills. The Athletic Skill Levels make goal-setting more efficient and allow you to evaluate your progress through four levels of fitness.

Using the Athletic Skill Levels

Developing expertise in any area requires determined, consistent effort. It takes “grit.” But grit will not help you if you are only reinforcing existing strengths instead of developing weak areas into strength.

The Levels are designed to provide a general fitness perspective, to help set appropriate goals, and to allow focus work on weak areas that result in the rewarding mastery of activities you couldn’t do before. The levels are:

Each skill level contains its own progression of multi-joint movements of increasing skill, making it easy to expose weak areas, set goals, and gauge your progress. At the same time, you experience the rewards of increased general fitness. You develop strength, stamina and flexibility with measurable drills such as running, rowing and a selection of named CrossFit workouts. Increasingly complex movements bring improvement in coordination, balance and power output.

Finally, the Athletic Skill Levels are intended to be a gauge and a guide, not a standardized test you are obliged to “pass.” Do not beat yourself up for not being “elite.” Use the Levels to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses and to make smart choices about your training time. This guide is not a definitive guide to CrossFit, an exercise prescription, nor a complete guide to developing the skills. The skills are intended to be broadly representative of general fitness.


Proper form in all movements is imperative. Many resources are available to help with technique: coaching, videos, books, seminars, and workout partners. USE THEM!