General Physical Skills – Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance

In my previous post about the ‘constantly varied‘ aspect of Crossfit, i touched on the definition of Fitness, at least in terms of the Crossfit definition, which consists of the 10 General Physical Skills (GPS) that make up General Physical Preparedness (GPP).

The interesting aspect of the 10 General Physical Skills (GPS) is that most sports either specialize in one exclusively, or only cover a small spectrum of the 10 General Physical Skills (GPS), and whilst atheletes that specialize in that sport will be highly proficient in the selected 10 General Physical Skills (GPS) within that sports scope, more often than not, they’ll be extremely deficient in the other 10 General Physical Skills (GPS), so you end up with Olympic level hurdlers who aren’t able to perform back bridges. Or more extreme still, you have runners who can run the distance of a bus route without losing their breath, but would be able to run after the bus and catch up.

I previously talked about being functional in our fitness, and that applies equally to all 10 General Physical Skills (GPS).

Focusing now on Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance – this General Physical Skills (GPS) focuses on “The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.” – just to be clear, this differs from stamina, another of the 10 General Physical Skills (GPS).

Metabolic Pathways

As Crossfit has constantly varied elements, one element that can be varied is the duration as related to time, this results in Crossfit deliberately targeting three different metabolic pathways, the Phosphagenic, Glycolytic and Oxidative, the body uses a different type of fuel for each of these pathways which in turn, activates a different type of muscle fiber, Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance focuses on working the Oxidative, aerobic pathway specifically, and helps in some of Crossfits longer workouts such as the mile-long runs in Murph, or the triathlon that has been conducted at several Crossfit Games events.

generally, being strong in the Oxidative pathway (Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance), means you’ll also be relatively strong in the Phosphagenic and Glycolytic pathways as well, by virtue that you’ll increase the overall base of fitness. In Crossfit, we typically see athletes who have an endurance training background as having ‘good engines’ their capacity for work seems higher than other athletes and they seem to tire less rapidly.