General Physical Skills – Speed

Speed is one of the 10 General Physical Skills that most people who watch Crossfit notice. Its certainly the one, that on the surface seems to get the most attention as a result of the Crossfit style of training. The focus of Speed in Crossfit is in the ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement. In the Definition of Crossfit (constantly varied, function fitness, performed at high intensity, designed for universal scalability) the focus on high intensity is particularly important. Speed directly influences the intensity of the workout, so speed is always seen as an essential aspect of the Crossfit methodology.

Speed often gets a bad rap from non-Crossfitters, primarily because some movements, at high intensity, i.e. high speed, result in a loss of form, technique and therefore become unsafe. But, as any good, competent Crossfitter, and Coach will tell you, speed doesn’t mean compromising on technique or form, if there’s a breakdown in technique or form, you need to slow down, and ensure that these elements are not compromised before increasing the speed.

Its also important to consider that Speed in a competition is certainly going to be different from Speed during training, which highlights how competitive Crossfit, despite its appearances is actually far more elite than it comes across, and really, its not for everyone.  In a training environment, under the watchful eye of a good coach however Crossfit and the application of speed (relative to the other 10 General Physical Skills) can be better controlled, minimising injury and ensuring safe application.

The safe application of speed comes from competency in other aspects of the 10 General Physical Skills including – Coordination, Agility, Balance, Accuracy, Flexibility, Stamina, and Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance – without these elements, movement quality would deteriorate over time.