A Theoretical Hierarchy of Development

Breaking down the L1 Manual @ CrossFit Indiana
CJ Lyons
March 5, 2023
A Theoretical Hierarchy of Development

It starts with nutrition and moves to metabolic conditioning, gymnastics, weightlifting, and finally sport.

This hierarchy largely reflects foundational dependence, skill, and to some degree, time ordering of development. The logical flow is from molecular foundations to cardiovascular sufficiency, body control, external object control, and ultimately mastery and application. This model has greatest utility in analyzing athletes’ short comings or difficulties.

We do not deliberately order these components but nature will. If you have a deficiency at any level of “the pyramid” the components above will suffer.

We focus 1st on Nutrition. Work toward your goals. But first, you must define your goals. Do you want to lose weight, gain mass, tone and refine, sculpt, add muscle? Your goals should drive your nutrition. You also need to be sure that your fueling your body to sustain your new fitness program. If CrossFit is new, you need to be able to support strenuous exercise.

Next we focus on metabolic conditioning.

The body has three metabolic pathways.

Phosphagen holds a short time domain of ~10 seconds. This is anaerobic exercise with maximum power output of ~100 percent. These could be sprints or 1 RM lifts.

The Glycolytic metabolic pathway is a medium time domain of ~120 seconds. This is anaerobic exercise with a medium to high intensity effort (~70 percent).

Our oxydative metabolic pathway is a long time domain of >120 seconds. These are low intensity efforts of ~40 percent. Activities include any sustained activity for more than 120 seconds.

Gymnastics is defined as moving ones own body through space. Gymnastics allow for an increase in strength by increasing our strength to weight ratio.

We put a heavy emphasis on weight lifting to develop an athletes explosive power, control of external objects, and mastery of critical motor recruitment patterns.

We take all of these elements of athletic development and integrate them into sport. Through all of the hierarchy of athletic development, we now apply these to make us better at sports. Or, we continue to apply ourselves in CrossFit, which is - the sport of fitness.

Reference: Page 29 of the Level 1 Training Guide

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