Athletic Skill Standards

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 Standards as a versatile and user-friendly tool to fill this role.

The ten generally recognized components of physical fitness are: cardio respiratory endurance, strength, stamina, flexibility, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy, power and speed. A varied strength and conditioning program 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 Standards make goal-setting more efficient and allow you to evaluate your progress through four levels of fitness.

Using the Athletic Skill Standards

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 (horizontal growth) instead of developing weak areas into strength (vertical growth). The Standards are designed to provide a general fitness perspective, to help set appropriate goals, and to allow focus work on weak areas that results in the rewarding mastery of activities you couldn’t do before. The levels are:

Level I – Healthy beginner. This level is the minimum standard for health. Lacking these basic levels of strength, flexibility and work capacity makes daily life unnecessarily limited. The complete Level I should be attainable within three to 12 months for those with no significant limitations. At this level, proper basic movements, such as hip flexion and active shoulder use, are developed, while healed injuries and structural problems are resolved.

Level II – Intermediate athlete. All healthy adults can aspire to this level of fitness and should perceive these skills as normal. Basic movements are perfected and advanced skills are introduced. The complete Level II may take from six months to several years to reach after achieving Level I. Along the way, you develop significant levels of strength, stamina, work capacity and speed, building on the Level I foundation already attained.

Level III – Advanced athlete. Few people posses this level of general fitness, although any healthy person can achieve it. The strength, work capacity, power and skill required to meet these goals can prepare you to tackle any kind of physical performance with competence and confidence. Expect to invest another three to five years of consistent effort. This is an appropriate level of general fitness for those who depend on their fitness: competitive athletes, military, law enforcement and firefighters. Engaging in combat or highly competitive sports without possessing the abilities of Level III is inviting injury or failure. Any additional requirements of your sport need to be added to this list.

Level IV – Elite athlete. This level of achievement requires long-term dedication and a passion for fitness. The skills required of Level IV are very advanced and, taken as a whole, represent a highly skilled and well-rounded athlete.

These standards were developed by Coach David Werner and fall directly in line with the Basic Strength Standards that I have posted from Westside Barbell. As Drew mentioned in his comment that POST, raw strength doesn’t do much except run up the food bill if you don’t have the skill and coordination to apply it. I really like these standards because they give everyone a place to start and benchmark goals to achieve. They also paint a pretty clear picture of what level of fitness we should posses in the fire service. I personally have possessed most of the strength standards in Level III but not necessarily at the same time, which I attribute to a general lack of planning (periodization) in my training. Look for a post on seasonal training plans in the near future.

I am still working on a server to host PDF and Excel programming for you all to access but in the meantime, if you would like to check out theses standards leave your email in the comments or email me directly

3 Responses to Athletic Skill Standards

  1. Eric says:

    So where does the CPAT fit in? I would say that it does not sufficiently test us.

    • Adam says:

      I tend to agree, the CPAT as administered is not a valid test of fitness for entry level firefighters. I think that the test itself is ok it’s just that the bar is set too low with time standard. There is also an issue of whether or not job task specific physical abilities testing are even legitimate. The Cooper Institute is a company that creates and validates Pt standards and tests for public safety agencies and they have a pretty good track record of defending them in court. Their assertion is that job task specific tests are only 25% predictive of longevity and job performance as compared to the 90% predictive qualities of a more comprehensive test. One such test that they developed for Police Officer Standard Training (POST) is as follows; 300m sprint, 1 mile run, vertical leap, max unbroken push ups, max sit-ups in 1 minute, all performed in a specific order with specific rest intervals. My personal experience with CPAT is if you pass you may not really be capable of doing the job and if you fail, are allowed to retest and pass, odds are you are not capable of performing for any period of time without injury. I can think of three examples this year alone.

  2. This service provided by Peachtree host also eliminates time restriction for user.
    Prepare an application for Tax-ID number, if needed.
    Their main concern is to give owners updated information on current issues that may affect their business operations.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *



Mobility WOD


Social Media Integration Powered by Acurax Wordpress Theme Designers
Visit Us On TwitterVisit Us On Google PlusVisit Us On FacebookVisit Us On PinterestVisit Us On YoutubeCheck Our Feed