Nutrition is the foundation of the pyramid. The quality and components of an athlete’s diet influence fat loss, muscle gain, bone density, and nervous system development. For this reason, any training system that does not consider and guide an athlete’s diet will provide substandard results. Healthy long-term training depends upon a solid base of nutrition.
The second level of the pyramid relates to cardiovascular sufficiency. Without effective metabolic conditioning, an athlete will fatigue prematurely. As a result, the athlete’s strength and coordination will not reach their full potential, and further development will suffer. A baseline of cardiovascular capacity must be present for success in most sports and other physical activities.
The third level — gymnastics — focuses on an athlete’s spatial awareness and body control. Before attempting to control an external object (barbell, ball, opponent, etc.), an athlete should first possess the strength, flexibility, coordination, balance, and agility to move his or her own body through space in many different positions and movement combinations with sound mechanics and confidence.
WEIGHTLIFTING & THROWING
The fourth level considers the control of external objects — e.g., weightlifting and throwing. The skills learned at the metabolic conditioning and gymnastics levels can next be applied to an object beyond the athlete’s own body. Controlling external objects relies on motor patterns that allow for the transfer of power from the core of the body to the extremities. Once mastered, this skill can be refined for the specific patterns necessary for individual sports.
With this foundation developed, the athlete can safely and easily focus their general physical preparedness on specific tasks required from different sports. The novel requirements of sports — new body positions and movement patterns, dynamic control of external objects, fatigue, and other physical and psychological stressors — further serve to refine the athlete’s skill set and general capacity. For this reason, athletes are encouraged to regularly learn and play new sports. This can be the CrossFit, the sport of fitness, or hiking, biking, skiing, racquet ball, softball, and martial arts are examples of very accessible sports made more fun by being generally fit. General physical preparedness makes life overall more fun and accessible.