The Esoteric Attributes

In the Ten Attributes of Fitness as defined by CrossFit, there exists an unspoken hierarchy. At the top of this hierarchy is strength and power, stamina and endurance, maybe speed. Not only are these exoteric attributes readily measured and easily trained (look at the vast majority of workouts), but they are also visible. You can see them in a person–muscles bulge, quads look quadtastic, abs ripple, veins pop, you get the picture.

The other attributes aren’t so popular. It is hard to ‘see’ balance when you are lounging mostly nekkid on the beach. That girl you meet at a John Mayer concert (yeah Zarzy!) probably isn’t really impressed with your flexibility. Accuracy doesn’t quite have the same social cache as those rippling abs. How about agility? It doesn’t make you more ripped, or swole, or lean, or really anything visible. Sure, coordination helps with dancing, and good dancers are hot shit, but there are a lot more people, especially dudes, in the gym than at the barre. These esoteric attributes are also hard to train, and  hard to measure.

But there is one area where these less popular attributes really shine–athleticism. What does the term ‘athletic’ really mean? You may not be able to really define it, but you sure know it when you see it. What it is a near even mix of all the Ten Attributes of Fitness, and this means that the esoteric attributes get equal footing with the cool ones. It’s accuracy and balance and flexibility and agility and accuracy and coordination that are the hallmarks of athleticism. They are the hard-to-put-your-finger-on aspects. They are also the attributes that can create the most neuromuscular improvements and connections.

Check out the photo and videos below and see if you can guess what attribute is being portrayed.

This is my teacher in Japan. These were thrown from 8-12 feet away moving side to side and forward and backwards.

This is my teacher in Japan. These were thrown from 8-12 feet away moving side to side and forward and backwards.

http://youtu.be/7RjHIObu6vg

Workout: