Editor’s note: This article was originally published on the Beyond the Whiteboard blog, and is reprinted here with their permission.
Almost a year ago, we [beyond the whiteboard] launched our “Fitness Level” and “Weaknesses” features as part of our new Analyze section. These features were designed to give athletes more information and analysis about their workouts and their physical capacity.
For every athlete on our site, we calculate their “Fitness Level,” which is a single number from 1-99 that represents their overall Fitness. This is a single number that captures how an athlete’s performance stacks up to the rest of the community.
Definition of Fitness vs How Fit You Are
Greg Glassman defined fitness and with it started a fitness revolution. However, it was still tough to figure out how Fit an athlete was at any given time. We set out and solved this problem with Fitness Level. Now, by performing a handful of workouts we can accurately calculate how fit an athlete is at any given time.
For example, Julie Foucher, CrossFit Games veteran who has posted over 4,000 results on beyond the whiteboard over the years, has a Fitness Level of 95. As you will see, we’ve found that Games-caliber athletes need to be at this level.
This insight opened the door to many other questions — mainly, “How long will it take to improve in CrossFit?”.
Fitness Level Overview
Improving Your Fitness
New & Intermediate CrossFitters can improve quickly
When you are fairly new to CrossFit, you can improve at a pretty quick rate. If you’re currently between 1-60, stay committed and consistent because you have a chance to raise your Fitness Level by 20 levels per year. In fact, on average, it takes 19 Months to improve from a level 50 to a level 80. In short, eat well and get to your CrossFit Affiliate a few times a week.
Advanced CrossFitters take longer to improve
- On average, it takes about 5-6 months to improve your Fitness Level by 10 levels.
- This rate holds true until you get to Level 80.
- Going from level 80 to 90 takes over 8 months, on average, which is 45% longer than it takes to go from 70 to 80.
- To make Regionals, you need to be near a level 90.
To get to a level 95, which is near Games level, it takes about 6 additional months. As your level gets higher and higher, it becomes more and more difficult to continue increasing your level. The difference between one or two levels at the top is huge.