Big goals are cool.  There is nothing wrong with setting the bar high. They go by a lot of names, BHAG, stretch goals and on and on. They are great in that they provide long term motivation to develop.

The catch is though that for almost everyone there is a series of small steps to master to reach this final objective. This is especially true of the skills of CrossFit.  For every major skill there are several little skills you will need to develop as a prerequisite. Want to handstand walk? You

Basic skills like push ups should be mastered before moving on to advanced elements.

should probably be able to do a decent handstand first.  Muscle ups require strength in both pull ups and dips before one can begin to think about hauling themselves from below to above the rings.

This seems obvious and it is when you apply it to other people. CrossFitters in general are driven and successful and used to being far better than average at most things. The drawback to this is that sometimes they want to skip ahead and ignore skills that seem too basic. Perhaps most commonly expressed as the desire to do kipping pull ups with out mastering the strict pull up. In short ego gets in the way.

Ego though is only part of the reason this happens. There are a lot of movements and a lot of terms that are foreign to most people in CrossFit. It is very easy to simply not understand which skills are necessary to which movements.

In order to help pacify the ego and structure a training plan we have created a skill continuum so it’s easy to know what boxes to check before moving on.  In later posts we will explore and post sample programs for developing each that take no more than 10 minutes a day 3 days a week for basic skills with some advanced skills needing 4 days of practice.

Below is the skill continuum. It lists prerequisites to advanced skills. The number in parenthesis is the minimum number or weight.

Muscle up

Strict Pull up (5)  – Kipping Pull up (15)  – Strict Chest to bar (5)  – Kipping Chest to Bar (10) – False Grip Chest to rings or bar (5) – Muscle up

Push up(15)  – Box dip (20)  – Bar Dip (10) – Ring Dip (10) – Muscle up

Handstand push up

Wall walk (2)  – freestanding handstand (3 seconds) – handstand to wall – strict handstand push up (5 to ab mat)  – Kipping HSPU


Air Squat (30)  – Front Squat (3/4 Body weight) – OHS (1/2 body weight)  – Pistol


Proficiency on each movement

Clean- Front Squat – Overhead Squat – High Hang Snatch – Snatch From knee – Snatch