Dave Werner’s

Athletic Skill Levels

Level 1

Healthy athlete. This level is the minimum standard for health. Lacking these basic levels of strength, flexibility and work capacity makes daily life unnecessarily limited. Completing Level I goals 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 2

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. Completing Level II goals may take from six months to several years. Along the way, you develop significant levels of strength, stamina, work capacity and speed.

Level 3

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. This is an appropriate level of general fitness for those who depend on their fitness: competitive athletes, military, law enforcement and firefighters. Any additional requirements of your sport need to be added to this list.

Level 4

Elite athlete. The level 4 goals explore the limits of general fitness. They are attainable only through many years of smart consistent training. None of the individual goals are very advanced when compared to a specialist in that field, but the combination of these qualities is very hard to achieve. For many, if not most people, this level of all-around fitness is just not practical.

The Athletic Skill Levels

Use the Athletic Skill Levels as a tool to help yourself set goals and evaluate your progress. If you are training for a particular sport or activity it is fairly straightforward to define the desired outcomes.  However, if your goal is simply being fit, it can be more difficult to set appropriate goals. What is needed are some benchmarks that will help you train in the most effective way and allow you to evaluate your progress as you go.

Pre-LEVEL 1

If you find the Level 1 goals unrealistic, start here.  If you are recovering from injury or illness or for whatever reason are out of shape, Pre-Level I goals provide an excellent place to get started.

LEVEL 1

Level I is the minimum standard for health. Lacking these basic levels of strength, flexibility and work capacity makes daily life unnecessarily limited. 

LEVEL 2

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.

LEVEL 3

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.

LEVEL 4

This level of achievement requires long-term dedication and an immense passion for general fitness.

LEVELS 1 - 4

This view of the 4 Levels is a bit unwieldy on a small screen, however, this allows you to compare side by side the progressions of all 4 levels .

F.A.Q.

In what length of time should all the skills in a given level be accomplished?

In order to claim ownership of a particular skill level, you must be able to accomplish ALL of the tasks of that level within a 30 day period.  The idea is that on any given day you could perform any of the tasks in a particular level without special preparation.

To pass a certain skill level do you have to do the specific skill without stopping – i.e. 100 air squats?

The skills need to be done without stopping, i.e. “one set”, unless it specifically states that you have a time window in which to complete a number of exercises.

 

What is the purpose of the Athletic Skill Levels?

The real point of the Athletic Skill Levels is to weed out glaring deficiencies in your fitness.  For example; you can pull twice your bodyweight in a deadlift but can’t hold an L-sit for 2 seconds.  Or you can bench press 300 pounds but you don’t have 2 pull-ups.  Problems which are unfortunately common.

In Level I, what is the weight/load for the deadlifts in Christine, the height of the box jumps, the weight of the kettlebells for the swings, etc?

I was deliberately vague about load in Level I.  Level I is a beginning level and the appropriate load or height is determined by the ability to execute good technique.