Hey, I hope everybody had an awesome weekend. The skies have opened up like a faucet and its dumping to say the least. But, being that I have been on a mission lately to make long term improvements for my body and life, I wanted to talk about the 5 basic components of fitness.
With that being said, Iâd say most experts agree that there are in fact 5 basic components to fitness for men and women regardless of age or experience. Obviously there are certain other factors such as speed, agility, muscle power, eye-hand coordination, and eye-foot coordination but these are classified as components of “motor” fitness. The components of motor fitness mostly affect your athletic ability. Proper strength training and conditioning can improve these factors within the limits of your potential.
When you are looking to start a new fitness program or simply change your existing program itâs important to look for one thatâs going to improve or maintain all the components of physical and motor fitness through mission specific, progressive physical training. Wow, thatâs a mouthful, basically what I am getting at, in more generic terms is the fact that being a stud in one of these components really isnât gonna cut it. If your goal is to truly obtain what is referred to as âtotal physical fitnessâ you are going to need to âperformâ well in ALL of the following areas:
1) Body Composition- Body composition is the measure the proportion of your bodyâs fat compared to the amount of your bone and muscle. This doesnât have anything to do with your weight or your bodyâs shape. You should also note that having poor body composition goes hand in hand with increased chances of unnecessary chronic diseases, depression etc.
2) Flexibility- Your flexibility measures the ability to move a joint through its full range of motion or the elasticity of the muscle. This is a great indication of how limber you are. Being limber is great for many things athletic and not. Itâs great to focus on your flexibility because poor flexibility will directly affect your cardiovascular endurance, muscle strength and muscular endurance.
3) Muscular Strength- This component is your ability to exert maximum force. However it is possible to have greater muscular strength in one area, than another. For example, you might have great Hercules type strength in your arms, while sporting a set of chicken legs, which is fairly common in gyms as many find it totally satisfactory to only work out there arms and focus on nothing else. This is not the way to go! This is a terrible game plan and is strictly for looks if nothing else, even though somebody with huge arms to accompany their scrawny chicken legs doesnât look good.. At all!
4) Muscular Endurance- Your Muscular Endurance measures your fitness level by your ability to hold a particular position for a sustained period of time or repeat a movement several times. This is associated with your muscleâs ability to continue to perform without fatigue. In order to figure out your muscular endurance you need to determine the maximum number of repetitions you can perform at a given percentage of your one-rep max. One quick example would be to lift a 25 pound weight 20 consecutive times.
5) Aerobic Endurance- Finally, Your level of aerobic endurance is basically the measure of your ability to do moderately strenuous activity over a period of time. Itâs a solid measure of how efficiently your heart and lungs work together when supplying oxygen to your body during exertion and exercise. This particular fitness component is also called aerobic fitness. If you didnât know, aerobic fitness is part of your everyday life even if youâre not aware of it.. Have you ever struggled to catch your breath after an exercise or walking up some stairs? Your endurance or stamina if you will is your body’s way of signaling its ability to cope with a given activity. Itâs a great indication of how healthy you ultimately are.
I donât care who said what or what somebody said they heard, regardless of your physical fitness level, your age, or the length of time it has been since you last exercised on a regular basis, itâs NEVER too late to start and maintain a good fitness routine. Trust me, my grandparents are in great physical shape and theyâve been around for the better half of a century. Your body is designed to move. If you donât use it, you lose it. Itâs simple. In fact one of the main reasons for injury sustained by my former patients was simply due toÂ lack of conditioning in one or all of the components I just mentioned.
To effectively measure your level of fitness, you need to take into account all 5 of these components and assess and incorporate them into your workouts.
Stay up and be about it