What is fitness? What does being physically fit mean?

I define training as:

“making your MIND comfortable with the fact that your BODY is going to be a little uncomfortable”.

People who don’t like to exercise usually just don’t like to be uncomfortable, but getting out of our comfort zones – mentally or physically – is where positive change happens.

Nobody improves while sitting on the couch.

What is fitness? What does being physically fit mean?

According to the United States Department of Health and Human Services, physical fitness is defined as “a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity.  A better question to me would be: What does it mean to have a healthy body?

There are five components of physical fitness which includes body composition, flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance.

Body Composition refers to the percentage of fat, bone, muscle and organ mass in one’s body. (ex: Two people who are the exact height and weight but look completely different.)

Flexibility is the range of motion possible at a joint.

Muscular Strength is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to exert force.

Muscular Endurance is the muscle’s ability to perform an activity without fatigue.

Cardiovascular Endurance relates to the ability of the circulatory and respiratory systems to supply oxygen to the body during sustained physical activity.

However, fitness does not only include a person’s physical health but also encompasses the entire mind and body. Fitness includes an individual’s mental and emotional state of being and social well-being. A person should strive for a high quality of life which includes being physically, mentally, emotionally, socially and spiritually healthy! And this of course is different for each person!

Strength Training –

 Laws of Strength Training

Train Consistently

Consistency is the name of the game, and the lifter who trains week in and week out will experience steady gains in strength and muscularity over time.

The lifter who trains twice a week for 52 weeks of the year will see better long-term results than the lifter who trains five times per week for just 20 weeks out of the year. You can’t hit the gym “every once in a while” and expect to see progress, just like you can’t train sporadically throughout the year with any real results. Short-term blasts can be effective under certain conditions, but consistency rules.

 Work Both Hard and Smart

Training hard is good. Training smart is good. Combine the two approaches and you’ve got the best of both worlds.

You do need to train hard, but you don’t have to kill yourself every session.

Push yourself in each workout, but it’s incredibly important to listen to what your body’s telling you that day and to listen!!. Maybe you need to go a little lighter… or maybe even a rest day.

You also need to experiment to figure out what works best, and what doesn’t work, for you.

 Stimulate the Musculature of the Entire Body

You need to do the big lifts to stimulate muscle growth throughout the body, but you may also need to specialize on muscle groups to fix weak points.

If a muscle never gets activated, it won’t grow.

The deadlift stimulates a lot of muscles throughout the body. The forearms, traps, lats, scapular retractors, spinal extensors, glutes and hamstrings, even the core and quad muscles get activated during heavy deadlifts. This helps explain why deads are such a great exercise. However, if all you did was deadlift, your pecs, delts, and biceps wouldn’t come close to reaching their full hypertrophy potential. Make sure your programs regularly incorporate enough exercises that combine to thoroughly hit the entire body.

And here’s a common sense alert:

If you want maximum muscle mass in a particular body part, then make sure you get strong at the exercise that elicits the highest activation in that muscle. For example, hip thrusts elicit the highest glute activation, so even if you’re squatting and deadlifting every week, it’s worth adding them into the mix if maximum glute size is the goal. Similarly, if rear delt hypertrophy is the goal, military presses won’t cut it. You’ll need to add in some targeted rear delt work.

 

Warm-ups Are Essential

Failing to take the basic warm-up seriously will eventually and unavoidably end in disaster.

 But everyone must get the blood flowing and the joints and muscles prepared for lifting heavy loads.

Use Good Form…

Be strict with your exercise form, and you need to learn the right type of form for your body on various lifts. This is especially important lifts like squats and deadlifts where the risk of injury is  higher.

Failure to pay attention to technique will result in pain and injury, which will stop progress in its tracks.

Daily Nutrition Habits Are Responsible for Progress

The best training program in the world is no match for a crappy diet. Your hard work in the gym can absolutely be rendered pointless if you’re slacking in the nutrition department.

Get a good nights sleep!

If you aren’t sleeping well or you’re mentally stressed out around the clock, your physiology will be working against you.