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How You Can Be Sure You’re Really Fit?

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By Robert Selders

What does it mean to be physically fit?  If you are looking for me to provide you with a definitive answer, then you are going to be disappointed because there is not one.  Most traditional definitions generally refer to your ability to perform physical activity, or to being able to perform daily tasks vigorously and alertly.

Unfortunately, these definitions are rather broad, which is not necessarily a bad thing.  However, this vagueness has unfortunately led many in both the mainstream media and fitness industry to offer up their own definitions and concepts of physical fitness, and it usually includes pointing to someone demonstrating great athleticism in one or a few areas (e.g. possessing great strength, speed, power, or coordination) as an example.

I believe this is rather shortsighted, as the standard for determining whether someone is physically fit should involve more than whether or not they can run a marathon or bench press 200-plus pounds.   Physical fitness is multi-dimensional and hierarchical, and for any fitness model to be truly effective, it needs to include morphological (structured) fitness, bone strength, muscular fitness, cardiovascular fitness, flexibility, motor fitness, and metabolic fitness.

Most fitness programs are not this comprehensive, and often combine only a few of these elements. They attempt to specialize or focus, but regrettably by doing so fail to address all elements, which make you truly physically fit.

I have been in the fitness industry for years.  I searched long and hard for a fitness program that embraced the idea that there was more to physical fitness than just athleticism.  After much research, I found that CrossFit was such a program, and that it was different from many of the other programs out there.

The CrossFit model uses three different standards for determining fitness.  It looks at:

•    Ten general well-established physical skills – endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, coordination, speed, agility, balance and accuracy – to evaluate general physical adaption.
•    Performance of athletic tasks – how well you perform any and every imaginable task in relations to others – with the focus being on the breadth and depth of your performance.  This allows you to meet the diverse and often times unpredictable physical demands of your daily life.
•    The energy systems, which drive all human action – metabolic engines:  phosphagen, glycolytic, and oxidative – used to evaluate and measure total fitness.

CrossFit’s approach is deliberately broad, general, and inclusive.  By design, its specialty is NOT specializing in just one or two specific areas like many of the other fitness programs do.  In taking this approach, the CrossFit program is able to accurately gauge your current fitness level, and design an individualized training program to ensure your success.

CrossFit’s program can be customized to your current fitness level, regardless if you are a lifelong couch potato looking for a way to get healthier and in shape or an Olympic athlete preparing for your sport.

Scale, load, and intensity are easily modified to accommodate your needs, and can be easily adjusted to another level when needed.  Other distinctive benefits include its affordability, an extensive and supportive community of CrossFit members (300,000 and growing), and a proven track record of improving overall long-term mental and physical health.

You would be hard pressed to find another program that is as comprehensive or as successful in setting you on a path to true physical fitness, and more importantly, one that promotes good general health.

•    What is Fitness? The CrossFit Journal, October 2002

Categories: Health
Average Joe
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