Today the definition of being fit is not clearly understood by the average people. We usually think that the people who are chosen to be the models of various brands are very fit people but this generally is not the real case.
These models may be good as per some norms of fitness but the complete parameters of fitness are yet not understood by many of them.
In this article I would be discussing about the various parameters of fitness and what needs to be understood so that we may be able to call ourselves completely fit.
Underlying are the basic FIVE parameters on which the general fitness is computed:
1. Cardio-Vascular Endurance
It is basically your body’s own ability to keep up with several exercises like running, jogging, swimming, cycling and any other thing that forces the cardiovascular system (lungs, blood vessels, heart) to go on working for extra time. Altogether, the muscles need oxygen which are fueled by the lungs and the heart, which ensures that oxygen is being consumed for the purpose required.
The Treadmill Cooper Test is commonly used to assess the cardiovascular endurance of a particular person, but many trainers also use the Step Test . Both are remarked as accurate measures for cardiovascular endurance.
2. Muscular Strength
This is the “power” that helps you to lift and carry heavy objects. Without muscular strength, your body would be weak and unable to keep up with the demands placed upon it.
The way to increase strength is to train with heavy weights, working in the 4 – 6 or 12 – 15 rep ranges. The heavier the weight, the fewer reps you should perform!
3. Muscular Endurance
It is the ability of the muscles to contract for extended periods of time. Rather than doing something for a few seconds, the muscles are working for several minutes.
Increasing muscular endurance is basically training with lighter weights [30% of 1RM], working for 20 – 25 reps. Working out with light weights will train the type I muscle fibers which are needed for endurance of the muscle, and this will lead to a longer period of exercise.
It is considered to be one of the most important, yet frequently overlooked, components of fitness. Without this, there would be stiffness in muscles and joints and movement would be limited. Training for flexibility ensures that the joint of the body moves through their entire range of motion without any pain or stiffness.
To test this, lean forward and try touching your toes. Those people with good flexibility levels will usually be easily able to touch their toes, while on the other hand those with limited flexibility will not or find it difficult. The sit and reach test is also another good way to assess ones flexibility. The more flexible the person is, the closer he/she will come to touch his/her toes and beyond.
5. Body Composition
This refers to the percent or amount of fat within your body. For example, say a 100-pound person has 25% of body fat will mean that he has a lean mass of 75 pounds.
What does it mean to qualify as a fit person:
- Men should have a body fat lower than 15 percent
- Women should have a body fat lower than 25 percent
The average individual male happens to be about 18 % to 24 % body fat, whereas the average female has about 25 % to 31 % body fat.
Here in Iron Core Fit , we have devised a program where any member who comes to the gym for the workout is initially tested for the above stated 5 parameters of Fitness upon which their specific exercise schedules are designed. Also we keep a track of this test every month so that the member would learn the progress he has had working our in Iron Core Fit.
With this type of approach , we have instilled a learning culture in the clients which has resulted in a tremendous results in a very short span of time.
I urge any of the existing fitness enthusiast to come on and visit our centre to see the real definition of fitness in its true form.