What is FITNESS?
At Equilibrium I train a range of clients through one-to-one private sessions as well as our TRX classes. What they all have in common is they're trying to achieve their idea of a perfect body and to "get fit". With the rise of concept classes it seems that many people are stuck in the mindset that this can now only be achieved using a treadmill and isolation training (movements like crunches or bicep curls). And these work to a relative extent. But when we talk about total fitness, that's a whole different ball game. Here’s my two pence worth.
My own definition of fitness :
“The ability to hold a stable position in any given movement” Jay Brockway 2015
Now for most of you, if your bum doesn’t look as good as you’d like and your upper body is holding a little fat, you go to the gym and get on a treadmill or grab an ab mat for crunches to fix the problem. Yes it will do something to your body but doesn’t mean to say it's fixing your total fitness or "circuit".
Think of it like a room full of lights. If one becomes faulty, you have a problem with the whole circuit.
Whichever body part doesn’t look good, be it your bum, your legs or your arms, it’s because they’re under-active. If your glutes aren’t firing correctly do you think running will wake them up? Absolutely not. They will continue to say no leave me alone! This leaves your circuit incomplete and broken.
Here’s where the concept of HOLD YOUR BODY STABLE IN ANY GIVEN MOVEMENT comes into play.
So try this, don’t think about how you look for a change and instead think about how well you can actually move your body. Can you keep your chest up in a squat, knees out, without rounding your back?
Can you maintain a solid midline with no movement at any point during a deadlift?
Can you hold a bar or a plate over your head with your arms locked out, maintaining a neutral spine and feel comfortable whilst doing so?
Can you maintain planks, jackknifes and pikes without feeling lower back pain?
If you can’t do all of the above it’s because you’re not strong enough to hold your body in a stable and solid position. Concentrating on how you look will get you so far but it will catch you up faster than you can run away from it on a treadmill.
Are you reading this now saying SHIT I can’t do any of that? Why should I do it ??
Our bodies are built to move in functional patterns (Crossfit), that doesn’t mean to say you have to do Crossfit, just take the philosophy of it. You sit down in a chair, you pick things up off the floor in everyday life - so transfer your everyday life movements into how you train. Bicep curls and crunches do not translate into everyday life movements. Their function is purely aesthetic (which is fine too if that's all you're after).
How does that make me fit?
This is fitness to me. Once your body is moving correctly and with stable strength then whatever a trainer/class throws at you you’ll be able to handle because your body will be ready and willing, your circuit is complete and working in unison to make you stronger, fitter and faster. Efficient. You’re fit for life…