Is Your Training Missing Any of the Fab Five? Train All Components When Aiming for Complete Physical Fitness
Fitness is much more than just physical. Mental, medical, nutritional, spiritual and social elements all play a part in total fitness. The aim is to combine all of these aspects for positive health and the best possible quality of life.
5 Components of Physical Fitness
⁃ Cardiovascular Fitness; the capacity for your lungs to take in oxygen, your heart and circulatory system transport the oxygen and your muscles to utilise the oxygen. Aerobic exercise is rhythmic and continuous; think walking, jogging, cycling or swimming.
⁃ Muscular Endurance; the ability of a muscle or muscle group to continue contracting/working for a long period of time. Light resistance and high rep counts of 25 or perhaps more are the key to building muscular endurance. You may choose to perform between two and four sets with 1-2 minutes recovery time in-between.
⁃ Muscular Strength; the maximal force produced by a muscle or muscle group to lift a heavy weight. Build your muscular strength with high resistance and a very low rep count (no more than 10). You may choose to perform between four and eight sets with 2-4 minutes recovery time in-between.
⁃ Flexibility; refers to the maximum range of movement possible around a joint. This is a frequently neglected component of fitness. Benefits of taking the time to stretch include improved/maintained posture and joint alignment, better sports performance and stress management.
Last But Not Least, My Favourite Component!
⁃ Motor Skills; the ability of the brain and nervous system to control the movement of your body to perform skills such as co-ordination, balance, speed, agility and reaction time.
Training Your Motor Skills Happens In Three Main Learning Stages:
1. Cognitive; the finding out phase, you will be less or not at all familiar with the exercise or movement pattern and therefore require a high level of concentration.
2. Motor; you may be in this phase for a while but are now familiar with the exercise or movement pattern. You will make less errors, recognise mistakes and make adjustments for better technique.
3. Automatic; reaction time has improved by this phase and you will move faster, perform multiple movements patterns and maintain better accuracy. You are likely to be less worried about performing the task at hand and perform them more automatically.
Complexity As A Distraction…
By the time you reach phase three, you are comfortable with an exercise or movement pattern, now your focus is improving technique. I find that focussing on the complexity of a movement pattern can often be a great distraction, helping me push through a workout.
I’ve often had clients give me similar feedback. For example in Dance Aerobics, focussing on the complexity of the steps keeps their mind off of the hard work.
I often hear clients say they “have no co-ordination,” but they do and it can be improved with some more focus on training motor skills.
– Mandatory Units (YMCA Fit, 2015)