Training Goals Unclear? Use The 5 Components Of Fitness Training To Make Them Concrete And Measurable
The 5 components of fitness training help you build clear fitness training goals. They give you something specific and tangible to work towards.
Goals go from a fuzzy "I want to get fit" ...to a clear... "I want to increase my squatting weight from 50 to 100 lbs and increase my repetitions from 10 to 20" - Now that's specific!
The components of fitness training give you something you can clearly measure. Measuring your fitness is an important part of setting and reaching goals.
The 5 Components Of Fitness Training
1. Muscular strength
Muscular strength is the ability of your muscles to produce force. The more strength you have the more force you can produce. Muscular strength is incredibly beneficial in day to day life. It helps with everything from opening jars to lifting heavy suitcases.
Muscular strength is built with resistance training. The following are examples of resistance training:
- Body-weight exercises
- Resistance bands
As long as the resistance is high enough, any of the above methods will work.
What's high enough? - You need an exercise that makes your muscles "fail" after 6-12 repetitions.
If you would like to check how your muscular strength is developing, you can measure it by testing your 1-repetition-maximum (1RM). This is the largest weight you can lift without being able to complete more than 1 repetition of it.
2. Muscular endurance
Muscular endurance is the ability of your muscles to continue producing force over and over again. If you can carry on doing a difficult exercise for many repetitions then you have got good muscular endurance.
Like strength, muscular endurance is also built with resistance training. The difference is that you use slightly lighter weights, allowing you to complete more repetitions in each set. 12-18 is a good range.
You can measure your muscular endurance in several different ways. One of the most popular tests for your upper body is to count the number of pressups you can do until failure. The pressups are done to a metronome beat with 1 rep every 3 seconds. This ensures your tests are consistent each time you do them.
3. Aerobic fitness
Think marathon runner... they excel at endurance exercise with a relatively low intensity (compared to lifting weights) but they can keep on going for hours.
But the benefits of aerobic exercise don't stop there...
- Increased energy levels
- A strengthened heart
- Lowered cholesterol
- Improved detoxification.
- Many, many more...
You can build your aerobic fitness by doing
They're both good. Try one, or both for best results.
The most practical way of measuring your aerobic fitness is by checking your heart rate during aerobic exercise. The lower your heart rate, the better aerobic fitness you have.
Flexibility refers to the range of motion of your joints. A large range of motion makes your body feel loose and free... a great feeling.
Yoga training is particularly good for building muscle flexibility. In Yoga, you stretch all your muscles, allowing your joints to move more freely.
The simple way of measuring flexibility is to see how far you can stretch. For example, you might measure how far you can reach your fingers past your toes.
5. Body Composition
This is the amount of fat you store on your body as a percentage of your overall weight. The healthy fat range is different for men and women.
- Men, 5% - 25%
- Women, 12% - 30%
To make changes to you body composition you need to exercise and follow a good diet plan. Doing this will help get your body fat levels within the healthy range.
There are many different ways of measuring your body fat %age. From electrical impedance, lasers and huge underwater tanks to relatively primitive body fat calipers. We recommend body fat calipers, they're cheap and accurate enough to gauge changes in your body composition over time.
Use these components of fitness training to clarify your goals. For example, you could set a clear strength goal or perhaps set a goal for each of the 5 components of fitness training. Either way, having a clear plan of what you want is the best way to guarantee your success.
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