In the health and fitness world, the word fit conjures up an image for most people the moment they hear it. However, if a person really takes a step back and examines the concept itself, most people realize they only possessed a simple understanding of what it means to be “fit.”
Today in this article, we are going to examine what it means to be fit. We are also going to provide our definition of fit. We are not doing this to argue merits of different measures of fitness; we are doing to help Baza Medical patients wrap their minds around this “simple” but highly complex concept. Let’s explore more.
Healthy vs Fit
Typically, people use the term healthy and fit interchangeably. Healthy, in the medical sense is the absence of an identifiable disease. Fit, in contrast, is the ability to perform physically at high output. Typically, doctors help you stay healthy (disease-free), and other professionals help you get fit. Dr. Baza understands that by building a strong body and ratcheting up our level of fitness you build armor against the influences that make us ill and frail. Healthy and fit are inseparable by our opinion and definition.
Fitness = super-wellness = super health.
The Rhetorical Question:
So what is fit? Does it conjure an image of a thin athlete, able to run fast and jump high? Well, the word fit can really get taken to task if we look at conflicting types of athletic specialists. Who is fit: a triathlete or a linebacker; a crossfitter or a soccer player? Rich Fronig is a world champion crossfitter, genetically funded for great endurance, strength, speed and stamina. Fronig is what is called today a “freak of nature.” He inherited a set of attributes which he combined with a tireless work ethic and relentless pursuit of perfection. Others can only marvel at such physical prowess. Consider men like Michael Jordan, Usain Bolt (Gold Medal Sprinter), Lu Xiaojun (Gold Medal Olympic Weightlifter). All are super fit and incredible examples of human performance.
Are you more fit if you can run further than others? Or, are you fit if no one can match your strength or speed?
So what is fitness?
We needed a better definition to help the valued patients at Baza Medical better understand this critical concept. Baza Medical can help men evolve their inner ALPHA if they are willing to put in the hard work. We have a reputation for developing “alpha males” here, but how can we build on something that we do not have a clear understanding of?
We here at Baza Medical respect the “endurance” athletes all over the world. The Baza Medical viewpoint is not aligned with this common public perception of what it means to be fit. Thus, we have an alternate definition of fit and what it means to us and our patients. For our patients, we strive to build physical talent and attributes that make us highly adaptable to all physical challenges. This comes first—BEFORE we turn to specialization, if ever. It is not uncommon for our patients to become very fit then pursue a sport or activity that they had never considered in their pre-fit state, such as triathlons, competitive crossfit, mountaineering, or becoming a better golfer.
We encourage all our patients to pursue this generalized approach to true fitness. Not only will they become fit, but it will enhance every aspect of their life—it has tremendous crossover. The 10 attributes of fitness should be developed simultaneously. Neglecting any aspect will hinder true fitness. Understandably, if specialization is something you’re looking for, some aspects of general fitness will be less rigorously developed.
The 10 attributes of global fitness:
- Strength - to apply force
- Power - to apply force explosively
- Cardiovascular endurance - to deliver oxygen and fuel to the body
- Stamina – ability to utilize energy efficiently
- Flexibility - to stretch resting muscles
- Mobility - move joints thru full range of motion
- Coordination - using combinations of muscles to perform a task
- Agility - to move skillfully from one movement to another
- Balance - to control the center of gravity at rest and in motion
- Body composition - ratio of muscle and fat
This conversation would be incomplete without a brief discussion about metabolism. It can be said that our bodies are equipped with 3 motors and utilize three types of fuel.
The most limited and explosive is the phosphagen pathway (creatine phosphate) which fuels the highest-powered activities. Next is the glycolytic (carbohydrate) pathway which fuels moderate-powered activities. Finally, the third metabolic pathway is called oxidative pathway (fats). This pathway directs low-powered and steady state activities. It is critical, if we are to operate at our highest functional capacity, that we are able to utilize these pathways as needed (more on metabolism in a future blog).
Baza Medical uses all of these criteria to define our version of fit. We use this definition to help our patients program their training to enhance all these physical skills. If these concepts intrigue you then the Andropause experts at Baza Medical are here to help you today.
*Special acknowledgement to the excellent article written by Greg Glassman in Crossfit Journal 2002.