Just as there seems to be a lot of confusion regarding nutrition, I find that there is also a lot of confusion regarding exercise and fitness. Many people wonder what types of foods they should be eating and what types of training they should be doing. Both aspects can be quite complex when you get right down into the physiology and science of it, but to get significant benefits from both nutrition and exercise you can keep it simple. They almost mirror each other in the sense that both depend on the goal that a person wants to achieve. Therefore, the first step in acquiring the perfect nutrition and exercise program for yourself is to determine what your goals are in both. In this blog, I will be concentrating on exercise and fitness alone.
What are your fitness goals? This is the first question you should ask. Why is this important? For two reasons:
- Setting goals gives you something you can reach. It gives you a clear path and makes you continue to work in order to reach that goal without uncertainties. This is the long-term gratification.
- Fitness goals will dictate the type of training that you want to do depending on what aspects of fitness you want to achieve. I will explain in the next section.
There are many types of fitness aspects that an individual can participate in. This depends on what they want to achieve as the end result. Here is a list:
– Training for general health and well being (Increase health and not performance)
– Training to loose weight (Very popular in North Americans. Go figure.)
– Training to increase muscle growth or muscle hypertrophy (Body Building and looking good at the beach)
– Training to increase muscle strength and power (Power sports and being freakishly strong)
– Training to increase muscle endurance (Endurance sports or to increase muscle tone)
– Training to increase stamina or Cardio (Endurance sports, mix power/endurance sports and general population)
– Training to correct muscle imbalances (Physiotherapy clinics or people having significant muscle imbalances)
– Training to increase speed and agility (Sports requiring these elements)
– Training to increase balance and coordination (Sports requiring these elements)
– Training to increase flexibility (Sports requiring flexibility and the general population. This aspect of fitness should go along with every other fitness program to decrease muscle tightness and decrease muscle imbalances. This is one of the only elements of fitness that will actually supplement any other fitness element)
– Training for sport specific movements (Incorporates many aspects of fitness depending on the sport)
It can be difficult to decide what type of program you may want to participate in. Many times people work on aspects of fitness such as agility, power and balance for fun and just wanting to have a high level of fitness. Make sure to know what your goals are.
Even though many fitness aspects overlap into one another it is important to mention that it is not always a good idea to mix certain fitness aspect together. This is the case if you are particularly interested in increasing one part of fitness exclusively. For example, training to increase power should not include training for endurance. It is impossible to have a high level of fitness in all fitness aspects. Training all of them will result in less than optimal results.
In contrast, you may want to be a jack of all trades and train everything. Again, this all goes back to your personal fitness goals. The more elements of fitness you train, the less results you will get in each, with the exception to training flexibility. This fitness aspect should be included in all programs.
– Simon Bialecki