Health and Fitness

Main Components Of Physical Fitness – Learn about the components 

Cardio endurance is essentially the ability of our heart, lungs and blood vessels to supply oxygen to our muscles and tissue.

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Moreover, it includes the ability of muscles and tissue to utilize said oxygen.

Hence, if you are “cardio-fit” your lung’s capacity will be higher, your heart will pump stronger and blood vessels will be unclogged (no fat on inner walls).

This all translates into improved “performance”. Think.. – our own bodies’ natural supercharger!

However, if you smoke and have poor nutrition for example, chances are you will have excess body fat and your blood vessels will simply be clogged-up. Nicotine and a myriad of other substances will be the main culprits, all of which prevent your heart and lungs from delivering the right amount of oxygen to you muscles.

Main Components of Physical Fitness – Muscle Endurance

Essentially this means how many repetitions you can do of any given exercise if you are weightlifting or how quickly you get fatigued when doing an activity.

We all feel (or become) fatigued when performing exercise, but the only difference is that some of us get fatigued sooner than other.

Hence, muscle endurance is another one of of the main components of physical fitness and it’s directly related to cardio endurance.

Main Components of Physical Fitness – Body Fat Composition

Out of the main components of fitness this one has had so much attentionand interest over the past 20 years. Body fat composition shows the ratio of fat in your body to lean muscle mass.

Generally, if your fat percentage is lower than 10% that means you are in good shape and do not have much body fat. If you are between 10% and 15% you are still in good shape.

To give you an idea for these numbers I will give you some examples of well-known athletes (in their prime) and what body fat percentages they had. Michael Jordan at his peak had less than 5% body fat; Mike Tyson was also under 5%. Top level champion bodybuilders like Jay Cutler have around 3 to 4% when they are getting ready for a show.

The national average in North America is about high 20’s (%) for women and mid 20’s for men. However, don’t confuse this with obesity rates.

Hence, let’s do some examination here for a moment: if your weight is 200lbs (90kg) and you have 20% fat on you that means that you have 40lbs (18kg) of deadweight on you.

Deadweight means it does nothing except make things (movement) difficult for your muscles and skeletal system (not to mention your internal system). It’s the same as having a backpack full of rocks on your back while hiking.

Of course we do need thin layers of fat to provide “cushions” between internal organs and we also need fat as part of our metabolism. But, those amounts are minimal.

You will need to use your experience to determine how you look and feel when you have 15% body fat, how you look and feel when you have 10% body fat. In college I remember being about 175lbs (78kg) and having 6% body fat. I was really defined but I felt “too small” in terms of size and overall muscle thickness. For guys – we like looking bigger!

Now, I am around 200lbs (90kg) and have about 10 to 12% body fat. I look much better in my opinion. I have the thickness and size with just enough definition to show separation between my muscles to make the “details” visible.

The point being is that you shouldn’t pay much attention to tables and charts or “expert’s” advice which tells you what your “ideal” size or body fat percentage should be.

Instead, you should gauge your own ideal body fat percentage numbers based on your experience. Experience that will come from being at different weights in your life. You will know when you get to that “optimal” weight where you look great and feel right!

You may have to try different workouts and might have to adjust your diet a few times. However, the end result will be well worth it and rewarding.