Every now and then, some of my buddies who work out in traditional gyms will message me, bragging about their 350-pound bench press max or their 500-pound back squat max.
They believe they're fit because they can lift heavier weights than the average person.
Most of them will spend an hour, or even two, performing these same movements at the same intensity up to five times a week. I always respond to their messages by saying, “Of course you are going to look like a rock star when all you do is work on activities you are already good at.”
Tim Collins is a certified personal trainer based in Omaha. He blogs for livewellnebraska.com. Read more from Tim.
True fitness is defined by having the ability to perform multiple tasks to the best of your ability, not just one or two movements.
There are 10 general physical skills that we are built to use in everyday life and they are: endurance, strength, power, speed, agility, flexibility, coordination, balance, accuracy and stamina.
In CrossFit, we balance these skills every day. And at the end of the week, the workouts always remind me about what I need to get better at. Training at Fit Farm will keep anyone from having a big ego.
Allow me to break down these skills. You can test your fitness, too.
Endurance- the ability of body systems to gather, process and deliver oxygen. Test: four-mile run.
Strength- the ability of a muscular unit or combination of muscular units to apply force. Test: max effort push-ups in two minutes.
Power- the ability of a muscular unit or combination of muscular units to apply maximum amount of force in minimum time. Test: medicine ball throw for distance
Speed- The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement. Test: 400-meter run for time
Agility- The ability to minimize the transition time from one movement to another. Test: 20 lateral box jumps for time. Scale the height appropriately.
Flexibility- the ability to maximize the range of motion around any given joint. Test: overhead squat.
Coordination- the ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into one distinct movement. Test: 60 second AMRAP (as many rounds as possible) of ring dips or bar dips.
Balance- the ability to control the placement of the body's center of gravity in relation to its support base. Test: one-leg balance on a Dyna Disc, Airex Balance Pad or the ground. Record how long you hold.
Accuracy- the ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity. Test: 70 wall ball shots to a 10-foot target for time.
Stamina- the ability of body systems to process, store and utilize energy. Test: 1,000-meter row for time.
As human beings we all have physical strengths and weaknesses. Performing these tests will give you an idea of what they are. The next time one of my buddies brags about their physical talents, I am going to force them down to the gym to try some of these workouts.
Hopefully, they will develop a new perceptive of what fitness really means.
Remember that some of these exercises are progressive. Ask a trainer for help if necessary and modify to your level!