A Sensible Look at Planning, Executing, and Recording Your Health Related Fitness Program

Suppose you know a little about working out and partake in the odd training session. But what if you recently felt a compelling urge to get serious about your physical exercise program and really “shape up”. How would take it to the next level?

Well, since we are talking about Health-Related Fitness, we need to bear in mind that it is a physical condition which consists of 5 integral components, relating to “good health.” These include:

  • Cardiovascular Fitness
  • Body Composition
  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Flexibility

A glimpse at these components will easily tell you that you will need to devise or obtain a workout program which primarily allows for aerobic and anaerobic exercise. Simply put, that means training to enhance the capacity of your heart-lung function and the major muscles of the body. Training would also extend to adequately address biomechanical functions in terms of improving overall mobility of the joints and the tone of connective tissue. Finally, body composition is an important indicator and predictor of health and/or the risk of illness – depending on whether you lead an active or a sedentary lifestyle. Through the requisite workout routines and nutrition plan, one’s body composition will reflect a desirable ratio.

In short, it is desirable to augment lean body mass by optimizing muscle condition while lowering the level of body fat via a proper nutrition plan and aerobic exercise.

Now that we have a framework idea of what is entailed to enhance our physical condition and improve our health, we could jump right in and start working out, right? In a manner of speaking yes, but having made the commitment to get “stuck in” and transform our bodies, does not automatically mean we are going to reach our objective. We need a game plan.

Let us consider for a moment how one would successfully voyage through unchartered waters. The answer is relatively simple, but there is a catch: only once you have chosen a destination and a time-frame, do you take out a map, plan your route, prepare your journey and set off. That metaphor applies similarly when it comes to transforming your body, so take heed of the following important points:

  • Know what your goal or objective is

(in this case visualizing your changed body in three months’ time – if that is your intended program window). Without direction, merely training and presuming you will somehow succeed along the way will give the same results as I once had – precious little.

  • Carefully read through the training and nutrition principles of your chosen program
  • and familiarize yourself with the required fitness activities for the applicable duration. As I often reiterate, especially to individuals under my guidance, it is most useful to broaden your knowledge and understanding of the many topics associated with the health and physical fitness industry, by reading as widely as possible.

  • Decide whether you will train in your own home or in a fitness center
  • , as this will influence your weight workout techniques (related to muscular strength and endurance training). The aerobic exercise on the other hand, can be done in a gym or on the road, track or sports field. If you decide to do the weight-training at home, you will need to invest in some basic equipment like a set of adjustable dumbbells, a barbell, as well as a bench, etc. I would however recommend, if you are a beginner, to consider utilizing a fitness center (or gym) at first. That way you can eventually set up a home gym understanding more clearly the minimum apparatus requirements for effective training, along with the space required for this option.

  • The preparation part of the journey entails one small daily procedure. You may think of this as a drag or a banality – do not make that mistake. It is of utmost importance to plan your meals and workout routines ahead of time. A simple 10-minute procedure the day before is all it takes. You may eventually find, after completing your program, that you can make it up as you go along. While you could do this to an extent with your meals, it is far more difficult to ad-hoc the exercise part, and still get results. This holds true whether you are on a “cutting up” cycle (shedding weight to enhance definition), building phase or simply on a maintenance program.
  • Your success will be highly contingent on recording your daily activities and weekly progress. As an additional measure, you could also consider having periodic pictures taken of yourself, for example at monthly intervals. Not only does this help you to see where you have made (or still have to make) improvements, it is also an excellent way to keep your motivation high. A detailed training log will also allow you to gauge when and how to make incremental adjustments to your program activities. Tracking your activities is vital to help you stay on course.
  • Lastly, once per week also check and record your weight and body fat measurements. Do not obsess about doing this on a daily basis though, weekly values will show a truer indication of your physical change. I usually do mine on Sunday evenings and include a careful self-inspection using a mirror. To keep a check on my body fat level, I also perform a skin-fold pinch about an inch above the hip bone. Another practical progress-indicator is the “fit” of your clothes around your waist and buttocks. Keep in mind that the bathroom scale merely shows an overall body weight. Far more important is increasing your muscle to fat ratio, which does not necessarily mean that the scale will be the all-important indicator of your progress, or a companion during your journey.
  • There you have it – a brief take-home checklist to help you successfully plan and execute your Health-Related Fitness body transformation program. To cite an oft-used proverb, he who fails to plan, plans to fail.

    Make the most of your endeavor and leave as little as possible to chance. Good luck.

    The 4 Keys in Any Health and Fitness Program That Works

    Unfortunately, you won’t be able to find a pill that can guarantee you healthy mind and a healthy body without requiring you to do a little effort from your end. If you are looking for a healthy and fit body and mind then the only thing that you should look for is a better health and fitness program that is usually based on four basic components. If you can adhere yourself with these four basic components, then every program would be the best program for you. Following are the four vital key components of any health and fitness program:

    1. Commitment

    The most important part of any health & fitness program; commitment. Without showing commitment, you won’t be able to stick to any program for a longer period of time. Commitment is the starting point of any fitness program; in fact, commitment is the first step towards any target that you have set. If you enter your health and fitness program with commitment, then it is very likely that you will succeed. If you don’t have commitment towards your health and fitness program, then it is very likely that you would end up in frustration and doubt about your fitness program.

    2. Physical Exercises

    There is no health and fitness program that doesn’t include proper physical exercises. Physical fitness can only be achieved through proper physical exercises that increase the vitality of our life and helps us in increasing our energy levels; makes us more active and lively. Physical exercises increase our stamina and make us ever-ready to face the challenges of life. That is why we should make physical exercises as a part of our daily life. Unfortunately most of the people make it as a part of their weekends only; which is not beneficial in any way. You should not think about moving fast; move slowly but steadily.

    What sort of physical exercises you should do? Well, it depends upon various factors like physical characteristics, age, medical circumstances etc. Basic physical exercises include cardiovascular exercises, running, jogging, walking, cycling etc. One must also note that health and fitness program exercises should also include those exercises that can help you in strengthening your muscles like weight lifting, knee bends, pushups etc.

    3. Mental Exercise

    Mental exercises are another vital component of any health and fitness program. Our actions reflect what is going inside our mind. That is the reason why mental exercises are as important as physical exercises in any health and fitness program. There are lots of mental exercises that one can practice in achieve better health and fitness like reading various successful testimonials of those people who have maintained their health and fitness, reading books and other articles that can help in increasing a person’s will power and self-esteem.

    4. Nutritional Exercise

    One of the most important parts of any diet plan or health & fitness plan is your diet plan or nutritional plan. You should always give appropriate attention towards your dieting habit. You should focus on what you eat; not on how much you eat. Consult a nutrition today that could tell you exactly what your needs are and the foods that can fulfill those needs. Carefully monitor your daily intake of salt, sugar, cholesterol, caffeine and other nutrition.

    To insure that these 4 basic components work properly together and maximize the benefits from each of them, they have to be put into a regimen or system that can leverage your efforts, which will enable a multiplying effect.

    A Sensible Way of Applying High Intensity Training to Health Related Fitness

    Health Related Fitness consists of 5 Components which relate to good health. These are Cardiorespiratory or Cardiovascular Fitness, Body Composition, Muscular Strength, Muscular Endurance and Flexibility.

    Although there are several types of exercise which can enhance the functional capacity of all 5 components, this article addresses, in particular, that of muscular strength and endurance.

    The point-of-departure of High Intensity Training (HIT) is lifting weights to the point of momentary muscular failure. The principles usually focus on maximizing muscle fiber recruitment with weight workouts in order to optimize gains.

    HIT Workout Routines are intended to be infrequent, brief, and intense. The resistance exercises are performed to “failure” with weights that are heavy enough to cause the required training effect to promote muscular size and strength gains. In terms of “brief” workouts, this refers to a minimum number of sets – usually as few as 1 to 3 per body part.

    Advantages of HIT

    Pundits of High Intensity Training advocate its sheer simplicity and time-efficiency over High Volume Training (lower weights and higher volume of work). In addition, HIT is touted as requiring less recovery time from workouts and furthermore offsets the possibility of overtraining.

    Proper execution of the exercises

    The main elements in addressing muscular strength and endurance is terms of health related fitness are smooth even form, full range-of-motion, heaviest set first, and proper repetition range. These are important considerations for producing optimal results while minimizing the chance of injury. Also, regardless of physical fitness condition, a weight should be chosen which is challenging to train with, yet allows for correct performance of the exercise. Let us look at the elements in more detail:

    • Smooth, even form Safety first – at all costs. By definition, HIT means training with weights that heavily challenge the muscles of an individual. Therefore, one should tackle a weight workout only after warm up exercises have been performed, and when muscles are fully limbered, so as to avoid injury. Each repetition of the exercise should be performed smoothly, with no bouncing, jerking or compensatory swaying of the body. The movement of the involved body part and weight should occur through muscular action only, without resorting to a “pendulum effect.” Control of each movement is of utmost importance to ensure that the weight is allowed to return to the starting point with care, and not merely dropped, or allowed to swing back due to gravity. The lowering or “eccentric” part of the rep should take longer than the lifting or “concentric” part. In this way, one works the muscle throughout the whole exercise set.
    • Full range-of-motion For best results, a muscle needs to be worked throughout its full movement (or rotation) from a fully flexed to a fully extended position. A muscle can only be optimally developed if it is trained though the complete extent of its movement capability. This does not mean forcing a limb further than you would under normal pain-free movement. Common sense should always prevail – the eccentric part of a rep requires due caution when using heavy weights, as with HIT. For example, exercises like the “squat”, “weighted dip” and “dumbbell fly” can easily lead to muscle, joint and/or tendon trauma by pushing the envelope too far.
    • Heaviest set first This may seem the wrong way around in light of the caution pointed to in the above point, but there is a method in the madness. For muscles to grow, they need to be stressed “progressively” to work harder than they are accustomed to. This means after warm up and limbering exercises, one begins with the hardest set and works the muscle/s to failure, preferably between 6 and 12 reps. Instead, with ascending sets, as in High Volume Training, energy is depleted with the preliminary sets, and so when one gets to the all-important heaviest sets for maximum overload, the muscles are no longer fresh. Certain training philosophies and points-of-view may disagree with HIT principles due to the risk of injury. However, this can be addressed with adequate attention to warm up exercises and stretching beforehand.
    • Proper repetition range Health Related Fitness calls for good muscular strength and muscular endurance (together also know as muscular fitness). This means that not only is strength applicable, but so is the ability for a muscle or muscle group to perform a weighted movement repeatedly. Therefore, for strength training, one should maintain a range of between 6 to 12 reps in each set. If one can perform 12 or more reps without momentary muscular failure, then the weight for that particular exercise should be increased. On the other hand, performing a higher number of reps per set (like circuit training or supersets) targets muscular endurance. Depending on individual requirements, muscular endurance training is usually performed less frequently than strength training. Ideally, the rep range is between 15 and 25.
    • Maximum effort During High Intensity strength training routines, exercises are typically performed with an “all-out” effort until it is no longer possible to perform another repetition in good form, hence the term “momentary muscular failure.” Further repetitions beyond this point may be possible with certain assistance techniques like forced reps, negative reps and/or cheating. However, these methods are only advisable for more advanced exercisers. For an increase to occur in muscle strength and size, it is important to gradually overload the muscles through progressive-resistance training. This means taxing the muscles and progressively exceeding their capacity threshold, so that an adaptive response occurs, also known as “training effect.”

    HIT vs HVT

    I would like to point out that I do not support the one training principle over the other. However, there are advocates of both High Volume and High Intensity training who believe their method is is the better way to build size and strength. And since there are several famous pundits of both schools-of-thought claiming their success was achieved from differing points-of-view, this healthy disagreement in the Health and Fitness industry is destined to continue.

    Nonetheless, the key consideration here is to realize your Health Related Fitness potential. Approached in a sensible manner, one can achieve good health via any number of health and fitness techniques and principles available. HIT presents tangible advantages but the best way would be to experiment, learn and see what works best for you as an individual – not only in terms of schedule, training effect, but also from recovery-time.

    My own particular take is that for good levels of health and fitness, the human body requires challenge both physiologically and spiritually. Our bodies are innately programmed to to seek homeostasis. Basically, your body will stop progressing as soon as it has decoded and adapted to an activity or exercise program. Further adaptation only occurs with consistent challenge – by “raising the bar.” In this way, one can optimize results by cycling not only the workout routines, but also the principles.

    Although you may find HIT suitable, why not try alternating mesocycles (monthly) of High Intensity Training with Higher Volume Training? I found this worked well for me and it kept me interested by alleviating boredom.

    Remember to have your condition examined by a medical practitioner prior to taking on any form of physical exercise, especially if you have not previously engaged in any.

    Happy training!

    A Lesson On The Components of Health Related Fitness

    The Components of Health Related Fitness Explained

    If you want to keep your body in shape and gain a better overall understanding of physical health and wellness, there are five different components of health related fitness that you should be aware of. We provide an overview of these along with a brief definition, and then highlight some actions you can take to better yourself in each of these different areas.

    Reading articles about health and fitness information is a key ingredient to a productive, fit, and healthy lifestyle. So let’s take a closer look at each of these components one by one.

    They are:

    Muscular Strength

    Muscular Endurance

    Flexibility

    Cardiovascular Efficiency

    Body Composition

    Muscular Strength

    Muscular strength is pretty much what it sounds like; it is the amount of force a muscle can produce. This is simply the amount of resistance your muscles can overcome, and it is typically measured by the maximum amount of weight you can physically move, push, pull, or lift. The size of a muscle is typically in direct proportion to its strength, i.e. the bigger the muscle, the stronger it is. Muscle strength is best improved by performing weight training.

    Muscular Endurance

    Muscular endurance is the ability of your muscles to produce a required amount of force over an extended period of time. With good endurance, your body can perform repeated movements without fatigue. Muscle endurance is best increased though cardio training, exercises such as running, swimming or biking. You can build specific muscular endurance by increasing the amount of time a muscle spends contracting against resistance. To gain endurance for any particular movement, you essentially want to repeat that desired movement over and over and over again.

    Flexibility

    This allows you to move body parts through a certain range of motion. It is the ability to use joints fully, or the capacity of a joint to move through its possible range of motion. Flexibility is one of the most important but also most overlooked components of health related fitness. Performing stretching exercises will help improve a person’s flexibility while also helping to prevent injury and soreness.

    Cardiovascular Efficiency

    This is the body’s ability to undergo vigorous exercise activities over a long period of time. A weak cardiovascular system will prevent your heart and lungs from being able to supply enough oxygen, and therefore energy, to your muscles and, as a result, you get tired more quickly. This can be improved by performing cardio specific training, or exercises such as walking, running, swimming or any other exercises which increases your heart rate.

    Body Composition

    Body composition is the last component to health related fitness. This is the amount fat cells compared with lean cells in the body. This can be measured with a number of devices, each having their pros and cons. But some of the more popular ones are a skin fold caliper, bioelectric impedance analysis, or hydrostatic weighing. It is generally stated as a body fat percentage number. Body composition is enhanced by improving your diet as well as frequent exercise.

    In summary, having good health and fitness information is vital in helping you reach your personal fitness goals. Now that you have learned about the 5 components of health related fitness you can focus on those areas that you feel need improvement. Remember that for overall physical fitness, you should strike a balance between muscular fitness, endurance, flexibility, body composition and cardio when performing your exercise routines.

    At exercise equipment fanatic, we provide useful articles about health and fitness so that you can learn about your body and figure out the equipment that is right for you.