Fitness Relevance and Your Sport: Are You On Form?
The following are some of the questions I have been asked most often when it comes to my blog post “Are You On Form?”
Many times I am asked if I have any advice or tips on how to improve my own performance. So here they are, with links to all the sources used in this article.
What do you mean by “On Form”?
In the context of sport, one could say that you are on form when your body is performing at its peak. If you are not on form then you will likely experience injury and fatigue sooner rather than later. For example, if you are running a 5k race and start to feel tired after 20 minutes, chances are that your form isn’t good enough.
Why does this matter?
If you want to become better at something, then you need to train accordingly. Training on a regular basis is the best way to get results. However, if you don’t train regularly, then you won’t develop the proper skills needed for your chosen activity. And since there are so many different activities out there, it’s hard to determine which ones require specific training and which ones don’t.
So how do we decide what type of training is necessary?
What’s the nature of my chosen activity?
If you are a triathlete then running isn’t going to be necessary for your training. However, that doesn’t mean that you can skip out on all endurance training. There are different types of endurance training, with swimming, cycling, and running being the most common in triathlons. Other types of endurance include rowing, cross country skiing, etc. If you are training for something like this then running or jogging isn’t going to be as relevant.
What are the different components of fitness?
There are five components of physical fitness: muscular strength, muscular endurance, cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, flexibility, and body composition. The first two are general, while the last three are specific. General physical preparedness focuses on improving one’s health and overall fitness level. The specific components are important in preparing for a certain activity. For example, if you want to run a marathon then you need to have great cardiovascular endurance and some degree of flexibility. If you want to become better at pull-ups, then focusing on muscular strength and muscular endurance is necessary.
I am interested in getting into _____, is there a way that I can train for it?
Most likely. First, figure out what components of fitness are important for your activity. Grab a piece of paper and make three columns. In the first column, list the components of fitness. In the second column, rate yourself from 1 to 10 in each category (1 being the weakest and 10 being the strongest). Finally, analyze which components you are weakest in and then find ways to improve them.
For example, let’s say you want to get into rock climbing. Looking at the components of fitness, it is clear that strength and muscular endurance will be important. If you want to become a better rock climber, then you will need to focus on those two components. Grab that piece of paper again and make two new columns. In the first column, list ways to improve your muscular strength.
Perhaps you can do push-ups, pull-ups, and squats. Those are all great ways to improve your strength and they are easy to do as well. In the second column, list ways to improve your muscular endurance. Perhaps you can do sit-ups and push-ups. Those two exercises will help you improve your muscular endurance. After you have your lists completed, you can start doing the activities under your ” Ways to Improve…” header on a regular basis.
Just because an activity improves a specific component of fitness, doesn’t necessarily mean that it will make you better at your chosen activity. There is a lot more to it than that. All we are focusing on right now is improving your physical abilities. After you’ve improved the necessary components, you can move on to the other factors that will help you get better.
6) I have been doing these activities for a while now and have not seen any improvements in my abilities.
What am I doing wrong?
Make sure that you are actually improving.
Sources & references used in this article:
Death Can Be Good for Your Health: Fitness Intentions as a Proximal and Distal Defense Against Mortality Salience1 by J Arndt, J Schimel… – Journal of Applied Social …, 2003 – Wiley Online Library
Effect of school-based interventions on physical activity and fitness in children and adolescents: a review of reviews and systematic update by S Kriemler, U Meyer, E Martin… – British journal of sports …, 2011 – bjsm.bmj.com
Student-centered physical education: Strategies for developing middle school fitness and skills by TK Smith, NG Cestaro – 1998 – books.google.com
Field-based fitness assessment in young people: the ALPHA health-related fitness test battery for children and adolescents by JR Ruiz, J Castro-Piñero, V España-Romero… – British journal of sports …, 2011 – bjsm.bmj.com