The Fitness Trifecta
This is something that has been playing on my mind for a while now. With all the complex variations of movement that are going on out there, when you sift through the all of the various methods of training that are out there, boot camps, CrossFit, Kettlebell Classes, F45, what do they all have in common?
Movement. Simply put they are all allowing us the opportunity to move our limbs in the way that modern-day life often restricts.
So if energy expenditure is what you’re looking for, thinking about the fact that in order to burn body fat, you need to maintain a negative energy balance - ie, use more than you take in, then literally any form of movement can help you accomplish this, very few are far superior to the others in this case. *Mind Blown".
So simply put, pick the exercise discipline that you enjoy the most as adherence to exercise is largely linked to the amount of enjoyment you pertain from said exercise.
Now, if we’re looking at fitness, in this case using the below definition, then perspectives are slightly altered.
“To be physically and mentally prepared for a variety of obstacles.”
At METHOD we truly believe that there is no one method. It’s something that is deeply routed in our core principals as a company. When athletes come to us we do not have a template assessment for them to go through as context is king. The CrossFit Athlete that walked through the door may need to test lactate threshold and ability to recall many skills at varying levels of fatigue, but my Aunt Geraldine does not, nor does she need to do a scratch test, because frankly she just wants to potter about and make sure she can get herself to bingo every Friday.
So when we look at the definition of fitness, the variety of obstacles that these two people will encounter will vary drastically. That is not to say that Aunt Geraldine isn’t going to become stronger and more resilient to the stress of the outside world, everyone should have a level of resilience to prepare them for when life throws a curve ball. What it simply means is that no two people are the same so no one method can fit.
Before I digress further, let's move onto the fitness trifecta I believe does apply to everyone
MOBILITY - STRENGTH - AEROBIC CAPACITY
These three elements apply to every human being on the planet when it comes to building a fitness regime.
Remember, context is king and therefore the levels of each of these will vary.
The daily demand you place on your joints is one of the key elements in deciding how much mobility you need. Want to learn Olympic weightlifting? Taking up Dancing or gymnastics? Joint mobility is going to be your number one factor.
So let’s take someone who is interested in dancing/Olympic lifting/gymnastics.
If the required positions are unable to be moved into without load, then that should be our first port of call in programming. By focussing on this, you will save that athlete/yourself months if not years of frustration and potential injuries, let alone money trying to figure out why you can’t Olympic lift properly.
“Without Mobility, it’s not a matter of if you get injured, it’s when.”
Another key thing to remember is mobility is not simply passive flexibility, it’s about owning the joint range you have, not being made up of noodles.
- Remember this needs to be taken in context.
Let’s define strength first.
“The ability to exert force against external load”.
One of my favourite quotes is
“Lifting weight isn’t dangerous, being weak is.”
A slightly passive-aggressive but very true quote. The benefits of resistance training have been researched a million times, and I’m not going to go into that in these blogs. Effectively we are preparing areas of the body for income physical stress. If that load exceeds our tissues (ligament/tendon/muscle/bone) capacity for load, then we get injured, hurt or worse, die.
My Spine has the ability to withstand up to 180kg of lateral force. I step into the road and get hit by a 6000 kilo bus. My spine loses this battle, very likely along with many other tissues in my body.
So in relation to fitness, we are talking about being physically prepared for the obstacles in our daily life, whether it’s a potential fall on the way to bingo, or the 120kg snatch at the end of tomorrow’s 10-minute workout. In order to do that we need to slowly increase the demand on our tissues so they overcome and adapt.
The greater our aerobic capacity, the greater our tolerance to stress. Aerobic capacity, as well as strength, makes us more resilient to the external stressors that the world provides, be that work, social or training. This is why it’s fundamental to us at METHOD that we assess a persons need for aerobic capacity and then within the confines of their programming, create the largest ability to handle the workload as possible, again in relation to the context of that person.
More aerobic capacity = quicker recovery from bouts of stress
More aerobic capacity = a more efficient system
These three things make up the Fitness Trifecta at METHOD, but are all made up of other smaller parts as well.
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