A lot of you could benefit from asking the question, what is the intent of my fitness program? I assume since you are reading this article that you currently participate in some type of “Fitness program” for whatever personal reason.

Working in the fitness industry for over 20 years I can tell you the word “fitness” has been hacked, marketed and sold to portray a concept that doesn’t really exist. Fitness is not something you fast track and then expect a long-term result… It’s a process that requires time, purpose, patience, growth and consistency. I also believe fitness is something you ENJOY to do because it includes activities that fundamentally improve your function and extends your experiences in life.

Let's look at some working definitions of Fitness?
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Dictionary: “the condition of being physically fit and healthy.”

CrossFit Definition: "constantly varied functional movements executed at high intensity across broad time and modal domains."

United States Department of Health and Human Services: physical fitness is defined as "a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity."

Merriam Webster: 1- the quality or state of being fit. 2 - the capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductive offspring as compared to competing organisms.
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The definitions of fitness extend from a biological need to marketed beliefs. Although we can take from the working definitions that fitness means FUNCTION and Wellness. Let look at its components.

Fitness COMPONENTS.

- Cardiorespiratory Endurance
- Muscle strength
- Muscle endurance
- Flexibility
- Body Composition

Each one of the above components contributes to “Fitness” and longevity by extending the curve of function as we age. For 95% of individuals who are looking to improve their life by feeling better, feeling stronger, feeling capable … then the concepts of what fitness is for them needs to stay SIMPLE, ENJOYABLE and SUSTAINABLE.

Simple: stick to principles, aerobic movement, strength train, eat whole foods, hydrate, sleep well and be happy.

Enjoyable: love what you do, have a purpose in what you do, set goals that are realistic and aligned to your highest priorities.

Sustainable: consistency, progression, and repeatability. Fitness programs are more sustainable when they meet the client where they are at. Fast-tracking is NOT sustainable nor is it a progression that leads to long term success.

So back to what is FITNESS? Well, that is up to the individual and what is important to them. I firmly believe fitness is a PERSONAL journey and should NOT be an experience that is led by dogma or what everyone else values…think about what do YOU value? What are YOUR priorities?

WHAT “Fitness” is SOLD to look like:
• High intensity
• Fast-tracked success
• One size fits ALL!
• Workouts that consider the “Clock” and NOT the individual
• High-level skills; gymnastics, barbells; without progression/ preparation /purpose
• A community that “suffers” together …
• Keto-Diet, RPE, etc.…

Stop looking at social media, advertisements, friends, as a reason to train or include fitness in your life… look within, what do you enjoy doing? What are your limitations? What inspires you?

Fitness is a medium that can positively impact experiences and highest priorities in life that lead you to health, wellness, and optimal function!

For example, you could list Family, Travel, Career, Health as priorities in your life. Then your fitness training should provide you better energy levels, sleep patterns, digestion, acuity, metabolic functions, stamina, performance, etc.

This is why I believe in personalized fitness coaching. Not one size fits all in fitness training as every individual is unique in what they prioritize, their genes, how they manage stress, diet, biological age, etc.

Again, fitness is a personal journey to living a "larger" life, establishing what is necessary to YOU rather than jumping on the bandwagon of someone else’s priorities, or the newest fad. What fitness is sold to look like is why there is so much confusion to what fitness really is. Bring it back to the individuals' needs.

• Strength Train to extend health markers, Maintain Lean mass and optimize physical movement.
• Aerobic Train to improve cardiovascular fitness and cellular metabolism and endurance!
• Learn a new skill in a controlled environment, with a sound progression for broader fitness.
• Honor the sun and moon with how you spend your energy.
• Food is medicine, eat REAL food and chew it!

Fitness, when based on principles, is less sexy BUT much more potent.
Don’t lose sight of what is most important to you, make fitness your personal journey to extended health, wellness and function.

Robin Lyons

Learn more about what personalized coaching can do for you.