Fitness is the ability to meet the demands of the environment. There is a minimum level of fitness, which needs to be maintained: We need sufficient energy in the form of food and oxygen to enable the body to work effectively. We need muscles which are strong enough to support us and enable us to move ourselves and the things about us. We need to be able to move out joints through their full range of movement and so use our body in the way it was designed to be used.
We need to be able to act skilfully, work efficiently and use the minimum of effort. We need to be able to react and move quickly and so protect ourselves in potentially dangerous situations. We need to develop sufficient determination and motivation to see things through even if they become difficult. Fitness is a blend of a number of physical qualities. We all need these qualities to a greater or lesser extent. It is divided into two sections: health related and general, and skills-related or specific.
Health related or general This is the ability of your body to cope with the day-to-day demands of life. This includes, strength, flexibility, endurance/stamina, body composition, speed. Skills related or specific This is to be very good at sport you need specific fitness. This includes a number of physical qualities power, reaction time, co-ordination, agility, speed and balance. Training is a programme of exercise to help you reach your fitness goals.
The reason for training is to improve your ability to take part in physical activity. This improvement can only take part in physical activity. This improvement can only come about through a change and you may be trying to make a physical change. Training has certain principles, which apply no matter what type you undertake. It is important to know what they are and the effects they will have. The main four principles of training are: specificity, overload, progression, and reversibility. All training requires a combination all these factors to be successful and lead to an improvement.
The principles of specificity Every exercise has a specific effect on specific muscles. The principles of overload To make a body part fitter, you must overload it, or make it work harder than usual. Over time it adapts to the increased demand by getting fitter. The principles of progression The body can’t adapt overnight to increased demands. It can adapt only gradually or progressively. Exercising too hard, too soon, leads to torn muscles and other injuries. This means you must be careful to build up your exercise gradually, to avoid injury. If you exercise at a steady level your fitness will remain at that level.
The principles of reversibility Fitness is reversible. Exercise harder and your body gets fitter. Stop exercising and your body loses its fitness again. This means you must stick to the training programme, if you want to get fitter. If you take a break at because of illness etc, you must start again at a low level. An example of reversibility is strength training. This makes your muscles thicker. This is called hypertrophy. When you stop training they shrink. Muscles that are not used will waste away (atrophy.)