The Ultimate Guide To Understanding Fitness...

I know there's a ton of information out there on the Google, as I call it. 

We get questions every day that starts with...

I read X on the internet, what do you think about it?

First off, I'm glad they trust enough to ask us our opinion, so keep the questions coming. 

However, with all the noise on the internet, I wanted to help you understand fitness, from a broad perspective and remembering one of my favorite principles. 

KISS

Keep It Simple Stupid. 

Here are the 5 components of fitness that we feel everyone should have, and for the sake of simplicity I'll leave out nutrition and mindset, which we are firm believers they are just as important, if not more important to the big picture. 

1. Goals & Screen

This is where it all starts. 

I don't care if you want to do Zumba, Weightlifting, or Belly Dancing, it starts here. 

You need to know your goals (what you're trying to accomplish) and how you move. 

What are your injuries?

Why does your knee hurt when you go upstairs?

Does your back hurt?

We put every new client through what we call a Success Session. 

It's used to learn about them, but it's also used for us as a screen. 

For example, at least half of you reading this should not be pressing anything over your head. 

You don't have the mobility to get it there without using the back. 

Yet a newbie isn't going to know that, they're going to take some random class and get hurt. 

Then come see us :)

A screen is important so you know what you can do, can't do, strengths, weaknesses, etc. 

From there...

2. RAMP

That's our acronym for a warm-up. 

It doesn't matter what you're doing, running, interval training, or squats, you have to warm up. 

And no, walking on a treadmill is not a warm-up. 

R stands for range of motion. 

Picking a few movements that work the joints through the complete range of motion. 

A stands for Activation. 

Picking a few movements that activate or prime the muscles

MP stands for Movement Prep.

Doing some "practice" reps of movements that you're about to do in the workout. 

3. Strength & Power

Again, It doesn't matter what you're doing, we firmly believe everyone should have a strength component to their routine. 

When I say strength I don't mean big and bulky muscles, I mean the strength to get up off the ground if you fall,  or carrying in the dog food from the car. 

Here's the thing though...

If under good coaching, you can't be afraid of picking up more then those 5lb dumbbells. 

Think about. 

How much does your kid weigh?

How much does your suitcase weigh?

Everything in life we have to be "functionally strong" at weighs as a lot more than 5lbs, yet we're still afraid to lift heavy. 

Power is putting some speed on that strength. 

As we age we lose our power, the ability to generate force.

However, we can enhance that by adding power to our routine with things like medicine balls slams or small jumps. 

4. Metabolic

This is what most to as "cardio."

For us, this is anything over a minute or so. 

It could be a short duration movement like a sprint or pushing a sled, or it could a be a longer duration event like a 5k run. 

Which one of those is based upon your goals and ability, but the premise is very similar. 

Your heart is a muscle, and just like your biceps, you need to work it. 

A lot of people think we don't do cardio. 

That's simply not the case, just ask our clients. 

You just won't find rows and rows of cardio equipment because we think that's boring :)

5. Recovery/Stretching

This is where things like flexibility, massage, and yoga come into play. 

No, your muscles can't get longer, so if anyone tells you that slap them in the face, it's physically impossible. 

However, your muscles do need recovery work and light stretching. 

So there you have it. 

The 5 basic categories of fitness. 

So how does it all fit in?

If you have 3 or fewer days I would put it all together each day. 

  • 5 Minute RAMp
  • 20 Minutes Strength & Power
  • 20 Minutes Metabolic
  • 5 Minutes Recovery

If you are working out 4 or more days a week it's probably worth breaking up with a RAMP in the beginning of each one. 

Monday: Strength & Power

Tuesday: Metabolic

Wednesday: Strength & Power

Thursday: Metabolic

Friday: Strength & Power

Saturday: Recovery

Sunday: OFF

Remember, keep it simple. 

This is still overwhelming for some, and that's okay. 

I would probably get overwhelmed at what you do for work :)

1% Better.

Dedicated to Your Success,

Doug Spurling