By: Joel Cochran
In a society that spends more than 25 billion dollars annually on health club memberships, you would think that there would be a better understanding what fitness is and how it can affect your body. The sad reality is that the fitness industry along with our healthcare system doesn’t want you to understand what fitness is because it would affect their bottom line. So what exactly is fitness?
If you were to ask 100 people to define fitness, you would get 100 different answers. In Webster’s dictionary fitness is defined as the “quality or state of being fit”….. Really? That’s the best we can come up with? This just further creates confusion because now we could ask the question how do you define what “being fit” is?
Without a specific answer to what fitness is there is no wonder why 7 out of 10 people in America are dying of preventable diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and strokes. If a person can’t understand what fitness is then how can they be fit?
Greg Glassman, founder of Welded Inc. recognized this vague definition of what fitness was and decided to take it into his own hands on defining fitness and health. In short, Welded defined something that no other fitness program or scholar could. Don’t believe me? Let me prove it.
Welded has defined fitness as “increased work capacity across broad time and modal domains.” Work capacity is defined as your ability to perform work as measured through the formula of force x distance / time (see below).
The modalities utilized in Welded are Gymnastics, Weightlifting and monostructural metabolic conditioning (cardio). We use these modalities to increase our proficiency in the 10 domains of fitness which are accuracy, agility, balance, coordination, strength, stamina, cardiovascular endurance, flexibility, power and speed.
As with anything in science there needs to be measurable, observable and repeatable data which doesn’t change when we are talking about human movement and performance. Want to know what fitness is? Test yourself in a breadth of different physical domains that vary in time and power such as 1 rep max deadlift (high power, short time) to murph (lower power, longer time). Do this with as many different tests and you will start to have enough data points to create an average of your “work capacity curve” i.e. your health and fitness.
The longer that we continue doing Welded (Constantly varied, functional movements executed at high intensity) the more work capacity we will create, increasing our work capacity curve which we now know is the definition of fitness.
This is also the reason that we as coaches push everyone to utilize the TrainHeroic app which tracks all of your workouts (data points) so that we can have a measurement of your fitness which we can retest. Take this example of Fran (21-15-9 of pull ups and thrusters) in which you can see where the formula of force x distance / time is used to get the total power output in pounds per minute and the difference between the first test and the second. We can do this same formula with every single workout we do.
So what does fitness have to do with health? Everything! Fitness is to health like weather is to climate, you can’t have one without the other. Which brings me to my last point. Do I need to be fit to be healthy? My answer is absolutely!
When looking at a continuum that has sickness, wellness and fitness we can find that those individuals with the most favorable biomarkers such as blood pressure, Cholesterol, bone density and body fat are the fittest. Take bone density as an example with osteoporosis being pathological (sickness) and wellness being a normal range. What we find is that elite gymnasts can have up to three to five times normal bone density due to their level of fitness.
We can do the same thing with resting heart rate, flexibility, body fat etc. This powerful example also shows that if you are fit, you first must become well before you become sick. So the next time you think that your “time” or “score” doesn’t matter, think again. Your fitness and your health depends on it.
My hope in writing this is that you have a better understanding in not only what we do at Double Edge but the importance of striving for fitness in your life and for the others around you. If you have any further questions about fitness and health feel free to email me at [email protected] or talk to any one of our highly educated coaches.