The next few blog posts are going to be my journey and thoughts on this topic. Some of it will be science, and most will be an opinion and personal experience as I have been navigating this topic for many reasons in my own personal life. Bear with me, and I hope you all find some value in how I break this down and why.
Where to begin? I still don’t know. My fitness life has changed, evolved, and continues to do so. The vast majority of people come to the gym to lose some unwanted body fat, feel better, have more energy, and live a healthy life. But what does the mean? The lines between health and fitness can often counteract themselves. As some people chase high levels of fitness, arguably they are less healthy. This all comes down to how you define health. So I guess that is where we will start. What is Health?
The dictionary definition of health, “the state of being free from illness and injury.” There is a lot to unwrap, and it will take me a few blog posts to do it.
In the functional fitness and CrossFit world, health is defined as, “Increased work capacity across broad time, modal and age domains. Work capacity is the ability to perform real physical work as measured by force x distance/time. Fitness then is the ability to perform work in as many domains as possible. So then in terms of health is measured by your ability to sustain fitness.” This is mouth full and can be hard to understand and digest. Basically, you are not considered healthy with this definition if you are not capable of producing work. For example, in the functional fitness and CrossFit realm, someone how can run sub 20 minute 5k, but can’t do a pull-up or deadlift their body weight might be a good runner, but they are not healthy or fit. They are limited in their ability to produce work. On the other side, the person who can deadlift two times their body weight but can’t run a mile without walking is also not healthy or fit.
Interestingly enough, a CrossFit athlete/coach Adam Klink just did a sub 5min mile and then proceeded to back squat 500lbs the same day. This was something in the sport performance world that was thought to be impossible. Is this person the pinnacle of health and fitness? Is Matt Fraser, Tia Toomey, or so many other insane CrossFit athletes?
When I think of CrossFit’s health definition, follow and look up to many great CrossFit athletes in the industry, I can see why the last ten years of my functional training journey as lead my mind to a performance-focused thought process. And in that thought process, my current struggle lies in me trying to achieve health and live an optimal life.
In my quest for performance during my early 20’s, I neglected the theoretical hierarchy of developing an athlete to achieve optimal health and fitness. I left the bottom off of it, and I failed to recognize, implement, and properly train my body based on energy systems and also taking into account stressors and other things that happen with an evolving life. I am here today breaking this down because I have been challenging my own thoughts, beliefs, and goals as it relates to health and fitness.
Next week I will break down how I am evolving my thoughts on the health pyramid as it relates to my life now and how I want to help people live a healthy and fit life going forward. Here is a visual of how I am approaching my health and fitness right now.