The True Definition of Conditioning in Sports and Fitness

Conditioning is a word that is used a lot in the fitness industry but what does it really mean to have conditioning? There are those that are ripped from strength conditioning, marathon runners have to go through a type of stamina conditioning and then there is the conditioning that is necessary for fighters and martial artists.

Conditioning can come off as this hard core concept of hard work and training to build your body up so it can perform or endure what the sport demands of it.

And it’s true.

However, that is not the whole picture of what it means to be a conditioned athlete. Building your body and it’s performance potentials is only the outcome associated to having “great conditioning”.

The other half of the definition of conditioning is more about the discipline, the standard and the values that you adopt.

“Great conditioning” is the result of adopting and integrating habits, standards and values that slowly, over time changes and transforms the conditions of the body.

Conditioning isn’t so much about building yourself up but rather more about adopting a specific way of being that will serve you in the long run which is beneficial for the performance and execution of the skills in a given sport or physical activity.

So, how do you integrate a great conditioning ritual? One that will meet your athletic needs based on the sport or physical activity of your choice?

A good place to start is by looking at where your values are placed in your sport. By looking at the components that you already have a natural inclination to favour and value, then you have a platform where you can design for yourself a discipline that you are more than likely to commit to.

If for example you naturally favour cardio, then use that as a base to develop a discipline to condition, not only great cardio but also as a way to condition better form, more strength and greater endurance doing the activity that is the source of cardio. It’s also a great way to develop secondary attributes. If, for instance you typically rely on jogging for cardio but you would like to develop another physical skill or work on some upper body, than you might consider cardio boxing. Or you might want to develop better foot co-ordination and do some skip rope.

By focusing on what you already prefer, you are much more likely to build on it and develop a discipline and from a place of discipline is where conditioning can flow from the best.

Also, using discipline is a powerful way to predispose yourself to growth and improvement in a specific skill or attribute. Once you have established a discipline on a particular practice, then it’s only a matter of pushing yourself and upping the ante in order to improve and refine that conditioning.

Let me leave with one final thought, and that is, when thinking in terms of the type of conditioning you feel you may …

Understanding the Definition of Health Related Fitness

Being a Health and Fitness Professional, it is my job to understand terms and definitions which are commonplace to this industry, as well to keep abreast of evolving trends. Through my experience, I have found that a number of terms deserve a little more clarification than that which they are granted.

Aside from clarifying the definition of Health Related Fitness, this article intends to shed some light on a few of the associated terms, and to show their respective distinctions.

Is it simply all in a name?

The fitness world seems to use the concept Health Related Fitness like a generic fitness principle – interchangeable with others like “Physical Fitness”, “Health and Fitness” or simply “Fitness.”

While all of these terms can be included under the broad term Health and Physical Fitness, they individually refer to different aspects – both generic and specific. Unfortunately, references to these and other fitness-related terms are often vague, while consistency in their intended use is meager at best; there is a kind of “generally accepted” use for them, but individuals often rely on own interpretation, and this can lead to confusion.

With that said, does Health Related Fitness simply infer fitness by means of good health? Not quite. That is why we need to understand a little more behind these words before digesting the definition.

How did the term Health Related Physical Fitness come about?

That is a good question. One could probably ask what is this concept all about – can we not simply use the terms “Fitness” or “Physical Fitness” instead?” Why Health “Related”?

The main reason stems from the fact that most health and fitness terms are used inconsistently and often refer to different concepts or notions. Subsequent to the 1996 report from the US Surgeon General (Physical Activity and Health; a report of the Surgeon General), there was a move to try and address the alarming rise in obesity levels among the general American public. Studies and initiatives required standardization among clinicians, health practitioners and fitness trainers to grapple with the task at hand. Enter “Health Related Physical Fitness”, a working term to address the general state of health among the public.

The definition of Health Related Fitness

According to the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the main authority in this field, ineffective definitions with unclear and subjective wordings, as well as definitions containing terms which themselves require defining, have contributed to confusing the term “Physical Fitness.”

There exists no reliable guide for Health and Fitness Professionals to measure “Physical Fitness”, because the term has been so loosely and inconsistently defined. It is therefore that one should consider the concept of Health Related Fitness. The definition therefore centers on the 5 Components of Physical Fitness which relate to “good health.” These Components are:

  • Cardiorespiratory Fitness
  • Body Composition
  • Flexibility
  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Endurance

On the other hand, Skill Related Fitness Components are:

  • Balance
  • Reaction Time
  • Coordination
  • Agility
  • Speed
  • Power

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), …