What is meant by general fitness’?: When we speak of a person’s ‘general fitness’ we look at their overall health and well-being. Are they generally free from disease? Do their skin and nails look good? Is their body well toned? Is there a concentration of fat in one area of their bodies?
General fitness vs specific fitness
As we said in the introductory paragraph to this article, if someone is generally ‘fit’ they are healthy and well. However, if you ask them to run a 20-km marathon without any training they will probably not make it!
If you want to become specifically fit, you need to have a goal in mind that you’re working towards. For example:
- Do you want to enter a 94-km bike race?
- Do you want to compete in your first Olympic lifting tournament?
- Do you want to become a Yoga instructor?
When you’ve defined your specific goal, you need to figure out what type of fitness you need to achieve in order to attain this particular outcome.
If you want to enter the bike race…
Cycling is a cardiovascular form of exercise. The fitter you are from a cardiovascular standpoint the better you’ll be able to perform in the race.
To develop this type of fitness, first of all you’ll need to develop your cardiovascular fitness – or aerobic fitness – by going on bike rides/races of varying lengths. In addition, you’ll also need to get into the gym and into a spinning class. In this instructor-led class, you’ll be able to simulate the motions of a real-life bike race and concentrate on your form, without having to worry about other variables that happen on the road.
Bike rides can be quite long – especially a marathon-type one. This means that you’ll need to build up the endurance capacity of your muscles so that you are able to pace yourself and don’t fatigue easily.
If you want to enter an Olympic lifting competition…
Olympic lifting is all about muscle strength. The strong you are, and the better your form is, the more likely it is that you’ll succeed with this fitness goal.
To set you on the path to winning this competition, you will need to perfect your form and slowly increase the weights that you’re able to lift. The best way in which to perfect your form is to work with a personal trainer who will be able to monitor you and guide you.
In addition to the physical training aspect, you’ll need to adopt the correct nutritional principles which will help you achieve your goal. For example, after a session you’ll need to replenish your protein reserves so that you can build your muscle and ensure that it remains strong so that you can better your performance. Also make sure that you eat cleanly. Don’t, for example, eat too much junk food as this will probably cause you to put on weight which will disguise the muscle gains that you’re working so hard to get!
If you want to become a Yoga instructor…
As a Yoga instructor, you’ll need to master all the poses – from beginner to advanced. Some of these are trickier than others . Some require you to balance in the middle of the room.
This means that you’ll need to have a superior level of flexibility in order to master these poses. If you’re not that flexible, don’t worry! Flexibility can be developed. It just takes a lot of time and a commitment to work through the discomfort of lengthening muscles.
So what is general fitness? It depends on what your goals are and what your particular mindset is. Some people may regard general fitness as being super aerobically fit – almost like that of a marathon runner – while others may just be content to maintain general all-round health. Whatever suits you, it doesn’t matter. As long as it fits in with your particular lifesetyle.