This morning, I listened to a Tim Ferris podcast with Jason Khalipa. And it got me thinking…what does it mean to be fit? Who, by definition, is the fittest man or woman on earth?
Merriam-Webster takes a stab at defining fitness with:
the quality or state of being fit
the capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductive offspring as compared to competing organisms;
…that was helpful. Now, call it a coincidence, but when I googled “define fitness,” a CrossFit Journal popped up as the link right below the Merriam-Webster Dictionary link. CrossFit utilized three different standards to define fitness. But for the purpose of keeping today’s discussion brief, I am going to hone in on just one.
The CrossFit Journal states, “There are ten recognized general physical skills. They are cardiovascular/respiratory endurance, stamina, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance and accuracy. You are as fit as you are competent in each of these ten skills.” Thus, we must develop these ten skills equally and consistently in order to increase our fitness, or get more fit.
Now, how do we develop all ten skills at once? Well, that could be a challenging task, which brings me back to this morning’s podcast with Jason Khalipa. He lives his life by the AMRAP mentality. AMRAP stands for as many rounds (or reps) as possible. Meaning, for the duration of an AMRAP workout we are focused on those rounds or reps being completed, and nothing else matters! Why not tackle your fitness with the same approach? In other words, don’t focus on everything, but rather identify your focus (perhaps a top three) and switch gears throughout the week as needed. Then, after some time has passed, reevaluate and go from there. To put this in more simple terms, maybe for the next few weeks focus on cardio, strength and flexibility. When one or two become tiring, switch it up!
The fittest man or woman earth is not the one with the heaviest deadlift, or the fastest sprint time. Rather, the fittest is the one who exceeds at all skills, who has great balance, speed, agility, strength and so on. You may or may not have caught this before, but Jason Khalipa lives his life by the AMRAP mentality, not just his workout regimen. He knows, just as well as you do, that we cannot focus on everything at once and be successful. Instead, we must choose what to focus on and leave the others on the back burner until we are ready to reevaluate and change gears.
I will leave you with one final thought on fitness. Jason Khalipa called his quest for fitness a lifelong journey and that really struck home for me. His comments to follow included, “don’t rush into it.” and “take your time easing yourself in” because a “good program is one that you will follow for life.” So, I will leave you one final question. What program will you set for yourself? Both inside and outside of the gym, lets make it one that you will follow for life.
If you’re not sure where to start, at EDX CrossFit we make it easy. Just start by booking a free intro and we’ve got your back from there.