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  • Steven Shuster, MS, CISSN

So You Want to be Fit: The Components of Fitness

Updated: Sep 22, 2020

In the previous post we talked about the definition of fitness and how it is relative to the task. That is, it is not really possible to compare the fitness of a marathon runner versus a powerlifter without also giving them something to do. A marathon runner may be more fit for tasks involving cardio-respiratory fitness, or endurance, and a powerlifter may be more fit for tasks involving strength. Both endurance and strength are components of fitness, but there are more.

There are many models of fitness that include different numbers of components; a quick Google search can bury you in them. But we are going to keep it simple by keeping mental or psychological fitness separate. This is just for physical fitness even though both will play a role in your success.

Next, we are going to try to keep the number of components to a minimum. In the simplest model that we use there are 5 components of fitness and they all start with the letter ‘S':

  • Strength

  • Suppleness (flexibility)

  • Stamina (endurance)

  • Skill (coordination)

  • Speed

These are the most basic components of fitness and each of them is required in varying amounts in every athletic or physical endeavor. From these basic elements, other qualities can be described. For example, power may be seen as a combination of strength and speed. We will address this in further detail in future posts. Successive posts will be dedicated to each of these core components - we will begin with Strength in our next post.

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