It’s a fundamental question that bears examination. What is fitness? If you ask 20 people you’re likely to get 20 different answers. Or 100. Fitness is…… It’s strength, speed, power, grace, mental toughness, athletic ability….the list is infinite.
Some time ago I heard fitness described in this way….fitness is a state of readiness. That really stuck with me. It’s appropriate. But it precludes the next obvious question. Well then, ready for what? The what is highly contextual. One of the biggest problems I see in fitness today is the misapplication of context. If you could break down all the various exercises, techniques and methodologies and loosely call them tools….the key to success in fitness is having the right tool, for the right person, for the right job, at the right time.
In this case, you could have the very best, most technologically advanced hammer in the world, but if the currently application calls for a drill, or a wrench, then the hammer is of little use, and quite possibly detrimental to the cause or goal intended. Without a careful application process, the best tools get misused in the wrong context, and the results are marginal at best, and disastrous at the worst.
Research and scientific validation have become a prominent force in strength and conditioning, as well as rehabilitation. Sound principles backed by science have increasingly become the norm. Whats puzzling is the lack of scientific principles in the application of methods. A particular methodology may be well backed by research, but if the application of a methodology is random, or misapplied, the science matters little.
To be clear, when we have a well tested method or technique, but choose to apply it randomly or broadly to a large cross-section of clients, with diverse and wide-ranging goals, capabilities and limitations, the results become spurious at best.
Too often we co-opt or misappropriate “tools” without the context or parameters the tool was intended for. It’s important that if we intend to “be ready”, that we employ a careful process to decide which tool, for what job, deployed at the right time to achieve the desired result.
In Fitness, context is everything…….more to come
Don Stanley CFSC LMT MA57524