Exercise Fitness Components

Fitness Components

I recently published an article tackling the process of creating a SMART goal for yourself in relation to fitness.

My personal fitness Smart Goal is: increase time spent cardio training to 250 minutes per week using the AMT, elliptical, or rowing machines by the end of the year.

Let’s do a self – check: is my goal Smart? Specific? Measurable? Attainable? Realistic? Time-bound?

Now that our goals have been established, let’s focus on what constitutes a solid fitness plan.

Provided by the American College of Sports Medicine, there is a list of 5 Components of Exercise in the ACSM Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription. (ACSM, 2018)

Those components are:

  • Body Composition -This component includes the measurements of weight, height, BMI, fat percentage, muscle mass, or any other measurement of body composition.
  • Cardiovascular Endurance – This component assesses a person’s cardiovascular performance measurements like VO2max or cardiac output and then relates it to how long the body can sustain said performance. When doing “cardio” exercise, this is what is being trained.
  • Flexibility– Flexibility is the body’s ability to move the joints and muscles through a range of motion, tension/release, and mobility movement.
  • Muscular Endurance – The endurance of a muscle or group of muscles is the ability to perform sustained and repeated contractions for a length of time. This is visible as “sets and repetitions”.
  • Muscular Strength – Different from endurance, the strength of the muscle is the maximum force a muscle can produce during a contraction. This is visible in “load” or “weight”.

By now, you should be aware of what component your SMART goal fits under. (Spoiler alert, it may even fit more than one.)

  • Lose weight or tone up? Body composition
  • Get stronger? Muscular strength
  • Run a race? Cardiovascular endurance
  • Perform better in a sport/class? Muscular endurance
  • Regain a range of motion? Flexibility

Each component is independent in terms of their intended goal, but all work in tandem to make your body stronger and healthier through fitness.

American College of Sports Medicine, In Riebe, D., In Ehrman, J. K., In Liguori, G., & In Magal, M. (2018). ACSM’s guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Source

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