What is Fitness, Part II

What is Fitness, Part II

It seems as if everywhere you look there are different types of exercises being marketed that promise to deliver “flat abs” and a “toned,” “sculpted,” or “ripped” body.   The desire to look better is the number one motivation behind starting an exercise program, but what does it take to do an exercise routine that will produce real results?  In short: what is the best way to obtain a sculpted body? There is no secret answer or shortcut, getting results from exercise requires work and commitment. Nothing else will do.


If you have ever followed an exercise program you might have joined a health club to use the machines “designed to isolate specific body-parts,” bought a book or some videos about how to perform a specific exercise routine or even invested in your own equipment for home use.  Somewhere along the way you stopped. Maybe it was inconvenient, or you felt that you weren’t seeing getting the outcome you wanted, or maybe you experienced some sort of injury related to exercising.  Whatever the challenge was it became the barrier that kept you from your desired goals. If you aren’t getting the results you want it might be time to learn how to exercise more efficiently and effectively.


Having traveled around the world to teach fitness education workshops what I hear most often from people who don’t exercise is that they are intimidated by the amount of work it takes to start and follow an exercise routine.  The perception is that exercise is too hard, or requires too much time.  Nothing could be further from the truth!  If an exercise is causing pain or seems to hard then it might be the wrong exercise for you. Yes exercise requires work and commitment but, more importantly, the right exercise program is not just about working harder but working smarter.  There is a way to exercise that can provide numerous benefits in a relatively short amount of time.


For many years exercises have been described as function of what a single muscle or joint is doing during the exercise. Fitness equipment companies have spent a lot of money designing machines to exercise only one muscle at a time. With the exception of competitive bodybuilder training for a contest muscle isolation training is not an efficient use of time for two reasons.


One: the body burns five calories to consumer one liter of oxygen.  The more muscle tissue engaged for a particular exercise can increase oxygen consumption and energy expenditure.


Two: all of the muscles in the body are inter-connected and function as one single unit. The only time a muscle works in isolation is in an exercise machine designed for that purpose.


In order to be the most effective and time efficient solution an exercise program should focus on training integrated movement patterns, not isolated joints or muscles. This blog will help you to understand the “how” and “why” behind exercise programming, and to give you the tools to develop a plan, specific to your needs, that you can put into action helping you to live an active and healthy lifestyle which will result in the sculpted body you deserve.


The old adage “form follows function” is directly applicable to exercise – enhancing movement efficiency (function) will result in a greater enjoyment from exercise and ultimately a better appearance (form).