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What is fitness at Cumming Strength and Fitness?

Before we get into our definition of fitness, and what will be involved in getting you fit, lets consider what our goal is. Why exactly should you care about being fit?

Our ultimate goal is for you to live a long, happy, healthy life, so you can be the star of your hockey team at 25, are able to ski all day at 60, and can live independently at 85.

It goes without saying, living a good life involves being generally physically prepared for anythingor GPP (General Physical Preparedness). Physical preparedness means you arent held back by physical tasks that come your way in everyday lifebe it carrying four bags of groceries up five flights of stairs, sprinting across the street to avoid getting hit by a car, getting up effortlessly when you fall down, or going for a four-hour hike.

We believe the best way to achieve this is to follow our prescription for fitness.

What if I want ELITE fitness?

Elite fitness is achievable through following our prescription for fitness, as well, if elite fitness is what youre after.

Think of fitness as a spectrum, with the most unfit person at one end, and the fittest man or woman in the world on the other. Everyone else in the world falls somewhere on that spectrum.

The stronger, the more skilled, the more explosive, the more conditioned you becomeand the more efficient youre able to movewill help you move along the spectrum, eventually achieving elite fitness if thats what youre striving for.

The point is, regardless of whether youre a 60-year-old woman wanting to improve her quality of life, or a 20-year-old hockey star, from a conceptual level our prescription for fitness looks mostly the same. This doesnt mean your training sessions will look even remotely similar; it simply means the concept behind our training program is the same. And it lies in our prescription for fitness.

Prescription for fitness

1. Functional movements:

Functional movements are movements that mimic movements you see in everyday life, as well as in sports. For our purposes, they can be essentially broken into 4 categories: Hinge, squat, push, pull.

a). Hinge:

Real world hinge example: Picking something up off the ground

Training hinge examples: Deadlift, KB swing, good morning

b). Squat:

Real world squat example: Standing off a toilet

Training squat examples: back squat, front squat, overhead squat, wall ball shot

c). Push

Real world push (or press) example: Putting something away on a high shelf

Training push examples: push up, shoulder press, bench press, handstand push-up

d). Pull

Real world pull example: Opening a heavy door

Training pull examples: ring row, pull-up, rope climb

The idea behind training with functional movements is the more you practice moving functionally at the gym, the easier your daily tasks will be in life.

2. Movement Efficiency

Its one thing to practice functional movements. Its another thing entirely to move efficiently. Basically, the better you move, the more efficient you are, and the easier fitness will feel.

Your coach will provide you with a functional movement screening to assess your strengths and weaknesses with it comes to how you movei.e. the range of motion youre joints are able capable of. From there, much of our emphasis will be placed on getting you to move well before we start asking for more intensity. Moving well will keep you healthy and injury free.

3. Prescribed Intensities

Some of the tasks you have to do in life are long and slow and require endurancelike a four-hour hike. Others are short, hard and fastlike explosively lifting a heavy suitcase onto a conveyer belt at the airport.

The way you train should be the same way: It should include various intensities and time domains.

Some training days will be high intensity, some will be interval based, and others will be long with low intensity. Other times, training will be focused purely on strength development. Some days will be test days, where well ask for a 100 percent effort, while other days youll be asked to put forth a 50 percent effort, where the focus is on skill development and quality of movement.

4. Structured Variability

While the movements youll learn with us are varied, the program is not random. Theres a method to the madness. With us, youll follow a structured training plan that includes both repetition (the only way to improve a movement or gain strength etc is to practice it over and over) and constant variety.

The skills you need in life

Following the abovefunctional movements performed efficiently, at moderated intensities via structured variabilitywill help you gain the necessary skills required for living an effortless physical existence.

In other words, the better you become at these skills, the more fit you will become, and the better your life will be.

Physical

  1. Cardiovascular Respiratory Endurance: Cardiovascular respiratory endurance is defined as the ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen. How tired are you after carrying groceries for 10 blocks?
  1. Stamina: Stamina is defined as the ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilize energy. How fast do you recover after you walk up five flights of stairs?
  1. Strength: Strength is defined as the ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force. Can you move your couch into the other room?
  1. Speed: Speed is defined as the ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.Your house is on fire. Are you going to be able to sprint down the stairs fast enough to escape?
  1. Power: Power is defined as the ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time. Can you hoist a heavy garbage bag into a dumpster?
  1. Flexibility: Flexibility of defined as the ability to maximize the range of motion at a given joint. Can you put your hands over your head without limitations or pain?
  1. Coordination: Coordination is defined as “stringing movement patterns together to form one movement.” Are you confident signing up for a new sport and learning new movements?
  1. Agility: Agility of defined as the cycle time between movements. Are you agile enough to quickly change directions to avoid stepping on a big rock that suddenly appears in your sight when you’re sprinting?
  1. Balance: Balance is defined as the ability to control the placement of the bodies center of gravity in relation to its support base. You tripped. Can you avoid disaster by reacting and stopping yourself from falling?
  1. Accuracy: Accuracy is defined as the ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity. Can you properly judge how far you need to jump to avoid landing in a large puddle?

One last piece of the puzzle: Nutrition

Nutrition might just be the move controversial piece of this puzzle. Even scientists cant seem to decide what we should be eating. One month, a food is good for the heart and the brain, the next minute its deemed a carcinogen.

Should you be gluten-free? Dairy-free? Is meat healthy? Is being a vegan more healthy? You can find legitimate arguments for all of the above.

Whether youre a carnivore or a vegan, here are to things we CAN and DO agree on:

1. Processed food is bad: Everyone agrees whole foodsnatural foods the way nature made them (i.e. you can grow them in the ground or on a tree) are healthier than processed foods (think of processed foods as anything that have more than two or three ingredients).

2. Sugar is bad: White sugar, cane sugar, sucrose, fructosethere are tons of names for sugar out there and nobody is promoting them as healthy. What about natural sugars? Thats more debatable, but generally we believe most people eat too much of that, too.

Beyond that, its a crapshootand largely individual.

We suggest working with your coach for life to experiment and figure out what works best for youto discover via trial and error what foods your body responds well to.

What makes you feel and perform the best? Those foods will likely dictate the bulk of your diet.

Contact us now to be put in touch with a coach for life to help you get started on your fitness journey.

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