The Five Pillars of Fitness: Strength, Endurance, Mobility, Body Composition and Lifestyle.
- Erik Borenstein
Focus On This
I am often asked, “What are the most important things I should focus on with my fitness program?” Based on my experience, here’s my short list of the five areas you should be focused on for the best results.
Using weights, machines or body weight to create resistance for exercising to train your muscles and stimulating muscle growth.
Strength training will help you with mobility, stability, metabolism and body composition.
Starting out, choose an exercise at a weight level high enough to hit 12-15 repetitions. Try starting with 20- to 30-minute strength training sessions two to three times per week to gain strength. As your strength increases, you will be able to increase weight, repetitions and your sets.
The ability of a muscle or group of muscles to exert resistance for an extended period is called muscle endurance. Jogging, cycling, brisk walking, hiking, and climbing are some examples of endurance exercise activities
Endurance training has cardiovascular health benefits, body composition, mood, and sleep benefits.
Steadily increasing the mileage as well as the speed over time is an effective way to train endurance. Proper diet, rest and hydration are KEY, to avoid injury as the intensity of your training increases.
(I can’t stress this one enough.)
Related to flexibility, training for mobility will improve the range-of-motion of your muscles and the joints they control.
Strengthening the muscles that control and stabilize your joints will increase your range-of-motion will allow for better exercise. Improving mobility will help you to get stronger and prevent injuries.
Body weight exercises like walking lunges, along with foam-rolling your muscles, yoga and controlled dynamic stretching are all ways to increase your mobility. Mobility drills and exercises SHOULD be incorporated into warm-ups and active rest periods during exercise.
Body composition is, basically what the body is made of — water, protein, minerals, and fat. Body composition refers to the percentage of your body weight that is comprised of fat compared to lean mass (muscle). Looking at body composition goes beyond a number on a scale!!!! Can’t stress this enough !!! Don’t get hung up on the NUMBER ON THE SCALE. Body composition tells you the actual source of that body weight.
Your body composition can help you understand your health. Even if your weight falls into a healthy weight range, a high body fat percentage can be seriously dangerous for your health. Having a healthy body composition means that the majority of your weight is coming from lean body mass, including muscle tissue.
If the result of your exercise regimen and healthy diet is two pounds of fat loss with two pounds of muscle gain, you have made a healthy change to your body composition (although maybe not a change to the scale). You can measure your body, take before/after pictures or use our InBody Scanner to get the EXACT result of your exercise regimen and healthy diet.
An overall healthy and fit lifestyle not only involves training your body but also fueling and resting it properly. IT’S NO SECRET: Consistency is the key to success. A regular exercise schedule aligned with proper rest days, maintaining a healthy diet and getting proper sleep are important aspects of your healthy lifestyle.
Sleep and rest are vitally important for proper recovery from exercise and training. Without rest and proper sleep, you make yourself more susceptible to injury; you will also have less efficient workouts. A poor diet makes it harder to improve body composition will slow recovery times. Your stress levels can also lead to higher body fat percentage.
Relax and take a day off! Schedule your rest days, and use them for meal preparation. Rest is an important part of the program that is often overlooked and underrated. Do it!
About the Author
Erik Borenstein is a certified personal trainer at Fitness Incentive.