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Understanding fitness basics

For those who do not exercise or who aren’t particularly interested in exercise, the fitness world can often make you feel like you’re reading a dictionary full of unnecessarily complicated words. If you are tired of spending hours googling the answers you are looking for then look no further. We’ve simplified this enormous dictionary for you by breaking down some of the basics.

Strength Training

Strength training is often referred to as resistance training and is defined as the ability to exert force in order to overcome resistance. Therefore, with this style of training, you train to overcome resistance. For example, moving as much weight as you possibly can for a certain number of repetitions. An easier way to think of this is that strength focuses on moving a weight from point A to point B.

The resistance that needs to be overcome can be in the form of free weights, weight machines, resistance bands or even your own body. During training sessions, overcoming this resistance puts a higher-than-normal weight load on your muscles. This not only strengthens your muscles but also your underlying bones.

Power Training

Like strength, power is defined as the ability to exert force in order to overcome resistance. However, where it differs is that power focuses on overcoming this resistance in the shortest period of time. When you see the words “power training”, it probably makes it sound like this refers to heavy weight lifting alone. However, power training also encompasses cardio training in the form of high-intensity interval training (HIIT). Regardless of the type of power training you participate in, the ultimate goal of this style of training is to increase both strength and speed which in return will increase power.

Endurance Training

When you hear the words “endurance training”, the first thing that probably springs to mind is long-distance running. However, endurance training encompasses any form of steady-state cardio training as well as lower intensity weightlifting.

Steady-state cardio refers to any cardio exercise, performed at a consistent rate, for 45 minutes or longer. While this does include running, it also includes things like cycling, swimming, dancing, aerobics classes, team sports and more.

Lower intensity weightlifting is perfect for toning your muscles and includes lifting a lighter weight numerous time (for more repetitions).

Weight training can be included in both your power and endurance training sessions. However, this is often easier said than done. When you walk into a gym, the different weight training options can often be overwhelming.

Aerobic Fitness

In the fitness world, your aerobic fitness level is referred to as your VO2max. This refers to the rate at which your body uses oxygen while you train. Oxygen is used, by the body, to create energy for your muscles during exercise. The quicker oxygen moves through and is utilized by the body, the quicker nutrients are transported and utilized throughout your body. This increased use of nutrients, such as carbohydrates and protein, contributes to an increase in fitness levels and can help you reach your peak fitness level a lot faster.

Understanding these few basic concepts can make a world of difference when reading up on any fitness related topic. Now that you understand the basics, the next step is finding out the fitness basics about your own body.