Tancred (1995) believes that: "One of the misconceptions in the sports world is that a sports person gets in shape by just playing or taking part in his/her chosen sport. If a stationary level of performance, consistent ability in executing a few limited skills is your goal, then engaging only in your sport will keep you there. However, if you want the utmost efficiency, consistent improvement, and balanced abilities sportsmen and women must participate in year round conditioning programs. The bottom line in sports conditioning and fitness training is stress, not mental stress, but adaptive body stress. Sportsmen and women must put their bodies under a certain amount of stress (overload) to increase physical capabilities."
The World Health Organization (WHO) defined health in its constitution of 1948 as "a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity".
Fitness is the ability to meet the demands of a physical task.
The Components of Fitness
Basic fitness can be classified in four main components: strength, speed, stamina and flexibility. However, exercise scientists have identified nine components that comprise the definition of fitness (Tancred 1995):
Of all the nine elements of fitness cardiac respiratory qualities are the most important to develop as they enhance all the other components of the conditioning equation.
Physical fitness refers to the capacity of an athlete to meet the varied physical demands of their sport without reducing the athlete to a fatigued state. The components of physical fitness are (Davis 2000):
Motor Fitness refers to the ability of an athlete to perform successfully at their sport. The components of motor fitness are (Davis 2000):
Improving your condition
Identify the most important fitness components for success in your sport or event and then design sport/event specific conditioning and training programs that will enhance these fitness components and energy systems.
The following are examples of general conditioning exercises:
Why should I exercise on a regular basis?
Not convinced on the benefits of a regular training regime then have a read of the the benefits of exercising page.
I am new to training so what should I do?
Visit the general fitness training program page to get an insight into a simple weekly training program that will help develop your general level of fitness.
Tests for fitness components
In their research Suni et al. (1996) found that the following tests appeared to provide acceptable reliability as methods for field assessment of health related fitness for adults:
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