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Physical Fitness Optimization, Not Physical Skill Maximization

Nov 27, 2007
When I look at the physical fitness industry today it is painfully obvious that the industry is more concerned with maximizing specific skills than building better humans.

Basically, the fitness industry has been divided into two fields... muscle growth and aerobic ability.

But make no mistake about it, physical training is about becoming an improved human, better suited to meet the challenges of sport, work and life with excellence under the greatest amount of circumstances.

Physical training is not about maximizing muscle growth so you look good in your t-shirt or the ability to sustain long, monotonous aerobic activity.

To become a better human, you must use your physical training for physical fitness optimization... not physical skill maximization.

Physical fitness optimization is the acceptable and deliberate compromise of competence and ability to perform in ALL the areas of cardiorespiratory endurance, strength, flexibility, power, speed, coordination, agility, balance, accuracy and toughness to produce optimum performance results under the greatest amount of circumstances

Yes... physical fitness optimization is the understanding that true physical fitness is a compromise.

Your fitness level is comprised of your ability to perform using all the physical abilities mentioned in a seamless and coordinated fashion to complete any task at any given point in time.

Physical fitness is not, and should not, be measured by the physical skill maximization of just one of these skills.

True physical fitness has to do with your physical ability to perform the widest variety of tasks under the greatest diversity of circumstances... not maximizing one physical ability to perform one task under controlled circumstances.

Strangely, the trend seems to be to use physical training to maximize one physical ability at the expense of all others... actually making the person less fit.

If you spend all your training time improving only one facet of fitness... your weaknesses will greatly outnumber your strength.

You will have become so specialized that you are unfit for most circumstances encountered in sport, work and life... and I am sure that was not your goal when starting a physical fitness training program.

Let's get one thing straight...

I am not against muscle growth and aerobic capacity... I am against the fitness industry's unbalanced focus on muscle growth and aerobic capacity at the expense of true physical fitness.

Isolated muscle exercises performed on limited motion machines combined with extended aerobic sessions is not the path to strength, conditioning and fitness excellence... no matter what the fitness industry's marketing machine says.

Commit yourself to strength, conditioning and fitness optimization if your goal is to develop performance improvements in all the 10 physical skills and produce a body that performs as good as it looks.

If your current physical fitness workout program is designed more for physical skill maximization... change it!

Because there is one thing that I know for sure...

If you have functional strength, superior conditioning and fitness excellence there will be times in sport, work and life that you need them... and if you don't, there will be times when you wish you did.
About the Author
Coach Lomax is a strength, conditioning and fitness coach dedicated to building better humans for sport, work and life. Learn more at Optimum Physical Training or take his FREE Tabata Calisthenics Workout Mini Course.
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