Shivoham is one of India’s foremost fitness trainers. In his book,‘The Shivfit Way’ he shows how to work out without any equipment or machines. He combines cardio, strength training and weight exercises for a full-body workout. He also offers a whole new perspective on what it means to be fit and how to motivate yourself to start exercising. This book is coauthored by Shrenik Avlani, who is a newsroom veteran with nearly two decades of work experience as a leading writer in the field of endurance sport and fitness.
The Merriam-Webster dictionary defines fitness as ‘the quality or state of being fit’, while fit is defined as ‘sound physically and mentally’. Though the word was first used in 1580 ad, its dictionary definition does not tell us much about what fitness actually is.
We have seen triathletes compete in Ironman races which involve swimming 3.86 kilometres, followed by cycling 180.25 km and then immediately running a full marathon of 42.195 km, being crowned the fittest men and women in the world. but put them in a gym and ask them to lift weights, and you will find that they fare rather poorly. Even a boy or girl of average strength will be able to lift more than the fittest men and women on earth if endurance sport is the measure of fitness, as it mainly enhances the aerobic capacity of an individual.
But walk into a weightlifting clinic or lifter training for the Olympics and you would find the smallest of them lifting much more than their body weight. Lifters usually describe their colleagues as strong, not fit. Now ask them to run a couple of kilometres or swim just 500 metres, you are most likely to see them struggling and gasping for breath pretty quickly. so, strength alone also cannot be a parameter to measure fitness.
Clearly, fitness means different things to different people. Depending on who you ask, fitness is likely to be defined in terms of things people are good at or specialize in. For a runner, being able to run a full marathon in under four hours is being fit. For a body-builder, big muscles are clear indicators of fitness. Then again, talk to weightlifters, and they will tell you that their ability to lift weights three times heavier than themselves is proof of their fitness. For the average person, fitness could mean something as simple as going through an entire day of work and having enough energy to indulge in their hobbies or run and play freely with their kids without feeling exhausted.
In the many years I have spent in this industry, and during the course of my own journey, I have come to realize that no single parameter can measure fitness. several factors measure different attributes of your body, and the ones you pay more attention to depend on which school of fitness you follow. For example, if you believe having sculpted abs is a mark of fitness, then you will strive for low body fat percentage. For others, it could be achieving the ideal weight according to their height and body type.
Since I believe in and practice CrossFit, I follow its founder Greg Glassman’s definition of fitness, which is based on the following ten general physical skills:
Cardiovascular or respiratory endurance: The ability of the body to gather, process and deliver oxygen to its different parts.
Stamina: The ability of the body systems to process, deliver, store and utilize energy.
Strength: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply force.
Flexibility: The ability to maximize range of motion at a given joint.
Power: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
Speed: The ability to minimize the time cycle of a repeated movement.
Coordination: The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movement.
Agility: The ability to minimize transition time from one movement pattern to another.
Balance: The ability to control the placement of the body’s centre of gravity with regard to its support base.
Accuracy: The ability to control a movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.
Find this book: The Shivfit Way