Is Fitness A Skill?

Is Fitness A Skill?

Fitness is a skill will resonate with some of you.  It’ll depend on your experience of fitness and your definition of it. The best definition of fitness I’ve heard is by Crossfit:

“a lifestyle characterized by safe, effective exercise and sound nutrition. Fitness can be used to accomplish any goal, from improved health to weight loss to better performance.

I like many points about this statement.  A lifestyle suggests fitness and health being long term. “Safe, effective exercise” meaning specific exercises to meet the demands of your goals done safely and skillfully .  Crossfit adds to this definition further mentioning “constant variation” and “different every day”.

The number of training modalities and exercises to play with is huge.   Different every day” can range from a different exercise to the same exercise done at a different tempo for fewer reps with less weight.  It is a skill to know when to use and why to use different exercises.

Another skill in fitness is “how to use.” With varied movements comes an array of different exercises that should be executed correctly and safely.  Progressing from a squat to a kettlebell swing to a power clean requires skill. It requires you to be strong with the basic movements using a variety of equipment.

Here is a great video resource for learning more about kettlebells.

The assumptions that fitness is easy or that sporting success leads to fitness success doesn’t hold up. While some energy systems may have been developed through your sport/hobby, the skill of lifting weights safely and effectively takes time to learn.

My experience of working with a large number of people (athletes and non-athletes) has shown that when two individuals are learning an exercise (squat),  two totally different learning outcomes occur. Some get it straight away, others need more time.

If you’re not an avid hobbyist (I mean part of a sports team), then fitness could be your hobby.  Without it getting stale and “boring”  learning a variety of movements is necessary for physical development and your own sanity.      

Learn how to use a barbell, dumbbell, kettlebell and all of the movements that come with it.  Invest some time and some money to widen your repertoire of fitness movements. Play the long game and learn the skills you need to become a better lifter allowing you to keep your workouts fresh and interesting. But remember, fitness is a skill and needs to be learned.