The Essential Components of a Complete Fitness Program.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) defines physical fitness as “the ability to carry out daily tasks with vigor and alertness, without undue fatigue, and with ample energy to enjoy leisure-time pursuits and respond to emergencies.” Put another way, if you can perform certain activities — from simple household chores to complex exercises — without hurting yourself, you’re considered physically fit.
Being fit means different things for everyone, but one thing is certain: a healthy combination of exercise and nutrition is essential to achieve your ideal level of physical fitness. This is why we designed our formula 'Movement + Nutrition = Vitality'
At our Facet Seven gyms in Houston, our professional trainers encourage clients to do more than just cardio and heavy lifting. Rather, we help them reach their fitness goals using a holistic fitness program guided by the following components.
Flexibility is the absolute range of movement in a joint or series of joints. It refers to either active or passive length in muscles that cross the joints to induce bending or motion. We prioritize active lengthening, with an emphasis on control through range of motion.
Facet Seven fitness trainers encourage clients to do stretching exercises after every training session to reap the following benefits:
- Enhance posture
- Reduce muscle imbalance
- Avoid muscle soreness
- Increase overall physical performance and reduce the risk of injury
There are flexibility exercises that target specific parts, including hamstrings, lower back, hips, spine, and shoulders. In fact, we have quite a few listed on our YouTube channel! Check out our Exercise Library to get more tips.
Agility is the ability to change the body's position quickly, in control, and with proper form. This entails integrating isolated movement skills using a combination of balance, coordination, speed, and reflexes. So whether you’re an active athlete, a remote worker, or a retiree, performing agility exercises offers great advantages.
- True athleticism is defined by some as how quickly one can fully contract and relax one’s muscles. Exploring this range of movement through agility-specific training can keep your muscles elastic and available for use.
- Proper agility training includes exploring the active end-range of your joints, thus improving your flexibility and control through your joints’ range of motion. This translates to better movement in sport and everyday life.
- Proper agility training includes power training. People who have adopted this type of training have said that they feel light, nimble, and quick on their feet.
Agility training like hurdle drills, cone drills, and ladder drills engage more muscles and are highly advantageous if you want to move more nimbly and efficiently. Our Eado and Heights gyms are equipped with materials and equipment you can use for these exercises.
Core activation is the synchronization of core musculature with diaphragmatic breathing to facilitate spinal alignment, stabilization, and focus during activity. Core-strengthening exercises train the muscles in your abdomen, lower back, hips, and pelvis, and offer the following benefits:
- Improve balance and stability, whether doing simple chores or when engaged in strenuous athletics
- Strengthen your body and train the involved muscles to work harmoniously together
- Tone your abdominal muscles
- Prevent injuries and make you less prone to fatigue — something that can be especially helpful to athletes and runners
We lose so much power when our structure is soft. Think about hitting a ball with a wooden baseball bat versus hitting one with a foam noodle that you use to float in a pool. The stronger our core, the faster we can run, bike, swim, or sweep the floor — and with less energy!
There’s plenty of core exercises you can do whether at the gym, outdoors, or at home. You can do a variety of common exercises such as planks, sit-ups, or bridges, which are all pretty straightforward. For instance, to do a bridge exercise, lie on your back with your knees bent, keep your back in a neutral position, raise your hips off the ground till they align with your knees and shoulders. Just pull out your yoga mat and you’re good to go! Just make sure to hit the front, back, and sides, and mix up static and dynamic movements.
Endurance is the physical and mental ability to sustain a prolonged stressful effort or activity. It applies to both the muscular and cardiovascular systems.
Endurance is absolutely relative, just as each person’s metabolism is different. Even so, being able to reach 60–75% of your heart rate (HR) max — which is also different for everyone — for more than 25 minutes would signify a healthy cardiovascular system. There are many gradients here, but for us at Facet Seven, being able to run a 5k is as important as being able to tie your shoe!
But you may be wondering, “Why would I want to be able to spend hours working out or doing any form of physical activity?” Here’s why:
- Endurance training helps strengthen your body. This allows your muscles, bones, and lungs to sustain longer periods of activity so you can keep doing high-intensity activity without hitting a wall or getting exhausted after a few minutes.
- It tends to increase metabolism and reduces the risk of debilitating conditions such as type 1 diabetes.
- It boosts brain health. Endurance training improves circulation throughout the body, including the brain, making you not just physically but also mentally healthy. There’s also the added bonus of improving your self-image as a result of a better physique resulting from a sustained capacity to train.
A bad diet can undermine all your efforts to shape up. Toning doesn’t only require doing the right exercises but also following the right diet — before, during, and after exercise.
Exercising regularly can help tone the body. And if you follow a consistent regimen for a few weeks, you will see major changes, including improved cardio-respiratory health and greater strength levels. Coupled with the right nutrition, exercise can help eliminate inflammation and body fat.
Here are a few toning tips:
- Before working out, eat nutritious, easy-to-digest foods such as a banana or any fruit or an energy bar. Eat properly too after a workout session to make up for spent energy.
- Avoid drinking alcohol before and immediately after exercise. When you drink alcohol immediately after exercise, it impairs your body's ability to repair the worked muscles. Studies also show that alcohol intake tends to decrease the levels of human growth hormones, which are used by the body to build muscle.
Strength is the ability to exert muscular force to move one's body or an object or to resist being moved. Regular resistance and strength training results in several advantages such as the lowered risk of injuries, reduced body fat, and enhanced brain function.
Here are a few more distinct advantages to the strength component of a training program:
- Aside from burning calories, it increases lean muscle mass.
- Strength training improves bone density, as well as tendon and ligament strength.
- Strength training can contribute to increased levels of insulin-like growth factor (IGF1), setting your body up to build muscle and burn fat.
Options for strength training include using resistance bands, weights, machines, or your own body weight. Before you perform any strength training exercise, however, warm up your muscles by stretching, brisk walking, or doing any activity that stimulates your muscles. This is to prevent injuries, which may happen if your muscles are suddenly thrust into activity.
A personal trainer can help ensure you’re doing the right technique and observing the right form. Consult with your physician prior to exercising if you have a chronic condition.
Get started on your fitness journey
First, figure out what you want to achieve. Do you want to lose weight, gain lean muscle mass, improve your health, or all of the above? Once you figure out your goals, plan or adjust your lifestyle around exercising and eating right. Set realistic goals and commit. Then get the help of fitness professionals who can help you get whipped into shape.
Whether you’re new to training or looking to jumpstart your fitness regimen, Facet Seven’s Complete Fitness training eGuidebook will be your reliable companion to exercising optimally with the right movements and nutrition.
About The Author
Founder & Training Director
Layn has spent his life immersed in the worlds of fitness and physical performance. As an athlete, he’s completed multiple endurance events such as the Texas Bandera 50k Trail Run, Austria’s Ironman 70.3, and the Alaskaman Extreme Ironman. He’s been coaching since 2008 with certifications in USA Weightlifting Level 1, CrossFit Level 1, Strong First L1, and the National Academy of Sports Medicine.