What is fitness? Is it a faster Fran time? Is it walking around pain-free? Is it a great body fat percentage?
Back in 2002, Greg Glassman, the founder and CEO of CrossFit, wrote one of the most popular CrossFit Journal articles of all time – “What Is Fitness?”. In Glassman’s view, thousands of companies and millions of individuals were chasing “fitness,” but no one could come up with an agreed upon definition. It felt silly to all be aiming for a target we couldn’t quite put into words.
The article went on to define CrossFit’s three standards of fitness, which we’ve talked about before. With these standards in place, “fitness” becomes a measurable target.
Glassman also introduced the concept of the Sickness, Wellness, Fitness continuum, which tracks an individual’s progress towards fitness using the standards defined along with blood markers, etc:
With the new year upon us, millions of people have set New Year’s resolutions aimed at being “fit.” From past experience, I know this usually means something like:
I’m going to eat healthier and work out more.
Ever heard (or even said) something like that before? I know I sure have.
At CrossFit Undeniable, our goal is to provide the tools, guidance, accountability, and community necessary to help you kick ass well into your 90’s and beyond. This absolutely includes eating healthier and incorporating intense exercise, but it includes so much more.
Glassman’s three standards definitely form the foundation of what it means to be “fit,” and it goes well beyond what you eat and how you move. “Fitness” to us includes:
- Having close, quality relationships with friends and family.
- Balancing stress in your life and taking time to mentally decompress when needed.
- Getting adequate sleep at night.
- Setting a positive mindset.
- Dedicating your energy to something that gets you excited every day.
We could probably sit here and list a dozen or more characteristics.
On Episode 100 of the Pursuing Health podcast, medical resident and former CrossFit Games athlete Julie Foucher was asked about the most important “health” factor many people are missing. She didn’t mention nutrition or intense exercise. She mentioned relationships.
The point is to expand your definition of what it means to be “fit.” It doesn’t just mean having a faster Fran time. It’s more than that. It’s getting intense exercise, eating well, building great relationships, balancing stress, staying flexible. Fitness shouldn’t be a narrow sliver; it’s a broad perspective.
As you look to improve your fitness in 2019, definitely chase Glassman’s three standards. PR your lifts, push your metcons, and build strength, power, and endurance, but also think about all of the other factors too. Are you sleeping enough? Are you constantly stressed? Are you putting effort towards close relationships? Those things are equally imported!