What is fitness? Is it functionality or aesthetics? Is it strength or speed? Is it low cholesterol or low resting heart rate? Well, it is obviously all of those and much more.

Wading through the endless books, magazines and journals can be exhausting and many times ideas, theories and disciplines are contradictory. Why? Because fitness is not an absolute science. Fitness takes science and develops it to best suit an individual or team.

Fitness is comprised of, but not limited to, cardiovascular strength, endurance, muscular strength and power, core training, flexibility and range of motion, balance and proprioception, speed and reaction time and body composition.

So what’s a novice or, for that matter, an experienced athlete to do? Listen to your body, use common sense and incorporate the fundamentals below. This is the second of four columns that will address four major aspects of fitness: Cardiovascular Basics, Weight Training Basics, Flexibility and Balance Training.

Weight Training Basics:

  • Use variety
  • Take appropriate recovery days
  • Stretch between sets
  • Vary your rep scheme frequently
  • Maintain neutral spine and neutral pelvis as dictated by exercise
  • Breath continuously, usually exhaling during exertion
  • Focus on the exercise and the purpose of the exercise
  • Exercise all major muscles unless contraindicated
  • Train multiple and single joint movements
  • Train unilaterally and asymmetrically, meaning work the side that is weaker more