Rome was not built in a day. It takes time to become an overnight success. And when it comes to fitness, progress is not always linear. Because no matter how hard you work out in a day, the motivation to show up on the next day is not always similar. Sometimes you have to grind through it, to keep the body in the process and maintain or improve the level of fitness.
In this blog we will discuss all the components also known as the levels of fitness. Knowing them will help you determine where you stand in each level and plan an improvement for the future.
5 Levels of Fitness
- cardiovascular endurance
- muscular strength
- muscular endurance
- and body composition
Fitness can be defined as an ability to perform daily tasks efficiently and actively without getting tired. It is about combating your daily challenges effectively either physically or mentally. Fitness is really important as it ensures you have strength, agility and stamina to perform everything with a great deal of ease.
What does a Level of Fitness mean?
It can be of two different types general fitness or specific fitness. General fitness is about the state of being healthy physically and mentally. Specific fitness involves your ability to perform the relevance of some sport or specific task. There are various standards according to which you can check your level of fitness.
Five Components of Fitness
When you start doing cardio and get a desirable result, your motivation increases. You work hard to increase your level. But the question is, how can you exactly know that where you fall in these levels? So here are the five component which helps to check your fitness level and to maintain it in the long run.
1. Cardiovascular Endurance
Cardiovascular endurance refers to a maintained level of heart rate during extensive exercise. Your heart rate is affected by exercise, the body requires energy and oxygen, which is enhanced by increasing blood supply. Gradually, your heart rate becomes consistent over prolonged exercise. It can tell if your level of fitness has increased or not.
2. Muscular Strength
You work your muscles during exercise to strengthen them. This strength then aids your cardio. Muscular strength is the ability of your muscles to endure the weight and exert maximum force in lifting. So you can improve your muscular strength by doing cardio daily. And you can alleviate your fitness level by strengthening your body’s muscles. You can increase your muscular strength by lifting weight.
3. Muscular Endurance
Muscular endurance is also as important as muscular strength. It is the ability of your muscle to perform prolong and continuous exercise without fatigue. You have to make your muscles accustomed to exercise like running, jogging, and walking to increase their endurance. It also indicates your level of fitness.
Another component of your physical fitness is the flexibility of your body. Flexibility refers to the range of motion your body can have around joints. Different exercises gradually increase your flexibility. The more your body is flexible, the higher you are getting in your level of fitness. It can also lessen the risk of getting injuries. Stretching exercises are of great help. Poor flexibility leads to failure of cardiovascular and muscular endurance.
5. Body Composition
Your body defines that how fit and healthy you are. But it does not mean how built you are. It’s the relative measure of your muscles, bones, fat content, and fluid content. It is important to have these components regulated to increase your level of fitness. Therefore, you should not start with strenuous exercise. You should start with easy ones and slowly moves to difficult ones. It is usually related to your height and weight.
How do you Measure your Fitness Level?
Well, you are well aware of the components of fitness, but how can you measure them? It is something you should know as a cardio enthusiast. There are various tests to keep a check on your fitness components and levels. Some of these are as follows;
1. Three-minutes step test
This exercise is to test your cardiovascular endurance, a 12 inches’ step to step on and off at a particular pace. After 3 minutes, it is noted that how quickly your heart rate becomes normal. A scale is formed to compare your performance.
2. Cooper 12-minutes run test
It is also an important test to measure cardiovascular endurance. You are assigned to run or walk for 12 minutes, then your heart rate and distance are noted. A standard scale is used to compare your performance and level your fitness accordingly. This test is used by militants also.
3. Pushup Test
It is a standard test to measure your muscular endurance. In the standard test, you need to position your body on hand and toes, shoulder-width apart hands, straight elbows, a straight line from hips to toes. Then bend your elbows at 90 degrees to lower your body, then push up. Measure the number to total pushup in a given time. Compare it to check your muscular endurance.
4. Sit up Test
It is one of the simplest tests to check muscular endurance. You have to lie on the floor with knees bent at 90 degrees, then try to get up without lifting your hips. Measure the count and compare it with the standard chart.
5. Squat Test
For doing the squat test, stand with your feet shoulder-length wide. Keep your hands behind your ears while keeping your elbow straight. Pose your body in a sitting position by lowering your knees keeping back straight, note the time in which you retained your position. The more time is the great the muscular endurance you have.
6. 1RM Test
It is one of the standard tests to calculate your muscular strength, it measures how much weight you can lift in one rev. the more the weight is the more force your muscle exerts indication the great strength your muscles exhibit.
7. Sit and reach Test
One of the common exercises to test your flexibility. In this test, you simply have to sit keeping your legs straight. Try to touch your toe without bending your legs. The distance you covered indicates the flexibility your body bears.
8. Zipper Test
Another test to evaluate your flexibility is the zipper test which is also known as the shoulder flexibility test. To perform this test, you have to position one hand behind the head and try to reach the bottom of your back. Place your other arm behind your back, palm facing outward trying to reach your other hand. The closer your hands are the more flexible you are.
9. Skin-fold Caliper Test
This test this effective to calculate body composition. Measurements are taken from the right side at various sites like the abdomen, torso, mid-chest, and upper thigh in millimeters. Then you convert them into percentage body fat and compare it with a standard scale.
10. Body Circumference Test
Another simple test to calculate your body composition. You have to take a tape and measure the circumference of various parts of the body with girth measurement and estimate your body composition.
Doing exercise is beneficial, it is a common statement but I think it needs some amendment. Doing the right exercise at right time is important. You cannot just lift a rock after a day of lifting a stone. But if you do consequences will be bad. So keep a check on your fitness level and then choose your exercise according to your capability.