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  • #16
    Originally posted by EagleRiverDee View Post
    Fitness is multi-faceted to me.

    I'm a 39 year old woman, FWIW.

    I want to have functional strength. I want to be able to carry my own groceries, push a car that's stuck, shovel the driveway, carry the vacuum up and down the stairs, etc. I can do all these things right now, but I want to be able to do them until I'm 80 and beyond. I have seeing elderly people that get so weak they can't do the most basic things. I don't want to have that happen to me.

    I want bone mass. Lifting weights and impact exercise both build bone mass. As a woman, and with my family genetics, I am prone to osteoporosis. Again, I don't want that. So I make sure to do strength training (heavy weights, low reps) and impact exercises (jumping, jogging) to try and build bone mass.

    I want energy. This is where my weight comes in. Clearly I am overweight now, although I've lost 47 lbs. But I'm still carrying an extra 50 or so pounds. That uses a lot of energy, not to mention stresses my joints. I want to lose that weight so that I can use my energy to move a much lighter body much further! I love hiking. I love backpacking. I love kayaking. I want to be able to do these things longer.

    My primary winter activity in Alaska is back country snowmobiling. We call it sledding up here. Anyway, sledding in the back country has us square in avalanche terrain. My biggest fear is that if I witness an avalanche that my own poor fitness will prevent me from being able to adequately help. I am avalanche trained, and I'm very fast at finding burials (using an avalanche beacon and probe). But getting to the location and then digging is very intense, very hard work. I don't want someone to die because I was in too poor a shape to get to their burial site quickly enough, or to dig fast enough.
    Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
    Fitness is....

    For me its transformed from athleticism to something that enhances my daily life and longevity. I use to do whatever it took to be the strongest, fastest...ect. that I could be. After a lifetime of escalating injuries (I'm now mid thirties) I began redefining what I do in terms of risk/reward. I'm no longer interested in risky behavior or exercise to make incremental gains. I go for the biggest bang for the buck and then just kick back and enjoy life.

    As to my own fitness level, well I developed a great deal of strength early in life....so I'm still kinda riding that out. All that hard work doesn't just disappear . I ran a 5k in under 25 minutes without training for it. Play basketball and jump on the trampoline with the kids after a full days work. Yeah, I feel fit for life.
    I think you both make the same point but from coming from it from different ends of the fitness spectrum, one getting fit and one maintaing fitness after being (IIRC) a professional athlete. put most suciently as 'enhances my daily life...' I think that is very true.

    Originally posted by Sasha the Cat View Post
    I have two benchmarks for what I consider "acceptably fit" to be for me.

    1) Being able to go about my ordinary life activities without getting winded. To include climbing multiple flights of stairs, hauling heavy grocery bags home from the store on foot and wrestling suitcases into and out of overhead bins.

    2) Being able to have INSANE amounts of fun without my body getting in the way (getting winded is completely acceptable). I should be able to jump into a 5k, a climbing gym, a trampoline play-scape, a hike or a bike ride without thinking twice and without my body telling me, "No, you can't do this, you need to stop." Doesn't mean I have to be GOOD at any of those things, just that I can have fun playing around with them at any given time!


    I think point 2 nails it for me without putting any specific targets on it, and I definitatly feel that I am not as able as I would like to be, but that could be as I want to be able to do mad stuff like parkour and mov-nat.
    You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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    • #17
      Originally posted by primalrob View Post
      mark put up a great post a while back with some definitions/numbers to go by:

      Physical Fitness Standards | Mark's Daily Apple

      he also points to a couple of references about saving your own life. completing most of these use to be a goal for me; now they're just a decent workout...so i guess i'll always have my own moving definition of fitness.
      That will keep me quite for an hour or two
      You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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      • #18
        So before I read mark's post, I suppose I should put some of my thoughts down before I change my mind.

        When I look back 12 months when I started primal I am a hell of a lot more fit than I was. I could barely dead hang and can now do 7 pull-ups, if I tried to do a dip I would feel like my sholders were going to break, can do 10 now. Considering I
        weigh over 200lbs I recon that makes me stronger than most people and able to lift most things I would need to.

        I used to take the car to the local shop far to often, it was a 10 min walk, now it's a 5 min walk and I never take the car even if it is throwing down and blowing a gale.

        I was out of breath and sweaty walking more than 10 mins, now I reckon I could hike all day if I needed to, probably without food like primal rob if nessisity dictated, though I think that's more down to being 'fat adapted' than being fit. I can certainly walk fast on trails for 6 miles without feeling like it's a workout, with a 14 month old baby strapped to me who weighs at least 16lbs, probably nearer 20.

        I can even run now, though not as far as I could due to an injury, I can cycle on as far as need to at a moderate pace, 30 miles on roads wouldn't phase me, and I reckon in a full day I could cover 100 if push came to shove.

        So I feel like I am moderatly fit.

        I would like to master my body weight more, and be able to do more gymnastic stuff like vaulting over things and muscle ups, I guess for most poeople it an long journy with ever changing and evolving goals
        You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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        • #19
          Originally posted by Tribal Rob View Post
          So before I read mark's post, I suppose I should put some of my thoughts down before I change my mind.

          When I look back 12 months when I started primal I am a hell of a lot more fit than I was. I could barely dead hang and can now do 7 pull-ups, if I tried to do a dip I would feel like my sholders were going to break, can do 10 now. Considering I
          weigh over 200lbs I recon that makes me stronger than most people and able to lift most things I would need to.

          I used to take the car to the local shop far to often, it was a 10 min walk, now it's a 5 min walk and I never take the car even if it is throwing down and blowing a gale.

          I was out of breath and sweaty walking more than 10 mins, now I reckon I could hike all day if I needed to, probably without food like primal rob if nessisity dictated, though I think that's more down to being 'fat adapted' than being fit. I can certainly walk fast on trails for 6 miles without feeling like it's a workout, with a 14 month old baby strapped to me who weighs at least 16lbs, probably nearer 20.

          I can even run now, though not as far as I could due to an injury, I can cycle on as far as need to at a moderate pace, 30 miles on roads wouldn't phase me, and I reckon in a full day I could cover 100 if push came to shove.

          So I feel like I am moderatly fit.

          I would like to master my body weight more, and be able to do more gymnastic stuff like vaulting over things and muscle ups, I guess for most poeople it an long journy with ever changing and evolving goals
          that's a hell of a progression for one year. call yourself physically fit. but, keep setting new goals.
          http://www.marksdailyapple.com/forum/thread60178.html

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          • #20
            At this point in my life, I'm really concentrating on flexibility. I injured myself last year and can no longer touch my nose with my toes (just one benchmark I use).

            All around fitness to me includes being alert enough and fit enough to jump out of the way of an oncoming car or other danger. Being able to go about my every day life without my body hindering my efforts. I've always been a fan of weights, so lifting stuff (I believe) helps just about everything (cardio, strength, flexibility). It also includes being calm enough to deal with both everyday small stresses and the (hopefully not too often) big stresses life sometimes hands out.

            So, for me, fitness has both a physical and for lack of a better word, spiritual component. If I look good on the outside, but I'm an emotional wreck then even though I may be able to climb mountains, I may not be able to enjoy it, and that would be sad and unfit.
            "Right is right, even if no one is doing it; wrong is wrong, even if everyone is doing it." - St. Augustine

            B*tch-lite

            Who says back fat is a bad thing? Maybe on a hairy guy at the beach, but not on a crab.

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            • #21
              I think "fit for shagging" is probably the best response ......I believe I will steal that and spread the love here in the US.

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              • #22
                Fitness means you always feel energy in your body.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Tribal Rob View Post
                  As I suspected, being fit means differnt things to different people. Which, I find, is strange as it's used as something definable that we are all supposed to understand, as 'I'm gonna join a gym and get fit'. Maybe just joining a gym makes you fit

                  I totally agree with Him and Philosopher Dan that that 'Fitness' really means fit for purpose, in the UK we use Fit in the same sort of way you use cute in the US, though I get the feeling it a bit more base, meaning for shaggable than good-looking We are a crude people in the working classes

                  For this though I really want to stick to physical fitness in terms of moving your body and other masses through space and time.
                  I think you are right to try to limit the definition to physical fitness - otherwise we conflate "fit" with "suitable for" - which is true in terms of how the word is used, but not helpful for our purposes here.

                  I was thinking about this more today. And your recounting of your progression over the last year illustrates the difficulty in being precise with a definition of what we mean by fitness - particularly in light of Prof. Primalrob's response. Like any virtue, fitness is complete but continuable. One can continue to make improvements and do more, but are still fit at the same time they are doing it - assuming they have reached a level we would recognize as fit in the first place.

                  And I think this is the rub here. In order for something to be a virtue, it has to be recognizable to others as a virtue. That is, we ourselves can't rely solely on ourselves to know that we are virtuous in some respect. This will strike some as odd (and may offend others), since virtue is sometimes approached in manner resembling subjectivism (whatever I believe is right is right). But virtue is a bit stricter and more verifiable than a subjectivist approach.

                  For example, generosity is the virtue dealing with the proper giving of money (or things with monetary value) to others. A person who never gives anything, although he has plenty of means, and then one day gives a dollar to a panhandler, is not generous - regardless of what he believes about himself. For one thing, to have the virtue, one has to make proper giving a habit. For another, since he is a man of means, giving a dollar isn't sufficient to call him generous. So to be generous, a man of means must give a proper amount of money (which would depend upon how much means he has) to the right sort of people (those who need it), at the right times (when it will help them).

                  Now someone usually objects at this point: "who gets to decide these things?" The answer, according to Aristotle, are those who know. Of course, this isn't usually satisfactory to person making the objection! But no one ever said everyone had to be satisfied with every answer!

                  In terms of fitness, though, we aren't really sure who the experts are. And more so than with standard virtues, there is a lot of disagreement among experts as to what physical fitness might be. Part of this is because thinking about physical fitness seems to be fairly sporadic, historically speaking. The ancient Greeks thought about it quite a bit. But they had two very good reasons to do this. For one thing, citizens of Greek city states were often citizen-soldiers. Being unfit on the battlefield is really not a good way to go! For another, the Greek city states were relatively wealthy. This meant they had lots of leisure time - and the ability to import foods not conducive to fitness!

                  From what I can tell, though, there is a big break from then until the end of the 19th century, when industrialization and urbanization began to make physical fitness a problem. I haven't done research on this in a while, though. So perhaps more has come to light. But I did give a paper on the topic of authenticity in the fitness industry a few years ago, so I did spend some time in the area then (although not directly on what it means to be fit in and of itself).

                  It seems to me, then, that the question of fitness comes up once lots of people start not being fit (like now). And this helps explain the problems we are having in coming up with a precise definition.

                  I think it's a worthwhile question to pursue though, in more detail than we will likely do here.

                  Perhaps a good topic for my next philosophy of sport conference...

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Is physical fitness a reasonable virtue? Or is so much of it tied up in genetics, the accidents of opportunity and injury, and individual narcissism, that treating it as a virtue results in incorrect treatment of individuals?

                    I think it's probably a bit like considering intelligence a virtue. Intelligence is a fine quality to have, a fine quality for your associates to have, but can you really say that someone is virtuous because they are smart? Can you say the converse, that people who are not smart lack virtue? If not, why not?

                    This is just my own spin of course, but I think there is danger in associating virtue and traits that people cannot change (beyond a certain individual envelope). I dislike the idea that I am somehow more virtuous than another person for reasons that have nothing to do with my choices or theirs, reasons that are entirely accidents of circumstance. I think it cheapens virtue and leads to systematic unfairness.

                    So my inclination is to avoid discussions of "virtue" when it comes to fitness, and instead concentrate on functional definitions.
                    Last edited by Him; 01-04-2013, 02:57 PM.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by primalrob View Post
                      that's a hell of a progression for one year. call yourself physically fit. but, keep setting new goals.
                      Thank you, I do have the advantage that I have been active previously, mountain biking, skating, running, swiming etc at various points and I don't think you ever really go back to zero, eg I just started riding my bike again having not ridden regualy for over 5 years, but I can still cover 12 miles in just under an hour on roads without going mental.
                      You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

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                      • #26
                        Originally posted by Neckhammer View Post
                        I think "fit for shagging" is probably the best response ......I believe I will steal that and spread the love here in the US.
                        Then you mest use the phrases 'well fit' and 'fit as f**k' for authenticity.



                        That should give you all the instuction you need
                        You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          For me,

                          Its the ability to Sprint , Run, Jog for a short period of time( 20 minutes ). This can get you out of the danger zone so to speak.

                          To be able to pull/push your body weight in a multitude of planes, stationary or in motion. ( Climbing up, dropping down )

                          At the ready to perform any task suddenly without injuring oneself.

                          Great thread

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                          • #28
                            I am avalanche trained, and I'm very fast at finding burials

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                            • #29
                              Looking at the post Primal Rob linked too, I think I agree with Mark in terms of functional strenght/enduarance, level 4 of the Primal Blue Print fitness is a good bench mark for everyday fitness - 15 pull ups, 50 push ups, 50 sqats (some overhead press if you've got the old version) and a full plank for 90 seconds, side plack for 45.

                              I'd want more now I'm close to it. I also want to be able to do monkey bars

                              I also want explosive stenght/endurance, maybe box jumps/buprees are a good measure of this. maybe a 30 burpees in a minute or something (never tried to do these for a minute so not sure how long each one takes) , or being able to jump onto a box somewhere between knee hight and mid thigh a certain number of times in a minute. Or being able to chuck a sandbag half your body weight 6 foot with a pressing motion or 10 -12 with a swing, or being able to do 20 claping push-ups.

                              I think sprinting is also a good measure - I think top speed is a lot down to genetics, but if you can do a tabata srpint interval sprinting session without really slowing down towards the end you have damn good sprinting fitness - I haven't times my sprints I just go all out for as long as I can, and go slightly slower and slightly less far each time a do a rep But really push it hard to keep up full pace when I have a set distance to cover.

                              I think some kind of co-ordination/skill needs to be included in an overall assessment of fitness - not sure how you would judge it though - for example I can juggle a bit and try to do a bit of contact staff now and again.

                              I also feel enduarance at moderate pace is an important aspect of fitness - being able to run 10 miles in less than sat 1hr 30 bike a resonable distance at a moderate pace (speed depends so much on terrian steepness and rougness tp give a mph) and swim for an hour or so at a resonable breaststroke or easy crawl.
                              You know all those pictures of Adam and Eve where they have belly button? Think about it..................... take as long as you need........................

                              Comment


                              • #30
                                According to me the word Fitness indicates being able to perform physical activity. It also indicates having the power and strength to feel as good as possible. Getting more fit, even a little bit, can get a lean body.

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