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Thread: How do you define fitness? page 3

  1. #21
    Neckhammer's Avatar
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    I think "fit for shagging" is probably the best response ......I believe I will steal that and spread the love here in the US.

  2. #22
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    Fitness means you always feel energy in your body.

  3. #23
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    Quote 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...

  4. #24
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    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 at 02:57 PM.

  5. #25
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    Quote 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........................

  6. #26
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    Quote 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........................

  7. #27
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    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

  8. #28
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    I am avalanche trained, and I'm very fast at finding burials

  9. #29
    Tribal Rob's Avatar
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    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........................

  10. #30
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    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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