Are You Ready For The Zombie Apocalypse?

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If someone asked you if you are “fit”, what would your answer be?

If they then asked you who the fittest person in the world is, which athlete would that be?...

Would it be Eliud Kipchoge, who set the world record for fastest marathon time (2:01:39) in 2018?

Would you consider Stefi Cohen, who is arguably the strongest woman alive, with multiple world records in powerlifting?

Or would it be Michael Phelps for winning 22 Olympic medals (18 gold) in his sport of swimming?

Maybe it’s Serena Williams with her record breaking tennis career?

All of these athletes are at the highest level of their given sport. But let’s consider if we tested them in each other’s sports. How do you think Stefi Cohen would go running the Boston Marathon? I guarantee she wouldn’t be beating Eliud Kipchoge’s record! And vice versa.

So then what is physical fitness and how do we measure it?

Is your level of fitness defined by the score you get on the dreaded beep test we all had to do in high school (gag!), or by how many push ups you can do in a minute?

In my opinion, it’s all of this and more. If we consider what it means to be “fit” in the context of our own lives, rather than that of elite athletes, our level of fitness should relate to our ability to complete any given physical task at any given time, as we go about our daily life.

Whether that’s climbing eight flights of stairs when the lift is broken, jumping in on a soccer match with friends over the weekend, or lifting heavy objects while we’re moving house. Essentially, being “fit” means being prepared for whatever life throws at you, including the inevitable zombie apocalypse (because it is coming friends).

I was first introduced to this broader concept of fitness by Crossfit, who have banded together ten general fitness skills that they consider as required for optimal physical competence:

1. Cardiovascular/respiratory endurance

What it is: The ability of body systems to gather, process, and deliver oxygen.

How we Treign it: Energy system development, metabolic conditioning

2. Stamina

What it is: The ability of body systems to process, deliver, store, and utilise energy.

How we Treign it: Strength training, energy system development, metabolic conditioning

3. Strength

What it is: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units to apply force.

How we Treign it: Weightlifting, plyometrics, strength training

4. Flexibility

What it is: The ability to maximise the range of motion at a given joint.
How we Treign it: Gymnastics, yoga

5. Power

What it is: The ability of a muscular unit, or combination of muscular units, to apply maximum force in minimum time.
How we Treign it: Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, strength training

6. Speed

What it is: The ability to minimise the time cycle of a repeated movement.
How we Treign it: Olympic weightlifting, plyometrics, energy system development

7. Coordination

What it is: The ability to combine several distinct movement patterns into a singular distinct movements.
How we Treign it: Olympic weightlifting, boxing, gymnastics


8. Agility

What it is: The ability to minimise transition time from one movement pattern to another.
How we Treign it: Boxing, plyometrics


9. Balance

What it is: The ability to control the placement of the body’s centre of gravity in relation to its support base.
How we Treign it: Gymnastics, yoga


10. Accuracy

What it is: The ability to control movement in a given direction or at a given intensity.

How we Treign it: Boxing, plyometrics

Now. I know what you’re thinking… That is a hell of a lot of skills to try and get better at! And you’re right, it is, but I’m not asking you to master any one skill, I’m simply asking you to improve your ability in each of these skills to a level that allows you to be able to confidently execute any physical task that comes your way in your daily life.

Final takeaway:

We all have specific types of training we gravitate towards, whether it’s lifting weights, running, yoga, or something completely different. But if you only stick to one type of training, you’re missing out on important components of physical fitness that are going to improve your overall health and quality of life.

Do what you love yes, but perhaps try challenging what that is by doing what’s new and scary.

Jade X

Melanie Corlett