Chris Hays, Mount Auburn Club Fitness Department Manager and Certified Personal Trainer, brings over ten years experience to his craft. He believes in continuous learning and following today's best-practices, which allows him to coach his clients from a place of knowledge and confidence. His balanced approach to health and fitness is inviting to clients of all levels and abilities, from the young athlete to a more mature population of health-seekers. Here, Chris gives his take on this month’s featured fitness question.
What is fitness?
Merriam-Webster defines fitness as, "the capacity of an organism to survive and transmit its genotype to reproductive offspring as compared to competing
organisms." Well, that doesn’t really help the general population define what THEIR fitness is and should be. Greg Glassman, the founder of Crossfit,
defines fitness as, "the increased work capacity across broad time, modality, and age domains." I believe this to be the best definition of fitness
When I sit down with a new MAC member to speak about his or her goals for coming into the gym, I often hear, “to get fit.” And I quickly follow
that up with, “well what does it mean to be fit and how will you know when you’ve achieved it?” Cue the crickets. Everyone wants to be fit,
but very few people can define what fitness actually is and even fewer can tell me how they know when they’ve reached it.
I think a general and somewhat simplistic standard for being fit is to be a jack of all trades and a master of none. If you can bench press
your body weight for reps but you get winded walking up a few flight of stairs I would say you aren’t very fit. Strong, yes, but fit, no.
While it’s imperative to be strong as we know that helps with joint integrity, resilience to injury, and even helps maintain a healthy
metabolism, it’s not enough.
On the other hand, if you can run 2 miles without getting winded but can’t do push-ups from the floor for repetitions, then you’re not very
fit. Good cardiovascular strength is extremely important, as we know how important heart health is, but it is not enough. You should aim
to be "good" at all things strength, cardio, and mobility/flexibility, and not a master of just one of these things.
At the Mount Auburn Club, we cover all of these aspects in our Movement Analysis. From strength, to mobility/flexibility, to cardio, we
have set the standard that can help you both define fitness and help you reach a level of fitness that is indicative to your healthy