Start Your Five Focus: Learn These Five Major Components of an Exercise Program
The major components of exercise are varied and can be broken down into many subparts, so let’s make it easy! First, it is important to incorporate all five into your training. Next and last use the five major components listed below as a starting guide and develop a baseline level of competence in these areas to help yourself function at your best.
Aerobic endurance is your body’s ability to maintain a large muscle group activity such as walking, jogging, cycling, swimming, etc., for a period of time lasting longer than five minutes. Ideally, perform the activity for up 30 minutes at a time. The recommendation is to achieve 150 minutes of aerobic activity per week.
Anaerobic endurance is how well you can sustain an intense effort over a short period of time. You can weight train for anaerobic endurance or intervals can be performed while running, cycling, swimming, or rowing, and you determine your effort through distance traveled or time-based efforts of 30-120 seconds. You can also use various weight training exercises to train for greater muscle endurance in this time-based range or use reps in 15-30 rep range. Perform one to two times per week.
Flexibility is your body’s ability to have adequate range of motion around the major joints in the body to allow you to perform your daily activities without being limited in your motion. Range of motion can be improved through dynamic warm-ups, myofascial release with foam rolling, yoga, bodyweight exercises, strength training, and static stretching. Flexibility can be performed every day.
Maximal strength is your body’s ability to produce maximal force for one or a small number of repetitions per set. You can train in a 3 to 10 rep range to improve your maximal strength. Depending on the movements, you can utilize bodyweight and strength training exercises choosing dumbbells, barbells, kettlebells, and cable-based weights that are a challenge for you to lift in the 3 to 10 repetition range. This training will improve your strength and ability to perform daily activities that require lifting and moving. Perform 1 to 3 sets, 2 to 3 times per week.
Coupling the first four major components above with mindful eating will help you to achieve the last component – improved body composition. We want to be in healthy ranges of body fat and body weight. Being in the appropriate areas for body composition and weight will allow you to function at your best!
These above descriptions are just a starting point. Other key areas include balance, coordination, and agility, but if we start with the top five the next three will improve. However, one very important component needed to improve any of the major components of exercise is ……. To be consistently consistent with your training. Train smart, train regularly. Ask an exercise physiologist to help you start your five focus!
– Guy C., Fitness Director and Martial Arts School Director at Dedham Health & Athletic Complex