What is Fitness?

What is Fitness?

Fitness is defined as, the condition of being physically fit and healthy. Seems pretty straight forward, wouldn’t you agree? But what about fit, what does that mean? Fit is defined as, of a suitable quality, standard, or type to meet the required purpose. And that’s where you lose me.

Who decides what is a “suitable quality” or the “standard” for being a fit human being? After all, our required purpose as a human being is, at its core, just being. Most of us have that part down, so back to fitness, what qualifies as fitness for us? Luckily I’ve found a definition of fitness and a “suitable quality” to roll with from a wicked smart, devilishly handsome source. But before I share the definition and source with you, I’d like to take a look at several examples of people who are in the condition of being physically fit and healthy. In fact, these people are really freaking fit, but I’m not so sure they’ve accurately defined fitness. What do you think?

Is this fitness?

A video posted by Pete Rubish (@pete.rubish) on

Impressive but nah, I don’t really think so.

How about this?

Nah, this really doesn’t count either. Very impressive – but not fitness.

Again, you really can’t count this either.

Okay, what about this? This must be fitness, right?

Defintitely not IMO.

Last one, and it’s a close one. Fitness?

Okay, maybe. It’s a tough call, but I’m going with not fitness, again.

So WTF is real fitness? Let’s look at a few examples.

Thanks to @garrett.amick at @anytime_fitness_little_rock for taking good care of my mom!

A photo posted by Mason Woodruff, CSCS (@masonwoodruff_strengthcoach) on

Sunday Funday #ballislife

A photo posted by Mason Woodruff, CSCS (@masonwoodruff_strengthcoach) on

Are you pickin’ up what I’m puttin’ down yet?

Fitness IS NOT:

  • Fitness IS NOT an unattainable goal, body, or level of physical performance.
  • You do NOT have to have six pack abs, superior strength, or a great ass to be fit.
  • The barrier of entry for fitness IS NOT walking on a treadmill until you feel like you’re worthy enough for other types of exercise.
  • Fitness IS NOT pretty. Most of us sweat like pigs, make weird faces and noises, and have jiggle when we move too fast.
  • Fitness IS NOT intimidating.
  • Fitness IS NOT fitting into a pair of $100 yoga pants because that one girl wears them.
  • Fitness IS NOT a quick fix or temporary solution.
  • Fitness IS NOT just for the genetically gifted or professionals.
  • Fitness IS NOT being better than anyone else, only better than past versions of yourself.
  • Fitness IS NOT (at least it shouldn’t be) painful. If it is, you need to pump the brakes and find a better starting point.
  • Fitness IS NOT a race.
  • Fitness IS NOT external.

Fitness IS:

  • Fitness IS whatever you want it to be, whatever you enjoy, and whatever makes you happy.
  • Fitness IS a way to tremendously improve your health and quality of life.
  • Fitness IS easy. Overcomplication leads to inaction (analysis paralysis). Just freaking start something.
  • Fitness IS getting your pre-baby body back 10x faster than the first time.
  • Fitness IS for everyone and anyone.
  • Fitness IS being able to do the things you enjoy at full capacity without pain or anxiety.
  • Fitness IS a neverending journey.
  • Fitness IS becoming so accustomed to the compliments, that compliments are a matter of fact.
  • Fitness IS a path to gaining confidence and self-worth.
  • Fitness IS progressive. We all started somewhere – it never gets easier, you just get better.
  • Fitness (of any kind) IS a (healthy) release from the stressors of the world. And God knows there are plenty of those out there.
  • Fitness IS more than a hashtag. Social media is quite possibly the worst thing to happen to our confidence since Richard Simmons hung up the shorty shorts.
  • Fitness IS the key to longevity and maintaining your independence well into your twilight years.
  • Fitness IS the responsible thing to do. For your spouse, for your kids, for your friends, for everyone else who values having you around – you owe it to them to stick around as long as possible.
  • Fitness IS fun. If it’s not, change what you’re doing, fast.
  • Fitness IS internal.

Fitness is consistently using a form(s) of exercise to improve your health, longevity, mental state, and overall quality of life. The method or level of performance isn’t nearly as important as the consistency of putting the method to good use. Remember, 99% of us aren’t elite athletes or Instagram supermodels so don’t be afraid to dive in and get to work.

Oh yeah, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I am the source for my definition of fitness. It’s unique to my interests, goals, and stage of life. Your definition should differ from mine, and it should come from none other than yourself.

Note: I mean no offense to the aforementioned elite athletes and Instagram model. They are masters of their respective crafts, and I’m using their excellence solely as an example of what not to expect from someone’s own fitness journey.