What is ‘being fit’?

Tom Blackett   |  13/10/2016

What does being fit actually mean? Does it mean you can run faster or longer than everyone else? Or does it mean you can lift heavier weights than everyone else?  There are many different answers to this question and I’m about to give you mine.

My definition of fitness is becoming ‘zombie fit’, now I know this sounds strange and nerdy but please hear me out.  In the event of a zombie apocalypse, who is best equipped to survive?  A hulking giant who can lift huge weights? An endurance athlete who can run for miles and miles? Or an all-rounder with a mix of those two attributes?

What happens when you get cornered by 3 flesh hungry zombies and you’re a hulking giant? Well that’s easy, you just wrestle them to the ground and crush their skulls with your giant foot! But what happens when the zombie hoard comes surging around the corner and you’re so outnumbered that your strength counts for nothing? Well.. you’re getting eaten because you’re useless at running.  On the contrary, what happens when you’re a skinny endurance athlete and you’re cornered by 3 flesh hungry zombies? Well.. you’re also getting eaten because you’re so weak there’s no way you’re overpowering those zombies.   But what happens if you’re an all-rounder with a good level of strength and cardiovascular endurance? Well, you’ll still be strong enough to take care a few flesh hungry zombies and you’ll also have the endurance to escape the zombie hoard when it comes cascading around the corner!  This is why I consider decathletes and heptathletes to be the ultimate athletes.  The men and women who compete in these events are the ones who are gonna survive the zombie apocalypse.  Some of these athletes run a sub-4:20 1500 metre race, can high jump over 2 metres and throw a shot-put over 15 metres – absolutely insane! And for the record, if you want to run a sub-4:20 1500 metre race you have to run at about 21k per hour for the whole distance.  Try that on a treadmill, I bet you won’t last longer than 30 seconds.

This is why I feel it is so important to get a balance of cardio and weightlifting into your fitness routine, don’t just focus on one thing!  The programs I write for my clients generally have 4 objectives and these are:

  1. To improve strength
  2. To improve cardiovascular fitness
  3. To reduce body fat and tone up
  4. To adopt good dieting practices

If you can do these 4 things you will:

  1. Improve your health
  2. Improve the aesthetics of your body
  3. Improve your capability both mentally and physically
  4. Improve your chances of surviving a zombie apocalypse become fit (by my standards) you better start lifting and start running.  Otherwise you’ll be the first to get eaten!