Components of Fitness


The definition of fitness can vary depending on exactly who you ask, but when looking at the components of fitness, you need to take both health related and performance related components into consideration.

The health related components of fitness include:

  • Body Composition
  • Cardiovascular Endurance
  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Flexibility
  • absence of disease
  • the ability to cope effectively with the stresses of everyday life

The performance related components of fitness include:

  • Power
  • Speed & Quickness
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Motor Skill
  • Ability to perform a task or sport at a desired level. Also called motor fitness, or physical fitness

So, now that we know what the basic components are, we also need to look closer at the definition of individual components:

Muscular endurance

The ability of a muscle group to repeatedly lift a load over an extended period of time.

Aerobic endurance

The ability of an athlete to take in and use oxygen, allowing participation in prolonged periods of continuous sub-maximal activities.


Can be defined as the production of repeated muscular contractions over a short distance within a minimal period of time.


The range of motion about a joint (static flexibility); opposition or resistance of a joint to motion (dynamic flexibility).

Body Composition

The component parts of the body – mainly fat and fat-free weight.


The maximal pulling force of a muscle or muscle group in a single maximum voluntary contraction.

These six basic components of fitness are what affects our ability to perform physical tasks. When looking at improving your overall fitness levels, focus on the performance related components as any change to these will improve your health related components of fitness. The two main areas that you need to focus on improving should be your muscular endurance and your muscular strength.

Types of Muscular Endurance

Continuous tension

  • Mountain climbing
  • Tug-of-war
  • Isometric contraction
  • Weight training

Repetitive dynamic contraction

  • Running
  • Rowing
  • Weight training
  • High repetitions
  • Super sets with the same muscle

Prolonged intense contractions coupled with short rest periods

  • Football
  • Handball
  • Weight training
  • Circuit training

Types of Muscular Strength

Isometric contraction

  • Iron Cross (Gymnastics)
  • Tug-of-war
  • Spinal Erector during Squat, Dead lift, etc.

Dynamic contraction

  • Power lifting (misnomer)
  • Weight training

Power contraction

  • Olympic style weightlifting
  • Shot put (Field event)
  • Plyometrics

As you can see from the above definitions, weight and strength training feature in both muscular endurance and muscular strength and is a key component of fitness. If you want to improve your overall fitness, you need to make sure that you are incorporating weight training as well as cardio/aerobic exercise into your training routine.

Six Pack Abs Workout


If you want six pack abs then you need to have a six pack abs workout routine. Sadly it’s not enough to just do a regular cardio routine and healthy eating plan, you need to work your core with ab specific exercises in order to get a six pack.

It doesn’t matter whether you have 5 minutes or 60 minutes to spare. Any amount of time you can dedicate just to working your abs will help you get the six pack you want. Obviously the more time and effort you spend on your ab routine, the better your results will be and the faster you’ll see them.

With that in mind were going to look at 3 six pack abs workouts. The 5 minute workout, the 10 minute workout and the 60 minute workout. This means that you can squeeze in workouts regardless of how much time you have! Ideally you should be aiming for a minimum of 2 workouts ab workouts a week, but the more you do, the better!

5 minute six pack abs workout


Assume a press-up position, but place your forearms on the floor. Brace your abs as if you were about to be punched in the gut, and hold for 30 seconds.

Side plank

Lie on your left side, propping your body up on your left elbow and forearm. Raise your hips until your body forms a straight line from shoulders to ankles. Brace your abs for 30 seconds, and then repeat on your right.

Swiss-ball crunch

Lie with your hips and lower and upper back resting on a Swiss ball. Put your fingers behind your ears and crunch your chest towards your hips. Lower to the start and knock out 15 reps.

Reverse crunch

Lie on your back, knees slightly bent. Raise your knees to your chest by lifting your hips up and in. Lower your legs and repeat for 15 reps.

Cable woodchopper

Turn your right side towards a cable station and grab the rope handle of a high pulley with both hands. Pull it down and across the front of your body until your hands are outside your left knee. Reverse the movement, do 15 reps, then turn the other way for another 15.

Reverse cable woodchopper

Now use a low pulley cable. Bend and grab the rope with both hands, arms almost straight and just outside your right knee. Pull the rope up and across your body until your hands are in line with your left ear. Reverse the movement and complete 15 reps on each side.

10 Minute six pack abs workout

The long-arm crunch

Lie on your back with your knees bent and your arms straightened behind you. Then, keeping your arms straight above your head, perform a traditional crunch. The movement should be slow and controlled. Do 12 reps

The reverse crunch

Lie on your back and place your hands behind your head, then bring your knees in towards your chest until they’re bent to 90 degrees, with feet together or crossed. Contract your abs to curl your hips off the floor, reaching your legs up towards the ceiling, and then lower your legs back down to their original position without letting your feet touch the floor. This ensures your abs are continually activated. Do 12 reps

The exercise should be slow and controlled, with no leg swinging or overuse of hip flexors. Pay particular attention to the downward phase – it’s tempting to let your legs drop, but they key is to maintain tension in the abdominals throughout the entire exercise.

Janda sit-up

on your back with your knees bent and hands placed behind your head. Then try ‘digging’ your heels into the floor, contracting your hamstrings, whilst performing an ordinary crunch. Do 12 reps.

The Jackknife

Place a mat on the floor, lie down on your back and extend your arms above your head. Simultaneously lift your arms and legs toward the ceiling, until your fingertips touch your toes, then return to your starting position. Do 12 reps.

The extended plank

Get into a press-up position, placing your hands around 10 inches in front of your shoulders, with the toes of your shoes placed against the floor. Hold this position with your back straight and try to continue to breathe as normal. Hold for 45 sec.

60 minute six pack abs workout

Bike sprint (5 mins)
Warm-up 3 minutes, easy pace. Now sprint flat-out for 90 seconds, followed by a 30-seconds cool down. Are we sadists? Why, yes – there’s three more like this in the circuit.

Barbell front squats (2.5 mins)
Do 10-12 reps, with 30-second rest.

Bike sprint (3 mins)
Go for 30 seconds at a steady pace, 90-second sprint, 30 seconds steady, 30 seconds rest.

Treadmill interval sprints (20 mins)
Go for 5 minutes steady pace, 10 seconds sprint pace, 30 seconds recovery pace. Repeat this sprint/recovery pattern for 20 minutes.

Barbell front squats (2.5 mins)
Do 10-12 reps for 3 sets with 30 seconds rest after each set.

Ball planks (5 mins)
In a press-up position, forearms on a Swiss ball, contract your abs for 30 seconds. Do five with 30 seconds rest.

Bike sprint (3 mins)
Do 30 seconds steady pace, 90-second sprint, 30 seconds steady pace, 30 seconds rest. Now you’re stripping away some serious fat.

Split-stance cable chop (10.5 mins)
Do three sets of 8-10 reps on each side, 30 seconds rest in between. To accentuate your abs, you need to strengthen the muscles surrounding your core and lower back.

Bike sprint (3 mins)
Your final set. 30 seconds steady pace, 90-second sprint,30 seconds steady, 30 seconds rest.

Ball planks (5.5 mins)
Press-up position, forearms on a Swiss ball, contract your abs for 30 seconds, five times, with 30 seconds rest in between.

If you are just starting out with a six pack abs routine, start with the 5 minute workout a few times a week then move to the 10 minute and eventually on to the 60 minute routine when you feel ready to push yourself and get that six pack!!