The Fitness Trail |

The Fitness Trail

Jackie Wright/The Fitness Trail
Grand County, Colorado CO

This week I will answer three more health/fitness questions, and if you have others, please drop me an email or a note to my blog and I will do my best to answer your health/fitness questions.

1) What are the five components of physical fitness? Before answering that question, it is important to know that most comprehensive exercise programs should address all five components of physical fitness. And, those are as follows:

• Cardiovascular Endurance – The heart, lungs and circulatory system’s ability to extract oxygen from the outside environment and transport it to the working muscles.

• Muscular Strength – The capacity of a muscle to exert force against an outside resistance usually measured in a one repetition maximum.

• Muscular Endurance – The capacity of a muscle to exert force against an outside resistance a number of times.

• Flexibility – The range of motion about any joint and all joints have a specific range of motion.

• Body Composition – The body’s lean to fat ratio.

2) Is it OK to be sore after my workouts? A reasonable amount of soreness is generally acceptable and may be expected after your workouts, particularly during eccentric forms of training. What is reasonable usually means that you can feel and are aware of the muscle/muscle group that you worked when you attempt to use those muscles again one-two days following the workout. This is usually referred to as Delayed Onset of Muscle Soreness (i.e. D.O.M.S.) and generally occurs 24-48 hours following a workout or performance of a new physical activity. It is currently believed that this soreness may be a result of micro-tearing of muscle fibers that may occur during certain exercises or physical activities. If the soreness persists for more than a few days, you may have worked a little too hard during that exercise bout or, perhaps, performed an activity that you are unaccustomed to performing. Consequently, listen to your body and work at a pace that is comfortable for you at this point in time.

3) What is the principle of specificity? The principle of specificity states that if you want to be proficient at a physical activity, you will need to perform it regularly (i.e. Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demands – S.A.I.D Principle). For example, if you want to be a good tennis player, you need to play tennis. While running or playing soccer may improve your cardiovascular endurance, and that may help your endurance on the court, it will probably not improve specific tennis skills. This also brings us back to the previous question regarding D.O.M.S. If you are a soccer player that is learning to play tennis, you may be quite sore after your first few tennis lessons. Even though you may use similar muscles during both activities, each require a different level of muscle recruitment and different joint angles which can lead to soreness. Once you adapt to the activity, you will find that soreness will generally dissipate.

Next week this column will feature a four-week ski/snowboard/snowshoe preparation program.

– Jackie Wright is the owner/manager of Never Summer Fitness LLC in Grand Lake, Colorado. She can be reached at her website at, her mail address at and her blog at