In addition to strength, endurance and flexibility, body composition is an important part of fitness. When a personal training customer tells me they want to tone or shape a six-pack without “growing up”, they mean they want to improve their body composition.
It is independent and superior to the height scales and BMI, which many athletes would be excluded from. Body composition (or body fat percentage) is the ratio of fat to lean muscle, and improving it should be the focus of any successful workout that produces results to achieve the optimal level of fitness and the health, fitness, and appearance that many people desire .
Interestingly, improving other components of your fitness program will increase your body fat. Weight training is the most effective fitness component for burning fat. Ultimately, achieving personal fitness goals depends on formulating a personal exercise and nutrition program that includes activities that address all the components of fitness in proper balance.
For example, someone who is strong may not have a lot of flexibility or need to lose fat; someone with good endurance may not have a lot of strength or tone. Plus, everyone has different genetics, so what works for one person may not work for another. If you are unsure about exercising, consider consulting a personal trainer to help create a balanced exercise and nutrition program that will help you achieve your fitness goals.
Muscle strength – improvement of muscle tone, best fitness training for burning fat, best training form for increasing metabolism. Exercises like lifting weights, squats, lunges, pull-ups, less than 10 repetitions.
Muscle endurance – increases endurance, e.g. Row, swim, plank, 20+ reps.
Flexibility – helps to improve mobility, posture, range of motion, e.g. yoga, tai chi, sport-specific dynamic stretching movements.
Cardiovascular Endurance – increases energy levels as well as the body’s ability to use oxygen. Cross country skiing, biking, jogging, skipping rope (my favorite).
Body composition – a balanced diet of healthy, unprocessed, nutrient-rich foods. E.g. breakfast, lunch, dinner, protein, carbohydrates (fiber), unsaturated fats (very little saturated).