There are 5 components of fitness:
① Body Composition
② Muscular Strength
③ Muscular Endurance
⑤ Aerobic Fitness
I think balance should be thrown in there, but these are the big 5 you will see personal trainers and coaches talk about with their clients.
As mentioned earlier, a body composition chart (which discusses percentage of body fat) is loaded with numbers and age ranges for both men and women which state what level you need to be at to rate poor, average, good or excellent. This can be confusing and if you are on the “poor” end of that spectrum, deflating.
In my 22 years as a professional fitness coach and personal trainer based in St. Louis, MO, I have developed a scale that is short, sweet and to the point.
Here are my measures of fitness that I hold myself accountable to and preach to my clients:
➪ Run a 5K in under 30 minutes
Muscular Strength (Pull-ups, Push-Ups and Squats):
➪ 5 pull-ups for men
➪ 1 pull-up for women
➪ 20 push-ups for men
➪ 10 push-ups for women
3. Squats (Body Weight)
➪ 20 squats for men and women
➪ Waistline 35 or less for men
➪ Waistline 32 or less for women
I look at fitness in very simple terms. I have also long maintained the truest form of fitness is your ability to manipulate your own body weight. Many hunt from elevated positions, so the ability to pull yourself up to a platform (should you fall) is paramount to you coming home safely. You don’t have to rock out pull-ups like a Navy SEAL but you better work hard to be able to do at least one.
For cardiovascular fitness, if you can cover 3.1 miles in under 30 minutes, congratulations! You are likely in the upper 1/3 of aerobic conditioning for your age and gender!
The reason I use waistline to measure body comp is because it is easy. You know what size your jeans are and if it is rising, time to act because carrying excess weight in your abdomen increases risk for cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer.
What if you cannot meet these standards? It’s simple: You work towards them!
Two years ago, online client Dayton Holloway and I ran a 5K on the 4th of July. It was the kick-off to his training for a back-country elk hunt. He finished in roughly 37 minutes. Before he left on his trip in September, he ran a 5K in the 27-minute range.
Can you get a baseline time for walking/hiking a 5K and then work to cut that number down?
Can’t do a pull-up?
Start working with assisted-pull ups (bands or machine) and take a good look at your weight. If you are carrying more than you should, focus on dropping some pounds and getting stronger simultaneously. Trust me… it is easier to accomplish a pull-up (males AND females) when you are not carrying excess weight. And by losing body fat, your waistline will shrink as well - killing two birds with one stone.
Can’t do a regular push-up?
Start with a modified version and work your way up to regular push-ups!
Wherever you are in your journey, use these standards to help fine tune your exercise program, develop a disciplined program and train with intent.
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Contributions made by Fit2Hunt Staff!