What is Fitness?

on Wed 23 Aug


Fitness has historically meant different things to different people. It conjures up images of marathon runners and triathletes, or certain physical characteristics such as strength or endurance. If we delve a little deeper we throw up questions along the lines of “Who’s fitter, a triathlete, a gymnast or a cyclist?" In order to answer such a question we need to have a clear definition of fitness.


At Perpetua we subscribe to the CrossFit model of fitness, that of General Physical Preparedness, or GPP. It observes that everyday challenges may present themselves in a number of ways, and that the majority of fitness pursuits are inherently imbalanced in their design.


Take, for example, two individuals who specialise in components of the program at Perpetua: a weightlifter and a marathon runner.


One’s event is pure strength and the other’s pure endurance. If a weightlifter attempted a marathon they would post a poor time at best or pick up an injury at worst, the connective tissue in the ankles and knees not being conditioned to the repeated footfalls or duration of the event. Similarly a marathoner would lack the strength, technical skill and explosive power required to be competitive in a weightlifting competition.


The physical challenges we face each day are many and varied, from the mundane (rearranging heavy furniture or standing up from sitting), to the uncommon or extreme (running away from a threat or assisting somebody trapped under a heavy object). Nature punishes the specialist and does not honour the distinctions we observe in the gym such as that between weight training and cardio.


Fitness is strength, endurance, speed and a myriad of other physical skills; but you are only as good as your weakest link. You may very well run a six minute mile, but if we’re together in a storm and I find myself trapped under a heavy log I will only care about whether you have the strength required to move it.


The specialist strives for mastery of their chosen exercise or sport and whenever we start new endeavours we improve in great strides very quickly.  However, in time, the improvement plateaus and the participant has to work twice as hard for half as much.


To ascend from novice to proficient is nowhere near as taxing or time consuming as the rise from proficiency to mastery. Would the time the elite marathoner spends running not be better spent becoming proficient in something else so as to be better physically prepared for life?


We at Perpetua think so. Furthermore, if said runner were to focus on strength training then the improvement of joint health, connective tissue and explosiveness would have a positive effect on their running. Everything supports and improves everything else.


At Perpetua we make use of a broad range of movements and equipment, exposing ourselves to as many different physical activities as possible. In doing so we adapt, becoming fitter and, by extension, healthier.


I hope that's been helpful. If you’d like to know more about our methods then please speak to Dr. Goodwin for a referral or contact me via our website


We make every effort to ensure that all health advice on this website is accurate and up to date. However it is for information purposes and should not replace a visit to your doctor or health care professional. As the advice is general in nature rather than specific to individuals we cannot accept any liability for actions arising from its use nor can we be held responsible for the content of any pages referenced by an external link.



About Stephanie Acne Age-related Macular Degeneration AIDS alcohol units and effects allergies Andropause angina anorexia Anti Ageing Anxiety arrhythmia arthritis asthma atrial fibrillation back pain basic metabolic rate BHRT bio-identical hormones Biog Bloating blood pressure BMR bone density Book review bowel cancer brain fog brain tumour Bronchitis bulimia Bursitis calcium Cancer cancer signs and symptoms carpal tunnel syndromw cervical cancer Cervical smear Charles Bonnet Syndrome check your pulse cholesterol chronic fatigue syndrome coeliac disease cold virus contraception COPD coronary thrombosis coronavirus covid-19 Deep vein thrombosis dehydration signs Delaying menopause Dementia Depression dermatitis Diabetes Digestive problems digital health Donor advice DVT dyspareunia Ear infections Early menopause eating disorders eczema endometriosis exercise fertility fibroids fitness flu gallstones Gardisil Genetic testing government health policy hair loss hayfever Health Awareness Day Health Awareness Month Health Awareness week health warning healthy eating heart attack heart attacks Heart Disease Helpful supplements Hepatitis High blood pressure HIV Hives Hormone Replacement Therapy hormones hot flushes HPV HRT HRT & breast cancer HRT in the news HRT risks hydration benefits Hypertension IBS immune system itching Itchy Skin joint pain kidney function Laryngitis Leukaemia libido lichen sclerosus lifestyle liver Liver Disease Long Covid Symptoms lowered immmunity Lung cancer Lupus LUTS Macular Degeneration Magnesium# Male Menopause Managing Anxiety Managing Stress ME/CFS Men's health Meningitis Menoapuse advice for partners menopause menopause and dental health Menopause Specialist menopause symptoms Menopause Weight Gain menpause Menstrual Cycle Menstruation Menstruation and Athletes mental health Mental health support metabolism microbiome Migraine Migraines Motivation technique mouth cancer night sweats Norovirus oestrogen osteoarthritis Osteoporosis Paget's disease painful sex palpitations Pancreatic Cancer Parkinson's Parkinsons pelvic pain Perimenopause perimenopause and breast pain Pneumonia POI post menopause vocal syndrome Premature Ovarian Insufficiency Probiotics Prolapse prostate prostate cancer Pruritis Psoriasis Psychosexual medicine reflux rheumatoid arthritis Rosacea sarcoma self harming sex sex and disability sexual health Shingles Sinusitis skin cancer Skin health sleep Statins Staying positive STI's Strep A Strep throat stroke Takayasu Arteritis talks and presentations TB testosterone Tinnitus trying to lose weight tuberculosis Type 2 Diabetes underactive thyroid Urinary Infections Urinary Tract Infection Using a private GP UTI's vaginal dryness Vascular awareness month vegan diets Vitamin D Vulval itching Winter Vomiting Bug women's health World Health Day

Email enquiry form

How To Find Us

25 Harley Street, London W1G 9QW

Newsletter Signup

You can unsubscribe at any time by clicking the link in the footer of our emails. For information about our privacy practices, please visit our website.


We use MailChimp as our marketing platform. By clicking below to subscribe, you acknowledge that your information will be transferred to MailChimp for processing. Learn more about MailChimp's privacy practices here.