Fitness Components

Health Related
  • Body Composition
  • Cardiovascular Endurance
  • Muscular Strength
  • Muscular Endurance
  • Flexibility
Performance Related
  • Power
  • Speed & Quickness
  • Agility
  • Balance
  • Motor Skill

Interdependence of Performance Related Fitness Components

Fitness Components

Conceptual Fitness Continuum

Also see Training Principles: Variation Deviations and Residual Training Effect.


Sports Fitness Components

  • Motor Skills
    • Motor Skill Training develops an athletic coordination foundation.
  • Strength
    • Strength is the adaptation that leads to all other adaptations that you really care about... (Charles Staley, Strength & Sports Coach)
    • Power, Speed, and Agility are dependent on Strength (Bompa 2015)
    • A well designed and balanced strength training decreases risk of sports injury (Faigenbaum & Schram 2004)
  • Power
    • Combination of Speed and Strength
      • Increase power comes from higher force and not from higher velocity of training (Bompa 2015)
    • Speed and Agility are dependent upon Power development
  • Speed
    • Dependent upon Strength & Power (Bompa 2015)
    • Reaction Time: motor reaction to a signal
    • Movement Time: Ability to move limb(s) quickly
    • Speed of Running
  • Agility
    • Dependent upon Strength & Power (Bompa 2015)
    • Year round drills do not guarantee improvements
      • due to stagnation since distance and intensity are constant
    • Drills should be sport and position specific
  • Endurance
    • Anaerobic: Includes sprinting, exercises, and drills less between 30-60 seconds.
    • Aerobic: Includes running and drills greater than 3 minutes
  • Flexibility
    • Dynamic Stretches will be performed before Speed, Agility and Power Training, in addition to before Sports Practices and competitions
    • Any Static Flexibility work should be performed at end of workout.
      • The loss of voluntary strength and muscular power may last up to one hour after the static stretch (Evetovich 2003, Young 2003)
      • Only for areas suggested by the FMS to have low flexibility
    • Greater flexibility may impair performance in sports that do not require a high degree of flexibility (Jones 2002)

Bompa T, Carrera M (2015) Conditioning Young Athletes. Human Kinetics.

Evetovich TK, Nauman NJ, Conley DS, Todd JB (2003). Effect of static stretching of the biceps brachii on torque, electromyography, and mechanomyography during concentric isokinetic muscle actions. J Strength Cond Res. 17(3):484-8

Faigenbaum AD, Schram J (2004). Can resistance training reduce injuries in youth sports? Strength and Conditioning Journal. 26(3) 16-21.

Jones AM (2002). Running economy is negatively related to sit-and-reach test performance in international-standard distance runners. Int J Sports Med. 23(1):40-3.

Young WB, Behm DG (2003) Effects of running, static stretching and practice jumps on explosive force production and jumping performance. J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 43(1):21-7.


Strength, Power, Speed, etc

Strong Man Event: Truck Pull and Push

  • Static Strength
    • Static Strength is the force that can be held in one place (force)
    • Static strength = Force
    • Example: isometrics
  • Strength
    • Strength is the weight that can be moved through a distance (work), or the ability of muscle to generate force against a resistance
    • Strength = Force x Distance
    • Example: competitive powerlifting (a misnomer)
  • Power
    • Power is the product of a force and the speed (power). Power can be expressed by the work achieved in a unit time (asymptotic). Power is a combination of strength and speed.
    • Power = Force x Distance / Time
    • Example: Olympic style weightlifting (strength dominated power), shot put or jump (speed dominated power
  • Speed
    • Speed is the distance traveled per unit time without regard to direction (speed)
    • Speed = Distance / Time
    • Example: sprinting, running
  • Velocity
    • Velocity is the speed and direction of an entity (velocity)
    • Velocity = Speed and direction
  • Muscular Endurance
    • Muscular Endurance is the ability to perform repetitive or sustained muscular contractions against some resistance for an extended period of time.

Fitness Components

Types of Muscular Endurance

  • Continuous tension
    • Mountain climbing
    • Tug-of-war
    • Isometric contraction
    • Weight training
      • very slow contraction
      • isolated exercises
      • compound exercises without lock out
  • 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
      • multiple sets
      • multiple exercises for the same muscle
      • circuit training

Components are not discrete. Types of muscular endurance can be seen as a continuum of characteristics. For example, swimming requires components of continuous tension and repetitive dynamic tension. Cycling is predominately a repetitive dynamic contraction with slight continuous tension characteristics relative to running. In addition, many training protocols designed for continuous tension or repetitive dynamic contraction implement prolonged intense contractions coupled with short rest periods.


Types of Muscular Strength

Note: Components are not discrete. Types of muscular strength can be seen as a continuum of characteristics. For example, slow contractions during weight training incorporate components of isometric contraction and dynamic contraction. In addition, all power lifting exercises require certain muscles to be isometrically contracted as well as dynamically contracted.


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