What Makes Someone Physically Fit?

Dear Davey,

Everyone talks about getting ‘fit’ but what exactly is ‘fit’ and how do you know when you have become ‘fit’? Is fitness a good BMI, fantastic looking body (like yours), low weight, being able to cycle for miles non stop or something else?

Thanks,
Jonathan

Hey Jonathan,

I love your question! And it speaks to the importance of structuring your program around a solid goal.

In the past, I’ve written about the necessity of S.M.A.R.T. goals. That is, goals that are:

  1. Specific: Goals should be laser-focused.
  2. Measurable: Whenever possible, attach real-world numbers to your goals. This could mean pounds, kilos, inches or clothing sizes.
  3. Attainable: A good goal should be achievable with hard work and dedication – but rooted in reason. Don’t make it too difficult. Conversely, don’t make it too easy.
  4. Relevant: The goal needs to be important to you. If it’s not important, you won’t stick with it.
  5. Timely: Attach a date to your goal. Rather than wanting to lose 10 pounds of fat, say that you want to lose 10 pounds of fat in 60 days.

With S.M.A.R.T. goals in mind, your question illustrates the problem of saying you’d like to become fit. For starters, it’s not specific, measurable or timely. So let’s turn “fit” into a smart goal.

body fat percentagesThough true physical fitness takes many complicated factors into consideration (such as cardiorespiratory endurance, muscle strength, muscle endurance, flexibility, balance, etc.), there is an easier way to cut to the point. It involves body fat percentages.

Here’s how it breaks down:

  • Essential fat: 10% – 13% for women, 2% – 5% for men
  • Athletes: 14% – 20% for women, 6% – 13% for men
  • Fitness: 21% – 24% for women, 14 – 17% for men
  • Average: 25% – 31% for women, 18 – 24% for men
  • Obese: 32+% for women, 25+% for men

Though body fat percentages don’t consider every aspect of physical fitness, they’re a great place to start. And it’s easy to create a smart goal around body fat percentages. For example, you could say,  “I want to achieve 15% body fat by December 31.”

With that S.M.A.R.T. goal in mind, you can certainly structure a fitness program to make it happen!

I hope that helps!

Love,
Davey

 

But when most people use the word fit, they’re referring to an in-shape individual with a low percentage of body fat.

 

About Davey Wavey

Davey Wavey is a certified personal trainer and YouTube sensation with more than 250 million video views. For Davey's fitness tips and secrets, sign up for his free monthly newsletter - or download any of his affordable and effective workout programs.

Comments

  1. Davey,

    Thanks so much for answering my question – I <3 you sooo much.

    Jonathan x

  2. Carlo Guadarrama says:

    great insight

  3. Jason winstanley says:

    hi there
    do you have any tips on losing flab around your chest area , i seen to have man boobs. i go to the gym and started to do more arm work outs but i doesnt seem to be shifting fast enough , do you have any tips .

    cheers

    Jason ( sheffield uk )

  4. Great post. Fitness of health is necessary factor to live successful life. Even the fitness of the mind depends on the fitness of the health. The fitness activities should be linked with the activities ones link. This increase the persons willingness otherwise it becomes boring and most of people lose interest in carrying out farther.

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