Components of Fitness
Physical fitness is the ability to function effectively in
physical work, training, and other activities and still have enough
energy left over to handle any emergencies which may arise.
The components of physical fitness are as follows:
Cardiorespiratory (CR) endurance - the efficiency with which
the body delivers oxygen and nutrients needed for muscular activity
and transports waste products from the cells.
Muscular strength - the greatest amount of force a muscle
or muscle group can exert in a single effort.
Muscular endurance - the ability of a muscle or muscle group
to perform repeated movements with a sub-maximal force for extended
periods of time.
Flexibility - the ability to move the joints (for example,
elbow, knee) or any group of joints through an entire, normal
range of motion.
Body composition - the amount of body fat a soldier has in
comparison to his total body mass.
Improving the first three components of fitness listed above
will have a positive impact on body composition and will result
in less fat. Excessive body fat detracts from the other fitness
components, reduces performance, detracts from appearance, and
negatively affects one's health.
Factors such as speed, agility, muscle power, eye-hand coordination,
and eye-foot coordination are classified as components of "motor"
fitness. These factors affect a soldier's survivability on the
battlefield. Appropriate training can improve these factors within
the limits of each soldier's potential. The Army's fitness program
seeks to improve or maintain all the components of physical and
motor fitness through sound, progressive, mission-specific physical
training for individuals and units.
Back to Fitness Introduction
Buy The Book This Site Is Based On
U.S. Army Field Manual 21-20 is the source material for this website. A soldier's level of physical fitness has a direct impact on his combat readiness. The many battles in which American troops have fought under-score the important role physical fitness plays on the battlefield. The renewed nationwide interest in fitness has been accompanied by many research studies on the effects of regular participation in sound physical fitness programs. The overwhelming conclusion is that such programs enhance a person's quality of life, improve productivity, and bring about positive physical and mental changes. Not only are physically fit soldiers essential to the Army, they are also more likely to have enjoyable, productive lives, and you can too.