Components of Fitness

Whatever your fitness comfort level, it's always a good time to learn (or relearn) the basics of how to work your body to meet your needs and goals. These elemental components of fitness are key to improving your health.

Components of Fitness

Cardiorespiratory Endurance

The ability of the circulatory and respiratory system to supply oxygen during sustained physical activity. Also known as aerobic fitness.

Mode: Running, biking, walking, swimming, rowing, etc.

Warm Up: 5 minutes of light activity

Duration: 15-60 minutes

Frequency: 3-5 days per week

Intensity: Target heart rate is 55 percent-85 percent of age-predicted maximum (220 - age x 0.55-0.85)

Muscular Strength and Endurance

Muscular Strength and Endurance: The amount of force a muscle can exert in a single, all-out effort

Muscular Endurance: A muscle's ability to perform repeated contractions at sub-maximal force or hold static contractions

Mode: Cybex, free weights, body weight

Resistance: Weight that fatigues between 8-12 reps

Repetitions and Sets: 8-12 reps, 1-3 sets

Frequency: 3 times per week with 48 hours rest between

Form: Slow and controlled manner (2 seconds on exertion, 4 seconds on return)


The ability to move the joints and muscles through their full range of motion.

Mode: Static stretching

Repetitions: 2-3 per stretch

Hold Time: 30-60 seconds total

Frequency: 3-5 times per week

Body Composition

The ratio of lean body mass compared to fat mass. Body composition is controlled by diet and exercise. See a Wellness Coach for body fat measurement. The YMCA recommends the dietary guidelines from the United States Department of Agriculture.

Normal Ranges:

Men: 10-22%

Women: 20-32%

Related Programs

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  • Smart Start Program

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  • Personal Training

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