What is Fitness? (“Fitness” VS. Movement Intelligence)

what is fitness

There’s a quote by Z. Wazny that I love:

“Coordination is a motor expression of intellect.”

In other words, if you can move how you’re intending to move, it’s an expression of your physical intellect. Physical intellect almost sounds paradoxical….intellect is only something you can have with your mind, right?!

Hardly. How well you move, and how coordinated you are is a reflection of how smart your body is (or how much movement intelligence  you have).

Your body – like your mind – can become smarter. With this framework, that means mindful physical training of increasing complexity is actually “studying.” It’s possible to “research” and “study” with your body. But just as all reading isn’t intellectual research, all movement isn’t physical research.

But then what is fitness? Being “fit” means you don’t have a completely deranged metabolism. It means your metabolism isn’t stupid. Congratulations.

Or to say it another way, fitness is a metabolic expression of intelligence.

Don’t get me wrong, “fitness” is necessary and valuable. It’s essential for health, wellness, performance, and longevity. But it’s only the first step if you’re on the journey to become a better mover.

If you’re trying to improve your body composition, it can be done in 3-5 hours per week of training. But it’s much more important to improve what you DON’T permit in the kitchen and what you DON’T put in your mouth. (I believe it’s much more important to count toxins than count calories). But if you’re trying to develop high levels of movement intelligence, 3-5 hours a week simply won’t cut it.

There’s an amazing number of people who are “fit” (i.e. don’t have a deranged metabolism) that still suffer from chronic pain, nagging injuries, and other issues related to moving poorly, or infrequently. If that’s you, it’s time to begin developing movement intelligence.

If you’re not “fit,” you need to find the weak links in your nutrition and lifestyle habits, and add movements that help improve metabolism and body composition.

But what about if you’re an amazing mover, but don’t appear “fit”? Well, you may have movement intelligence, but you don’t have much metabolic intelligence. It’s time you fixed that.

Confused about where to start? Email me at justin@wellroundedathlete.net