What is health? How can health be defined? And is it the same definition for one man as it is for the other? One definition of health is “the condition of being well or free from disease and (chronic) pain”. I like “functional and metabolic efficiency” better (that isn’t mine, just a definition I like better).
“A condition of being well” is subjective to say the least and “free from disease and (chronic) pain” is too narrow for me. But functional and metabolic efficiency is objective and measurable.
In this post I want to zero in on the first part of definition; functional efficiency.
The good Lord has given us a body, a temple. When we arrive with it (thank God) in most cases, it is in perfect or near perfect functioning order. Our job (in this regard) is to keep this body, His temple in as perfect functioning condition as we can keep it, until He calls us home.
We need it so in order to be able to perform our duties as; provider, protector, prophet and priest. This in service to our own but also as a testimony, in our capacity as salt of the Earth.
At this moment when someone says “Christian men”, in most cases what comes to mind is not a picture of extremely fit and supple men with above average self-control and an iron clad moral compass.
I dare to say that in most cases what comes to mind is a picture of a doll, skinny or a little bit overweight guy without much conviction to be radical in any sense.
Now I do not propose that the driving force behind our desire to health and fitness should be what does outside might think, but setting an example for them is one of the reasons we are set apart. The driving force should be obedience to the Word.
So what do we strive for? I had a talk about this with some friends, as this question is one that truly interests me. What is “functional efficiency” for Healthy Christian Men? After some discussion we agreed that there are at least 4 and maybe even 5 or 6 parameters, we should consider. The first four being; Strength, Speed, Endurance and Flexibility. The optional fifth being Power and sixth being Coordination.
HEALTHY CHRISTIAN MEN MINIMAL FITNESS GOALS
In order to measure these parameters fairly we came up with a list of bare minimal capabilities to have as a goal.
Strength (minimal one rep max)
– Pull up (chin clearing the bar)
– Chin up (chin clearing the bar)
– Dips (1x bodyweight)
– Deadlifts (1x bodyweight)
– Squats (1x bodyweight)
– Bench press (1x bodyweight)
– Shoulder press (1x bodyweight)
– Running 5K (nonstop)
– Swimming 1K (nonstop)
– Rowing (30 min) (nonstop)
– Boxing bag (3 minutes nonstop based on the duration of a round according to Marquess of Queensberry Rules)
– Grappling (5 minutes nonstop based on the duration of a round according to Brazilian Jiu Jitsu tournament rules for white belts)
– 100m running in 20 seconds
– 100m swimming in 2 minutes
– Full range of motion squatting and overhead squat specifically
– Box jump 1/3 of body height
– Muscle up
– Clean and Jerk, Snatch (halve bodyweight)
So am I functionally efficient? Not quite, but we are getting there. I have some ground to cover in the strength and in the endurance department and my flexibility is a work in progress. My power is more than adequate, but there is room for improvement in my coordination.
Reaching and maintaining the functional efficiency of a healthy body is a process which one can’t work around. One has to put in the work.
I would like to know which points on the list above you’ve got covered and when are you planning on working towards the rest?