Explaining more about the five pillars of fitness

  • Correct approach: Dre Hinds suggests you practise the five pillars of fitness to give your body the perfect workout (Photograph supplied)

    Correct approach: Dre Hinds suggests you practise the five pillars of fitness to give your body the perfect workout (Photograph supplied)


So many times I’ve been asked which type of fitness training is most important. Truthfully, once you find something that you enjoy, that’s all that matters.

Of course, you can play around and try many styles; within the gym, I do believe there are important steps you should take before picking up heavy weights.

At HindsSight we focus on five pillars of fitness:

1, Core

Now when I’m talking core, I don’t mean the aesthetically pleasing six-pack (which is simply just absence of fat and not an indication of strength). Core is your entire midsection, including your back muscles and muscles around your pelvis. When you have a strong core, the foundation of our fitness, you can easily move in any direction with proper balance and stability.

A strong core prevents falls, and supports your body in every position, and without a strong core you may find it difficult to run with control, sit up straight at work, or even squat heavier. Your strong core, once engaged, will assist you during your heavy lifts, long runs and in maintaining proper posture and positioning.

2, Cardio

Having a great relationship with your lungs and heart is another vital strength to have. In completing cardio exercise you are training your heart and making it stronger, making it work less to pump blood. Furthermore, your lung capacity improves.

There is also a positive relationship between cardiovascular endurance and building muscle. Once your cardiovascular system is working more efficiently, there will be an improved oxygen circulation within your muscles, which leads to muscle growth. Of course, having a balanced fitness regime will get you the results you want (less cardio, more weights or more cardio, less weights, yielding different results).

3, Body-weight exercise

Now that I’ve mentioned it, weightlifting - yes, my love! But before we touch on that, let’s talk body weight exercise. Mastering your body weight and learning how your body moves through space is important. It wouldn’t be smart to squat 100lb on your back if you haven’t mastered a body-weight squat.

The benefits of body-weight exercise improve your cardiovascular endurance and your muscle strength, both important improvements before moving on to weightlifting. Yes, weightlifting. I’ll try not to be too biased, but it is so important. I believe everyone can benefit from lifting weights or some form of resistance training.

4, Weightlifting

Having improved your core, cardiovascular system and body- weight exercise you can add weightlifting to your fitness regime. It isn’t just about bulking up. Weightlifting further improves your posture, promotes better sleeping patterns and, most importantly, it helps to increase bone density which combats disease.

A strong core, great cardiovascular endurance, body weight exercise, weightlifting — that’s four pillars.

5, High Intensity Interval Training

The fifth pillar is what we call High Intensity Interval Training. Basically, combine all of the four pillars into a circuit style of training. By combining all four pillars you are benefiting from all four, improving in every aspect and, of course, getting fitter, losing fat and becoming a better athlete. Although HIIT is better with little rest, the circuit style of training is most important when combining all four pillars. It keeps things interesting as well.

Once you become a student of your own body, you will notice improvements in your fitness, health and wellness. All the information in the world will do nothing for you unless you apply it.

Learn your body, know your strengths and work on your weaknesses. The five pillars are a great way to do a self-check on your fitness journey. Until next time, be honest with your efforts and remember to remain unapologetic about how you choose to be fit and healthy.

Dre Hinds is a retired track and field athlete who is now a personal trainer, aerobic and yoga instructor and fitness “addict” with more than 20 years’ experience. She specialises in nutrition, weight and sprint training, operating out of HindsSight Fitness&Wellness at the Berkeley Cultural Centre. Contact her on: absbydre@gmail.com, 599-0412 or @Absbydre on Facebook and Instagram

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Published Mar 18, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Mar 18, 2020 at 8:07 am)

Explaining more about the five pillars of fitness

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