The 5BX Plan for Men: Physical Fitness
- It can produce force which can be measured as strength of muscle;
- It can store energy which permits it to work for extended periods of time independent of circulation – this is generally referred to as muscular, endurance;
- It can shorten at varying rates. This is called speed of contraction;
- It can be stretched and will recoil. This is called the elasticity of muscle.
The combination of these four qualities of muscle is referred to as muscular power. If muscles are to function efficiently, they must be continually supplied with energy fuel. This is accomplished by the blood which carries the energy fuel from lungs and digestive system to the muscles. The blood is forced through the blood vessels by the heart. The combined capacity to supply energy fuels to the working muscles is called organic power.
The capacity and efficiency with which your body can function depends on the degree of development of both your muscular and organic power through regular exercise. However, the level to which you can develop these powers is influenced by such factors as the type of body you have, the food you eat, presence or absence of disease, rest and sleep. You are physically fit only when you have adequately developed your muscular and organic power to perform with the highest possible efficiency.
What is the 5BX Plan?
The 5BX Plan is composed of six charts arranged in progression. Each chart is composed of five exercises which are always performed in the same order and in the same maximum time limit, but, as you progress from chart to chart, there are slight changes in each basic exercise with a gradual demand for more effort.
A sample rating scale of Chart Three is reproduced on page 23 and is to be used in the following way:
Level: These are the physical capacity levels, each indicated by a letter of the alphabet.
Exercises: Exercises One, Two Three, and Four apply to The first four exercises described and illustrated on the following pages. The column headed 1 represents Exercise One (toe touch). etc. The figures in each column indicate the number of times that each exercise is to be repeated in the time allotted for that exercise. Exercise Five is running on the spot. Two activities may be substituted for it. however, and if you prefer you may run or walk the recommended distance in the required time in place of the stationary run of Exercise Five.
There are basically two ways in which you can avoid discomfort and still develop high levels of physical capacity:
- Warm up properly before participating in any strenuous physical activity such as sprinting, handball, tennis, etc.;
- Start any training program at a low level of activity and work up by easy stages.
The 5BX Plan was designed so that no additional warm-up is necessary In order to receive its maximum benefits.
The older one is, the more necessary proper warming up becomes to avoid ‘strained’ muscles. The 5BX Plan has a built-in method of warm up. This is achieved in two ways:
- by the arrangement of the exercises; and
- by the manner in which these exercises are performed.
For example the first exercise is a stretching and loosening exercise which limbers up the large muscles of the body. In addition, this exercise should be started very slowly and easily, with a gradual increase in speed and vigor.