Who’s the Fittest?

Self: Health and Lifestyle
12-14 years, 14-16 years
Anticipate Time
1.5 hours min
2-5, 5-15, 15-30
Enthusiasm, Excellence, Respect


Physical fitness is comprised of many components. Pathfinders will use the components of fitness to determine which athletes might be considered the ‘fittest’ in the world.

Through participation in this Pursuit, the Pathfinder will:

  1. Recall components of fitness
  2. Compare sports and activities in relation to fitness

Scripture Focus

Memory Verse

Romans 12:1
Therefore I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship.

As followers of Jesus, we are to present ourselves as ‘living sacrifices’ for our God. Our whole self is made up of all of
the parts of us including our personality, our minds, our emotions, our passions and our bodies. Everything works together
to make us a whole person. If one part of our self is weak or sick, the rest will suffer. Our body is the ‘house’ for
everything that takes place through us. We have a responsibility to keep our bodies strong and healthy. Your body is your
tool for ministry – care for yourself well and be a fit and useful child of God.


  1. Print out material in the Appendix. Review and understand components of fitness before you begin.
  • Butcher paper and pens or black/white board and chalk
  • Prizes (Optional)


NOTE: The beginning (Points #1-3) of this Pursuit is quite similar to the Pursuit: ‘Pulse!’ You may choose to do ‘Pulse!’ first for a more comprehensive understanding of exercise and recovery heart rates, and then begin with Point #4 below.

1. Begin this Pursuit with any physical activity that will get the heart rate up. To do this, have the Pathfinders all sit down and rest quietly for a few minutes while you introduce the Pursuit. Then take a resting pulse rate while they are sitting down. (Can be measured with two fingers on the wrist or neck). Take the pulse for 30 sec. and multiply by two. Have each Pathfinder record this heart rate on a piece of paper or up on the board.

2. Have them all do an activity within a set time frame. For instance… all run three times around the church, but all at the same speed. OR All do 100 step ups onto a chair at a cadence counted off by the leader.

3. When they are finished, wait two minutes and take another heart rate for 30 sec. Write these down. Then take another one at five minutes and write those down. The Pathfinders with the quicker recovery rate, (that is, whose heart rates are closest back to the original heart rate) are the fittest aerobically. (Heart and lung fitness).

4. Explain that this is only one component of fitness. You could have them do a standing long jump to see who measured best in another type of fitness, or push-ups, or see who is the most flexible by putting their hands on the floor with straight legs. These will all show that different people have different components of fitness.

5. Review the chart below outlining the components of physical fitness. Write each component on some butcher paper or on a board and have each Pathfinder add an different activity that illustrates that component. (For instance, one component is ‘explosive power’. Activities illustrating explosive power would be: The Start of a 100m race, A karate kick, A power lifter, A jump up for a mark, the Shot Put, etc…)

6. After the Pathfinders understand each of the components of fitness, have them draw a table with the components listed on the left as illustrated below. On the top of the table, have each Pathfinder choose three sports. Then each Pathfinder is to rate each sport from 1-10 on its demand for a particular component of fitness. Pathfinders make their own judgment about what score to give each component. (See chart illustration in the Appendix. Baseball is filled in as an example of how to do it).

7. In another column, have each Pathfinder write the name of his/her nominee for ‘fittest person in the world’. They must choose an elite athlete from a sport (any one they like), give them a rank in each component of fitness and be able to explain why that athlete should get that rating. The Pathfinder may choose a sports person they know, or just make it a typical person in that sport. (For instance, I might choose Michael Jordan from Basketball as my nominee – then I would explain what score he would get for each component, ie… he might get 10 for skill because of his ability to shoot and dribble. OR I might choose a professional soccer player without specifying who it would be.)
Pathfinders then add up the total they think their nominee should get.

8. The Pathfinders will then submit their nomination to the group. The Pathfinder leaders choose the best four nominees, and then the rest of the group will vote for which of those four should be named the ‘fittest person in the world’. You may like to offer a prize (naturally, something that will promote fitness and health) to the Pathfinder/s with the winning nomination.


Leaders, be sure to follow up on discussing when and how the Pathfinders saw the memory text in action throughout this Pursuit. 
Select from the questions below:

  • Do you consider yourself fit? What leads you to this conclusion?


  • Does fitness have to be part of the Christian lifestyle?


  • What do you plan to do for fitness as you get older?


  • How can your habits today, begin to build a healthy approach to health and fitness in the future?



Components of Fitness
Component Explanation of the component of fitness Examples of which types of sport develop this component of fitness Sport Sample


(Baseball is included as an example of how Pathfinders might fill in this part of the table with their own estimates.)

Sport #1

(Choose a sport and rate the components of fitness)
Sport #2

(Choose a sport and rate the components of fitness)
Sport #3

(Choose a sport and rate the components of fitness)
Fittest Athlete


Sore and Reasons

(A score + reasons why this athlete scores well in each component)

Aerobic Capacity The capacity of the heart and lungs to maintain continuous repetitive action Distance Running or swimming.
Have to run around the bases?
Anaerobic Capacity The capacity of the heart and lungs to maintain action during lactic acid build-up, as in sprints. Sprints, Middle distance running. Soccer, Netball
Base Running
Flexibility The ability to move the body at a joint through a complete range of motion. Demonstrated in gymnastics, ballet, Pole vault
Strength The ability of a muscle to provide maximum effort. Wrestling
Gymnastics rings, kayaking
Explosive Power The ability of a muscle to provide maximum effort in a single burst. Power lifting
High Jump
Skill The ability to coordinate perception, implements, tactics and strategy with accuracy and consistency Golf
Bmx tricks
Balance The capacity to remain in physical control while in motion Show jumping, Skateboarding, Diving, Surfing, Balance beam
(Fielding plays)
Total Scores
My Score for Baseball:


My Score for this sport: My Score for this sport: My Score for this sport: My score for my ‘Fittest Athlete in the World’ nominee: