Objective: To evaluate whether more positive self-perception of physical fitness is associated with lower prevalence of metabolic syndrome (MetS) and its components in university students in Bogotá, Colombia Method: A total of 493 men (mean age 28.5±11.5 years old) without cardiovascular disease university students completed the self-report fitness tool, namely "The International FItness Scale" (IFIS). The overall prevalence of MetS and its components according to "International Diabetes Federation" (IDF) criteria and the "National Cholesterol Education Program Expert Panel on Detection, Evaluation, and Treatment of High Blood, Cholesterol in Adults" (NCEP: ATP-III) were measured. Body Fat Mass (BFM), Body Fat Percentage (BF %), Fat-Free Mass (FFM) and Fat-Free Mass Index (FFMI), were estimated using segmental bioelectrical impedance equipment. Results: Twenty three percent of participants had met the criteria of MetS. Central obesity (33%) was the most prevalent factor, followed by low HDL cholesterol level (31%). The other factors associated with the presence of MetS were hypercholesterolemia (60%), high LDL cholesterol level (32%) and hypertriglyceridemia (19%). Participants reporting to have a "good/very good" in the self-reported (cardiorespiratory and muscle fitness specific components), shown a healthy range in blood pressure, FFM, FFMI and triglycerides level (p <0.05). After adjustment for age and BMI, participants reporting to have a "good/very good" had lower prevalence in the components central obesity, blood pressure, triglycerides and HDL cholesterol level than those grouped in "acceptable" and/or "very poor/poor" (p <0.05). Conclusion: Participants with a lower self-perception of physical fitness have an increased prevalence of MetS and its components. This study suggests that the self-report tool used in this study, the IFIS tool, is a useful method to be used in large scale surveys and epidemiological studies in which, because of time, equipment, or qualified personnel limitations, fitness cannot be directly measured.