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6 Tests for Fitness

Do you ever wonder how all that gym time and working out, is actually working out for you?

Do you worry that you might not be reaching the level of fitness you’ve been striving for, or that you’ve somehow hit a wall? Whether you want to increase your energy, reduce your health risks, or lose some unwanted pounds, everybody needs to know, just how well they are doing, versus, say, 3 months ago. Read Hardwired for Fitness: The Revolutionary Way to Jump-start Your Fitness Circuits to Lose Weight, Improve Body Composition and Increase Energy if you are uncertain where to begin. This book will set you on the right course!

Measuring your fitness level regularly is one way to find out if you’re making progress. Most fitness centers have trained staff who can evaluate your body composition, muscular strength and endurance, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance, but it can be pricey. Here is a simple test for fitness, that you can do by yourself in the gym. You don’t need an instructor to find out how well you are doing. Just a stop watch or a timer, and you are all set!

Here are my 6 Tests for Fitness, that you can perform in the gym..



What it targets  Your core strength

How to do it  Hold your body in a straight line from head to heels. Keep your feet together and your elbows beneath your shoulders. Look straight down and brace for as long as you can. Focus on keeping your hips from sagging. When they do the test is over.

To improve  Perform the plank with your hands, feet or both on an unstable surface such as a gym ball. You won’t be able to hold it for long, but it’ll make doing this test on stable ground easier.

Time                    Level
More than 2min     Excellent
75sec–2min          Good
45–75sec              Average
Less than 45sec     Poor



What it targets  Your cardiovascular system

How to do it  Set the treadmill elevation at level 5 (warm up by walking at level 3, for 1 minute first). Then start timing, from your run, keeping a constant pace at difficulty level 9.

To improve  Either try a higher inclination level, or add some sprints to the mix – i.e. increase speed to 11 or 12.

Time                               Level
4min or less                    Excellent
4min–4min 29sec            Good
4min 30sec–5min 29sec   Average
5min 30sec or more         Poor



What it targets  Your core, quad and hamstring strength

How to do it  Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned out slightly. Brace your core and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are in line with your feet. Push back to the start through your heels. The test is over when you can’t maintain perfect form.

To improve  Perform walking lunges with light dumb-bells to build muscular strength in your glutes and legs.

Reps             Level
50 or more    Excellent
30–49           Good
16–29           Average
15 or fewer    Poor



What it targets  Your chest, shoulder 
and triceps strength

How to do it   Keep your body in a straight line and your elbows pointing back, not to the sides. Lower until your chest is a fist’s height off the floor, then push back up. The test is over when you can’t maintain perfect form.

To improve  Complete a set to failure, rest for a few minutes and start again. This will overload the targeted muscles, making them grow stronger.

Reps              Level
50 or more     Excellent
25–49            Good
16–24            Average
15 or fewer     Poor

5. 500M ROW

What it targets Your cardiovascular system and muscle co-ordination between the upper and lower body

How to do it  On a gym rowing machine, select level ten resistance. Sit upright with your shoulders back and core braced. Drive with your legs.

To improve  Perform sets of max-
effort 250m rows, separated by a 
few minutes of gentle rowing, to improve your endurance.

Time                                    Level
2min 30 sec                       Excellent
2min 31 sec – 3min          Good
3min –3min 30 sec          Average
3min 31sec or more          Poor     


What it targets  Your upper body strength

How to do it  Grip the bar overhand, extend your arms fully and let your body hang. Pull up until your chin is over the bar, squeezing your lats. Lower again without swinging. The test is over when you can’t maintain perfect form.

To improve  Do a max set, rest for a few minutes and repeat. Try lat pull-downs on a machine to build back strength.

Reps                    Level
10 or more          Excellent
8–11                    Good
4–7                      Average
3 or fewer             Poor

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3 Responses to 6 Tests for Fitness

  1. lotsofcravings April 3, 2012 at 2:09 am #

    I cant do any pull ups how!??? you might want to have a different set of numbers for males vs. females too..

    • ciki April 3, 2012 at 2:39 am #

      Hi Joe! I can do 10 ! haha.. can you?! 😛

      • lotsofcravings April 3, 2012 at 3:36 am #

        told u i cant do any! haha… you should add burpees in there..the latest benchmark test.

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