So, you think you’re in good shape? But how do you really know how fit you really are? It’s not about looking great in a swimsuit or a pair of Speedos – it’s about having the physical ability to be able to perform at your athletic peak.
Assessing that means doing more than gazing into the mirror for hours. It means taking a number of tests that determine the true extent of your fitness. It relates to what you’re able to do once you’ve had a good meal, consumed the right balance of nutrients (for tips see Fysiqal) and done your warm up. It’s all about performance.
Here are the tests you should take to see how you measure up:
Rugby star James Haskell reckons this is one of the key ways to judge the strength of your core. He wrote: “It doesn’t matter how many crunches you can do – if you can’t hold yourself in a plank position for at least three minutes, your core strength isn’t up to scratch.”
Daily Burn points out how the US military uses a two-mile run to test people’s cardio threshold. If you want to see how fit you are then time your two-mile run and see what you can manage. According to the US military, finishing in 12 to 14 minutes is above average, while 15 to 17 minutes is fair, and more than 17 minutes is considered below average. Tough, but a decent test.
The bleep test
Remember this from school? It probably still sends a shiver down your spine. The test, which involves running between two points in time with the dreaded ‘bleep’, is another great way to test your stamina. You can now download the Bleep Test app on your phone for free to attempt this. Once you’ve done that you just need to set two markers 20 m apart and start it up. A good score is level 10-11 and 12-13 puts you in the excellent category. If you’re level 5 or below then you’ve got some serious work to do.
Another of Haskell’s challenges is the walking test. He recommends taking yourself off into the countryside and walking non stop for two hours. Haskell says to aim to cover about 12 miles in the process. If you’re tired – or need breaks – you’re definitely not as fit as you think you are.
Push ups are a big part of many people’s daily workout routine – but how many could you manage? This will help you to assess whether those chest, shoulder and tricep muscles do more than just look the part. Personal fitness trainer Scott Laidler reckons 20-30 is average, 30-40 is good and 40-plus is excellent. Drop it and give him 40 to show you are as fit as the proverbial fiddle.
You might well be able to manage all of these tests with no problems. If so then the challenge is to keep it up and, ideally, strive to go even further. If not, the above levels are what you need to aim for if you are able to be confident with your fitness levels.