Why Do I Need to Take a Fitness Test?
One of the best ways to reach your goals is to track your progress which can create massive motivation. By performing a simple fitness test plan, you can start to track just how far you’ve come and the great progress you are making!
Improve your health with fitness tests
We are constantly told to challenge our bodies to achieve our fitness goals.
The school of thought is, if you aren’t sweating buckets and feeling sick after your workout, you obviously haven’t exercised hard enough – no pain, no gain right?
But what if everything we thought we knew about pushing ourselves was wrong? It’s all too easy to jump into a brand new fitness routine without assessing whether you’re actually ready to begin training at all. If you haven’t exercised in a while, then exerting yourself as part of a new routine could cause injury and serious damage.
Don’t panic, because the easiest way to assess what level of exercise you should pursue is to take a fitness test.
Why do I need to take a fitness test?
A standard fitness test will reveal your strengths, which is always good to know, as well as highlighting areas of your fitness which require more attention aka your weaknesses.
Utilizing this information will allow you to create a personalized training plan based on the results, which means you can lay the foundations of a stronger and fitter body from the start. Sounds good, doesn’t it? Administering your own fitness test is also simple and completely free.
You can carry the out the test at home in under 30 minutes.
What will it measure?
A standard fitness test should measure basic principles of fitness; strength, posture, balance, mobility and stamina. Every one of these elements affects your body’s movement throughout daily life.
In fact, improving just one of these areas will have significant benefits for a wide range of everyday problems, from back and joint pain, to issues with sleep.
Traditionally, the majority of people will be primarily concerned with their strength because being strong will ultimately make your life easier. You’ll be able to lift, bend and move more powerfully, as well as partaking in longer and more intense exercise sessions.
Posture is often overlooked, but it is a crucial part of fitness. Technology has caused us to lead sedentary lifestyles where we sit at desks for more than eight hours a day.
We suffer from hunched shoulders, neck soreness and back pain. Notice how much better you automatically feel when you become conscious of your posture and sit up straight? Not to mention how much better it is for your bones and organs. You could feel like every day with the correct training.
Balance is essential as we grow older, because of a greater risk of falls and accidents. While mobility is important for your whole body, in particular how your joints move through various patterns of movement to facilitate your body in everyday life.
Finally, there is physical stamina, which tests how long your heart and lungs can perform at good capacity for.
The better your stamina is, the longer you will be able to perform an exercise at peak power for.
The length of time you’ve been exercising for is your training age, so if you’ve been working out at home for two years your training age would be two. Unless you’ve dedicated your life to fitness, the chances are your training age will only be a few years – congratulations, you’re a toddler!
Joking aside, training ages are intended to help you avoid injury by not pushing yourself too hard. So if your training age is on the lower side, bear this in mind before going all out.
Ready to take your fitness test?
Now you’ve discover why it’s important to take a fitness test, then it’s time to get down to it and start the test! As mentioned earlier, you can do this alone or with a friend for help, and you’ll need no equipment aside from something to time yourself on and a chair.
Stability – The balance test.
Stand on 1 leg unassisted and slowly raise the opposite arm above your head. Aim to hold for 2 minutes without wobbling or falling.
Strength – The push up test
Do as many push-ups as you can in 3 minutes, resting if needed.
Excellent = 100+
Good = 70
Average = 50
Poor = <50
Posture – The wall test.
Stand with your back against a wall, your feet flat on the ground and heels about 6 inches away from the wall. Place your head against the wall as well, and tuck in your chin. Raise your arms out to shoulder height and bend your elbows. Point your fingers forward with your elbows straight out from your shoulders. Rotate your arms upward at the elbows, keeping them bent, and try to touch the back of your wrists to the wall.
If you find this difficult, or can’t make your wrists touch the wall, then this signals poor posture.
Mobility – The ‘Up and Go’ test
You’ll need a friend to time how long it takes you to get up front a chair, walk 3 metres, turn around and sit back down on your chair. If you are able to do this within 14 seconds or less, it suggests that you have good mobility and are at less risk of injury and falling.
Stamina – The squats test
Get a stopwatch and perform as many bodyweight squats as you can in 1 minute.
Excellent = 100+
Good = 70
Average = 50
Poor = <50
Create a custom training plan
Now that you’ve identified which elements of fitness you could improve on; you can create a personalized exercise plan that will focus on these areas.
Take your results to your gym or personal trainer, or in true DIY style develop your own workout from scratch like this fitness plan.
Your new plan will prevent any injuries and help you to become as fit as possible, in a safe and informed way.