Fitness

How Fit Are You? 4 Fitness Tests

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According to the American College of Sports Medicine and YMCA, performance-related fitness is linked to athletic performance (for example: a 50-yard dash time or the ability to maneuver around obstacles quickly) and is linked to speed, reaction time, and coordination.

Health-related fitness is linked to fitness components that may lower risks such as high blood pressure, diabetes, or low back pain. Health-related physical fitness includes the following components:

•Aerobic fitness – ability of the heart and lungs to deliver blood to muscles,

•Muscular strength and endurance – enough to do normal activities easily and protect the low back,

•Flexibility – ability to move your many joints through their proper range of motion, and

•Body composition – not too much body fat, especially around the waist

How fit are you? Here are 4 fitness tests to try at home:

1.      The Pushup Test measures muscular strength and endurance, a combination that better reflects your fitness level than strength tests like the one rep max. Besides being dangerous, single rep max tests also require a lot of equipment (bench press or squat rack, barbells, and other weights). A timed pushup test, on the other hand, can be done anywhere.

Equipment needed: A stop watch or timer that can measure one full minute; a friend to help keep count and time you (optional).

Goal: Do as many traditional or modified pushups as you can in one minute. Be consistent when recording results.

Ratings for Men (Full Pushups), based on Age

                      20-29          30-39          40-49          50-59          60+

 Excellent       <54              <44             <39             <34            <29

 Good             45-54         55-44        30-39          25-34          20-29

 Average         35-44        24-34        20-29          15-24          10-19

 Poor               20-34         15-24        12-19            8-14             5-9

 Very Poor       <20             <15             <12              <8                <5

Ratings for Women (Modified Pushups), based on Age

                         20-29          30-39          40-49         50-59            60+

Excellent          >48              >39              >34            >29              >19

Good                34-48          25-39          20-34        15-29           5-19

Average           17-33          12-24            8-19          6-14              3-4

Poor                  6-16             4-11              3-7            2-5               1-2

Very Poor         < 6                < 4                < 3            < 2                < 1

2.      The Crunch Test, technically referred to as the “partial curl-up” test, measures abdominal strength and endurance, a combination that more truly reflects your fitness level than strength tests alone. This test is a better choice over the standard sit-ups because crunches are safer for the lower back and target the abs better. A timed crunch test can also be done anywhere.

Equipment needed: A stop watch or timer that can measure one full minute; a ruler; a friend to help keep count and time you (optional).

Goal: Do as many crunches as you can in one minute.

Ratings for Men, Based on Age

                    < 35 years               35-44 years               > 45 years

Excellent       60                              50                               40

Good              45                             40                               25

Marginal       30                              25                               15

Needs Work 15                              10                                5

Ratings for Women, Based on Age

                  < 35 years                  35-44 years            > 45 years

Excellent     50                                40                              30

Good           40                                25                               15

Marginal     25                                15                               10

3.      The 3-Minute Step Test measures your aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness level based on how quickly your heart rate returns to normal after exercise.

Equipment needed: Stopwatch or clock with a second hand; a friend to help you keep count; a 12-inch bench, box, or step; a metronome (if you don’t have one, use the free online version at www.MetronomeOnline.com)

Goal: Step on and off the bench for 3 minutes straight while keeping a consistent pace and then see how quickly your heart rate will come back down.

Ratings for Men, Based on Age

                                     18-25           26-35           36-45           46-55            56-65           65+

Excellent                     50-76           51-76           49-76           56-82            60-77         59-81

Good                           79-84            79-85          80-88            87-93           86-94          87-92

Above Average          88-93            88-94          92-88           95-101         97-100        94-102

Average                      95-100          96-102        100-105      103-111       103-109     104-110

Poor                           111-119        114-121       116-124      121-126       119-128     121-126

Ratings for Women, Based on Age

                                     18-25             26-35           36-45           46-55            56-65          65+

Excellent                     52-81            58-80            51-84           63-91            60-92        70-92

Good                           85-93            85-92            89-96           95-101          97-103      96-101

Above Average         96-102          95-101        100-104        104-110        106-111    104-111

Average                    104-110        104-110       107-112        113-118        113-118    116-121

Poor                          122-131        122-129       124-132        126-132        129-135     128-133

4.      The 1-Mile Walking Test measures your aerobic (cardiovascular) fitness level based on how quickly you are able to walk a mile at a submaximal (moderate) exercise intensity.

Equipment Needed: Comfortable clothing and sturdy walking or running shoes; a stopwatch or a clock with a second hand; a flat one-mile walking surface, such as a standard quarter-mile track (four laps equals one mile) or a flat road where you’ve measured the one-mile distance with your car’s odometer.

Goal: Walk one mile as quickly as possible.

It is suggested that you DO NOT attempt this test until you are routinely walking for 15 to 20 minutes several times per week. Do not perform this test on a treadmill, as it will skew results.

Ratings for Men, Based on Age

                 Age 20-29               30-39               40-49               50-59               60-69                70+

Excellent       <11:54              <12:24            <12:54              <13:24             <14:06            <15:06

Good         11:54-13:00     12:24-13:30     12:54-14:00     13:24-14:24     14:06-15:12     15:06-15:48

Average    13:01-13:42      13:31-14:12     14:01-14:42     14:25-15:12     15:13-16:18    15:49-18:48

Poor              >14:30              >15:00            >15:30               >16:30               >17:18            >20:18

Ratings for Women, Based on Age

                 Age 20-29            30-39                 40-49                50-59                60-69                70+

Excellent        <13:12          <13:42               <14:12             <14:42                <15:06              <18:18

Good           13:12-14:06   13:42-14:36     14:12-15:06      14:42-15:36       15:06-16:18      18:18-20:00

Average      14:07-15:06   14:37-15:36     15:07-16:06       15:37-17:00       16:19-17:30     20:01-21:48

Poor               >16:30            >17:00               >17:30              >18:06                >19:12              >24:06

Resources: Exrx.net, adultfitnesstest.org, topendsports.com

aerobic fitness body composition diabetes endurance flexibility high blood pressure muscular strength

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