Ever wondered if your workout is, well, working? It can be surprising to see what level of fitness you are. Whether you’re a gym rat or complete beginner, we’ve got a few simple tests to check your fitness level.
Once you know where you’re at, you can plan where you want your fitness journey to go.
You’re going to assess four areas of your fitness: aerobic fitness, muscular strength and flexibility.
Time for an equipment check. You’ll need a stopwatch, measuring tape, pen and paper, yardstick/long ruler, and a friend to help record your scores.
Your heart rate gives you a good estimate of your heart health. Here’s 3 ways to check your heart fitness:
Check your pulse. Count the number of beats on your artery for 10 seconds. Multiply by 4 to get the heartrate per minute. Then check your results.
Check your target heart rate zone. This is 50-75 percent of the maximum heart rate for your age and will tell you if your workout is tough enough. Get it right and you will benefit from every stride, swing and squat. Too high and you’re straining – slow down! Below the target zone? You’ll need to up the intensity.
Running test. Time yourself on a 1.5 mile (2.4 kilometres) run or jog. The figures on this ‘Cooper Test’ came from 1000s of people so you can see how fit you are compared to your peers.
Push ups. Think you’re strong? Check how many classic push ups you can do. If you’re a beginner, do modified push ups on your knees. Do as many as you can before stopping to rest. Then check your results here.
It might be old-school but the sit-and-reach test is a simple way to test the flexibility of your hips, lower back and legs. Place a measuring stick on the floor and place a piece of tape to secure at the 38cm mark.
Place your soles even with the 38cm mark and reach forward as far as you can – slowly, no bouncing! – holding for at least a second. Do this 3 times and record the best result. Now check out your results.
How did you do? It doesn’t matter what the results are the first time you do the tests. Use the results as a baseline and start a challenging Hussle routine with a Monthly+ Pass including strength training routines and some HIIT.
I hate the thought of testing my fitness. As far as I'm concerned I just want to workout because it makes me feel healthy, and forget about the details of what's going on inside
Somehow all this monitoring of our stats makes fitness seem overwhelming. I'm one for just being glad I've got to the gym, never mind exactly what my pulse rate was!
stopwatch? Pen and paper? measuring ruler? I feel a bit like I'm back at school but it's brilliant! Nothing wrong with the old methods.
I can't find my pulse on my throat! Easy to find on my wrist though. Guess it depends on different bodies where it's easiest to find.
time to get the tape measure out, I'm intrigued! BTW on my first aid course they teach that it is much easier to find your pulse at throat, not wrist.
The sit and reach test is still used in schools as a test of flexibility. I'm not sure how much it tells about your flexibility other than your hamstrings and calves though.
This is a great, simple way to check fitness. Maybe doctors should hand out this information so people can see for themselves how their fitness compares to others.