How Fit Are You Really

If, like many people around the world, you intend to kick start your year with a new fitness regime, it may be useful to find out exactly where you are starting in terms of your current levels of strength, muscular endurance and cardiovascular fitness. This provides you with an idea of what your strengths and weaknesses are so you can design a tailor-made program based on your physiological needs and also gives you some useful measures that you can monitor over the coming year to assess the success of your training program.

We have selected a group of tests to assess your all-round fitness so it’s important you do them all. However, if you have a particular interest in one area, for example cardiovascular fitness, feel free to focus on that particular test. General exercises should be looking to perform equally well in all the tests.

Warm ups

Because fitness tests are challenging, it is essential you warm up properly. Perform a few minutes of cardio followed by some dynamic stretches then practice the techniques of each test at a low level of intensity. Only attempt the test once you are ready. Also, if you want to score as well as possible, perform different tests on different days and make sure you are as well rested as possible. It is not a good idea to attempt a maximal speed 1.5 mile run the day after a hard leg workout!

Strength

Strength, commonly expressed as your one repetition maximum or 1RM for short, is all about exerting maximal effort and lifting the heaviest weight you can safely manage. You can measure the strength of just about any muscle or muscle group but in terms of function, your ability to pick heavy objects off the floor and lift them overhead are key tasks excellent measures of strength. For this reason, your strength tests are the deadlift and barbell overhead press.

For the purposes of these tests, a beginner has been training specifically for strength for six to nine months, an intermediate for more than eighteen months and advanced for twenty four months or more. All weights have been adjusted to the nearest 2.5kg as this is commonly the lowest increment available.

If you don’t fancy trying an all out 1RM test, you can predict your 1RM using this simple calculation:

Weight lifted x maximum repetitions performed x 0.0333 + weight lifted = estimated 1RM
For accuracy, try to max out using 10 reps or less.

For example; 45kgs x 7 repetitions = 315 x 0.0333 = 10.49 + 45 = 55.48kgs (round up or down to nearest 2.5/5kg to find your estimated 1RM)

Deadlifts

Rest a barbell on the floor and attach the correct amount of weight to each end. Approach the bar keeping your feet shoulder width apart and pointed forward. From a squatting motion, carefully grasp the bar. Lower the hips so that the thighs are level to the floor. Keeping eyes forward, carefully straighten your back.   Stand up, raise your hips and shoulders, and carefully lift the bar off the ground. Keeping eyes forward, carefully straighten your back. For complete instructions and video on how to do the deadlift click here.

Barbell Overhead Press

Place a barbell at mid-chest height in a squat rack. Grasp the bar with an overhand, slightly wider than shoulder-width grip. With your elbows below your hands and your wrists straight, unrack the bar and take a small step backwards. The bar should be resting across the fronts of your shoulders. Inhale and, with your legs completely straight, push the bar up and overhead to arms’ length. The rep only counts if you lock the bar out and hold it steady for a second or so. Lower the bar back down and re-rack it. Do not lean back when performing this movement as this places an inordinate amount of stress on your lower back. Any backward lean should be only enough to allow the bar to pass in front of your head without hitting you in the nose or chin.

1RM Deadlift – Men
Body Weight Beginner Intermediate Advanced
147 lbs/66.8kg 176lbs/80kg 269.5lbs/122.5kg 379.5lbs/172.5kg
165 lbs/75kg 195.2lbs/87.5kg 291.5lbs/132.5kg 407lbs/185kg
180 lbs/81.8kg 209lbs/95kg 313.5lbs/142.5kg 434.5lbs/197.5kg
198lbs+/90kg+ 225.5lbs/102.5kg 330lbs/150kg 456.5lbs/207.5kg
1RM Deadlift – Women
Body Weight Beginner Intermediate Advanced
114lbs/51.8kg 93.5lbs/42.5kg 143lbs/65kg 198lbs/90kg
123lbs/55.9kg 99lbs/45kg 148.5lbs/67.5kg 209lbs/95kg
132lbs/60kgs 104.5lbs/47.5kg 159.5lbs/72.5kg 220lbs/100kg
148lbs+/67.3kg+ 115.5lbs/52.5kg 176lbs/80kg 242/110kg

 

1RM Barbell Overhead Press – Men
Body Weight Beginner Intermediate Advanced
147 lbs/66.8kg 82.5lbs/37.5kg 121lbs/55kg 137.5/62.5kg
165 lbs/75kg 88lbs/40kg 126.5lbs/57.5kg 154lbs/70kg
180 lbs/81.8kg 93.5lbs/42.5kg 137.5lbs/62.5kg 165lbs/75kg
198lbs+/90kg+ 99lbs/45kg 143lbs/65kg 170.5lbs/77.5kg
1RM Barbell Overhead Press – Women
Body Weight Beginner Intermediate Advanced
114lbs/51.8kg 38.5lbs/17.5kg 55lbs/25kg 77lbs/35kg
123lbs/55.9kg 44lbs/20kg 60.5lbs/27.5kg 82.5lbs/37.5kg
132lbs/60kg 49.5lbs/22.5kg 66lbs/30kg 88lbs/40kg
148lbs+/67.3kg+ 55lbs/25kg 71.5lbs/32.5kg 93.5lbs/42.5kg


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