fitness test: how fit am i?
In addition using a Body Measurement Chart to track fitness progress, taking a fitness test is a great way to benchmark your results.
Repeating this fitness test monthly will help you understand if your workouts really working. Try this at-home, 8-challenge fitness test to benchmark your current fitness level. Minimal equipment is needed except a timer (your phone will work just fine).
Use this test to compare yourself to “average” fitness benchmarks. Each component of this test was taken from the combined research and selection of standard military fitness tests, gold standards of what it takes to be a “Spartan Beast,” and the input of health professors and doctors (full resource list at the bottom of the page).
The “average” results are taken from research studies and from big data companies such as FitBit, Aaptiv, and ClassPass. Finally, note that your results may not indicate your overall health level but can be used for comparison and a data point for progression.
There are five components to this fit test:
- Aerobic fitness and endurance
- Muscle strength and endurance (lower body, upper body, and core)
- Flexibility and Balance
- Body Composition
Aerobic Fitness and Endurance
1. The 1.5 Mile Run
To begin the fitness test, time yourself for a 1.5 mile (2.4 km) run in your neighborhood, around a track, or on a treadmill. This is the gold standard test to track your cardio performance, so don’t skip it. Record your time so that you can track progress.
- An advanced, fit runner should be able to finish in less than 12 minutes
- Intermediately fit runners should be able to finish in less than 16 minutes (up until the age of 55 years old for all genders)
- Anything slower indicates the need for cardio endurance improvement
Muscle Strength and Endurance
2. The 2 Minute Push-Up Challenge (Upper Body Strength)
Next, it’s time to get down on the ground for good, old-fashioned push-ups. No fit test exists without these. You don’t need to bring your chest to the floor. It counts as “one” when your elbows are at a 90-degree angle. These push-ups should be done on your toes. Set a timer for 2 minutes and get to work.
- An advanced athlete should be able to do over 50 push-ups in 2 minutes
- The intermediate athlete should be able to do at least 30 full push-ups in 2 minutes
- Anything less or if you have to drop to your knees means there’s room for improvement
3. The 1 Minute Sit-Up Challenge (Core Strength)
Flip onto your back and set a timer for one minute. Perform a full crunch with your hands crossed against your chest. Count how many sit-ups you do but subtract any where your arms were not fully against your chest.
Have a buddy hold your feet against the floor and also lookout for any “disqualified” crunches. How many did you do? Write it down so you can compare the results to your next fitness test in one month.
- An advanced athlete should be able to do over 50 sit-ups in 1 minute
- The intermediate athlete should be able to do at least 30 sit-ups in 1 minute
- Anything less means you should focus on improving core strength
4. The 2 Minute Wall Sit Challenge (Lower Body Strength)
With your back against the wall, slide down until your knees make a perfect 90-degree angle. Perform this test in one set until failure or until the 2-minute timer goes off. Record how long you can stay up at a perfect 90 degrees.
- An advanced athlete should be able to perform the wall sit for 2 minutes
- The intermediate athlete should be able to perform the wall sit for over 1 minute
- Anything less means you should focus on improving lower body strength
5. Only have time for one test? Do this: The 5 Minute Burpee Challenge (Total Body Strength)
Burpees are a great total body exercise. In our fit test, they’re even more challenging. This tough test is taken straight out of the Spartan SGX Fitness rule book. Count how many burpees you can accomplish in 5 minutes.
Start your burpee in a squat position. Do a full descending push-up all the way to the ground and extend your arms and legs into a full “Superman” position. Ascend in a push-up back into a squat and then jump into a full vertical extension with straight arms and legs. Repeat.
- An advanced athlete should be able to do over 60 full extension burpees in 5 minutes (subtract 20 burpees if over the age of 55)
- The intermediate athlete should be able to do at least 40 full extension burpees in 5 minutes (subtract 15 burpees if over the age of 55)
- Anything less means you should focus on improving total body strength
Flexibility and Balance
6. The Touch-Your-Toes Challenge (Flexibility)
Stand up and lean forward to the ground to touch your toes. See where you can hold the pose for at least 10 seconds. Make sure to perform this test while you’re warmed up.
Finally, note that you should keep your legs straight but don’t lock your knees – you don’t want to strain yourself! Take a picture or record the distance so you can track your progress after your next fitness test.
- A flexible athlete should be able to put their palms on the floor
- An average, flexible athlete should be able to touch their toes and start to put their fists on the floor
- Anything less means this should be a focus to reduce risk of injury
7. The 30 Second Standing Tree Pose Challenge (Balance)
Take turns balancing on each foot in the yoga pose, Standing Tree Pose. Have the bent leg placed on the opposite knee or upper thigh. This exercise sounds easy, but this might be the most challenging part of this fitness test.
- An advanced, balanced athlete should be able to stand on each leg with their eyes closed for the 30 seconds
- The intermediate, balanced athlete should be able to stand on each leg for the full 30 seconds with their eyes open
- Anything less means there’s room for improvement. Note if there are imbalances on each leg. It’s normal for one leg to have better balance than the other, but any glaring discrepancies indicate an imbalance problem
8. Your Body Mass Index (BMI)
While there are some arguable flaws about online BMI calculators, they set a general benchmark to see where you stack up. Other techniques to measure body fat percentage includes skinfold calipers, body circumference measurements, and more advanced measures such as body scanners and dual-energy x-ray absorptiometry (DXA).
- Here is the Mayo Clinic BMI online calculator. A normal BMI is typically 18.5-24.5. Talk to your doctor if there are any concerns but use these numbers as a benchmark only. Everyone’s body is different.
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