6 tests of fitness

6 tests of fitness | Men's Fitness UK

How fit are you? See if you can hit the targets in these tests 
set by personal trainer Sion Colenso.

What it targets
Your core strength

How to do it

Hold your body in a straight line from head to heels. Keep your feet together and your elbows beneath your shoulders. Look straight down and brace for as long as you can. Focus on keeping your hips from sagging. When they do the test is over.

To improve

Perform the plank with your hands, feet or both on an unstable surface such as a gym ball. You won’t be able to hold it for long, but it’ll make doing this test on stable ground easier.

Time                    Level
More than 2min     Excellent
75sec–2min          Good
45–75sec              Average
Less than 45sec     Poor
What it targets
Your core, quad and hamstring strength
How to do it
Keep your feet shoulder-width apart and toes turned out slightly. Brace your core and lower until your thighs are parallel to the floor and your knees are in line with your feet. Push back to the start through your heels. The test is over when you can’t maintain perfect form.
To improve
Perform walking lunges with light dumb-bells to build muscular strength in your glutes and legs.

Reps             Level
50 or more    Excellent
30–49           Good
16–29           Average
15 or fewer    Poor


What it targets
Your chest, shoulder 
and triceps strength

How to do it 

Keep your body in a straight line and your elbows pointing back, not to the sides. Lower until your chest is a fist’s height off the floor, then push back up. The test is over when you can’t maintain perfect form.

To improve

Complete a set to failure, rest for a few minutes and start again. This will overload the targeted muscles, making them grow stronger.

Reps              Level
50 or more     Excellent
25–49            Good
16–24            Average
15 or fewer     Poor

What it targets
Your cardiovascular system

How to do it

Set the treadmill elevation to one degree. Keep a constant pace.

To improve 
Do sets of all-out sprints of between 500m and 800m to improve your ability to maintain a maximum speed for longer.

Time                               Level
3min or less                    Excellent
3min–3min 29sec            Good
3min 30sec–4min 29sec   Average
4min 30sec or more         Poor
500M ROW
What it targets
Your cardiovascular system and muscle co-ordination between the upper and lower body

How to do it
On a Concept2 rowing machine, select level ten resistance. Sit upright with your shoulders back and core braced. Drive with your legs.

To improve
Perform sets of max-
effort 250m rows, separated by a 
few minutes of gentle rowing, to improve your endurance.

1min 30 sec or less           Excellent
1min 31sec–1min 44sec    Good
1min 45sec–1min 59sec    Average
2min or more                   Poor

What it targets
Your upper back strength

How to do it
Grip the bar overhand, extend your arms fully and let your body hang. Pull up until your chin is over the bar, squeezing your lats. Lower again without swinging. The test is over when you can’t maintain perfect form.

To improve
Do a max set, rest for a few minutes and repeat. Try lat pull-downs on a machine to build back strength.

Reps                    Level
12 or more           Excellent
8–11                    Good
4–7                      Average
3 or fewer             Poor

FONTE: Mensfitness.co.uk

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