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You’ve been working out, eating right, and getting enough sleep. You are seeing results on the scale, your doctor gave you a thumbs up on your blood work, and even your skinny jeans aren’t busting at the seams. All signs point to progress.
Not so fast.
You check out weight progress and your biomarker progress – why not check your fitness progress?
Here are five tests that you can do to evaluate your fitness progress. Try conducting these tests on yourself once every two or three months. Make sure to control variables like adequate sleep the night before and eating no sooner than one hour prior to the tests to make sure that you get a more accurate picture of how much your fitness has improved.
Squat height test
What it measures: Leg strength, core strength, and flexibility.
How to do it: Stand with your feet a little wider than hip distance apart. Bend both legs at the knees and hips and and sit backwards into a squat. Squat as low as you can. Have a friend measure the distance between your glutes and the floor. Over time, try to decrease this number.
Push-ups to failure test
What it measures: Arm strength, chest strength, and core strength.
How to do it: Get in plank position on the floor. Complete as many push-ups as you can. Over time, try to increase this number.
Pulse recovery test
What it measures: Cardiovascular fitness.
How to do it: Find and record your resting heart rate. Then, run as hard as you can on a treadmill for five minutes. Take your pulse again immediately after the five minutes, and record the results. Wait exactly one minute, then take your pulse again. Subtract this number from the number recorded immediately after exercising. This is your Recovery Pulse Index. Over time, try to increase your Recovery Pulse Index.
What it measures: Cardiovascular fitness, leg strength, and muscular endurance.
How to do it: Set a timer for one minute and complete as many burpees as you can. Record the number. Over time, try to increase this number.
Zipper shoulder test
What it measures: Shoulder flexibility.
How to do it: Stand up straight and raise your right arm straight into the air. Bend your arm at the elbow and let your forearm fall back behind you, placing your hand on your back. With the left arm, reach behind you and try to grasp your right hand. The movement looks as though you are giving yourself a backwards hug. Have a friend measure the distance between your finger tips. Over time, try to decrease this number.
Do you regularly test your fitness levels? If so, what tests do you use?
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