Gauge Your Fitness Level Instantly With a Trainer's #1 Strength Workout
If you're wondering where you stand with your physical fitness, we have the ultimate trainer-curated strength workout to gauge your fitness level instantly. Working strength training into your routine is an excellent form of exercise because it can seamlessly be adapted to your fitness level and personal goals. In addition, it helps you complete daily functional activities with ease, says Ronny Garcia, CPT, Blink Fitness. This form of training is an excellent way to stay on top of your fitness level, too, because you're able to see with your own eyes noticeable results. "Higher resistance levels or weights mean you are improving in your strength journey," Garcia explains.
As if strength exercises weren't already incredibly beneficial, research across 16 studies linked muscle-strengthening activities to a 10% to 17% decreased risk of death from any cause, total cancer, cardiovascular disease, lung cancer, and diabetes.
"The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) recommends basing your workout frequency on your fitness level," Garcia tells us. "For beginners, start with two to three times per week, with a least one rest day in between. For intermediate fitness levels, aim for three to four times per week with a least one rest day in between. For advanced levels, aim for four to six times per week with a focus on a different muscle group each time to reduce the risk of burnout or injury."
Before you get started, ask yourself the following questions:
- Can you increase the amount of weight used in each exercise over time while keeping up the correct form?
- How well are you able to recover between sessions?
- Can you maintain the proper technique during the whole workout?
According to Garcia, these questions are crucial to think about while you increase your endurance to be able to perform a higher number of sets and reps. This way, you can progress and avoid getting injured.
Now, let's get into it. Keep reading for Garcia's #1 strength workout to gauge your fitness level instantly. And when you're finished, don't miss How Out Of Shape Are You? A Trainer's Test Will Reveal Instantly.
To begin with bodyweight squats, place your feet shoulder-width apart on the ground. Lengthen your arms out in front of you, or place your hands on your hips. Bend your knees, and press your hips back. Lower into a squat until your thighs become parallel to the floor. Then, press through your feet to rise back up to the start position. Perform three to five sets of five to eight reps.
For deadlifts, place your feet shoulder-width apart. With an overhand grip, grab a dumbbell with each hand, keeping them at your sides. Make sure your core remains tight as you press your hips back and lower the dumbbells down your thighs until they reach mid-shin level. Push away from the ground in order to get back to the start position. Perform three to five sets of five to eight reps.
The bench press is an excellent strength exercise for improving upper-body strength. Start by lying flat on your back on a workout bench. Place your feet on the floor. Grab onto a barbell with your hands just outside shoulder-width. Then, unrack the bar, holding it directly above your chest with extended arms. Bend at the elbows in order to lower the weight toward your chest. Once you reach the bottom, press the bar back up over your chest. Your elbows should not lock. Perform three to five sets of five to eight reps.
To begin overhead presses, stand tall and plant your feet shoulder-width apart. Have a barbell in hand at shoulder level, making sure your hands are placed the distance of your shoulder span. Activate your core, bend both knees just a bit, and press the bar above your head. Raise the barbell until your arms are straight. Then, using control, lower the weight back down to shoulder level. Perform three to five sets of five to eight reps.
Last but not least, this strength workout to gauge your fitness level wraps up with planks. Assume a high plank on the balls of your feet and your hands planted below your shoulders. Lower to your forearms, keeping your body straight and without dipping your lower back. Perform two to three sets of 30 to 60 seconds.