Are You Fit or Not? Find Out Instantly With a Trainer's 5-Minute Test
Fitness can be a nebulous concept. You might think of shredded abs and a lean body as the definition of fitness. Perhaps you envision someone with virtually endless cardio who can run a marathon in their sleep. Alternatively, you might consider "fit" to be someone who can lift exceptional amounts of weight. While all of these are components of fitness, true fitness means being adapted across a number of different physical characteristics that ultimately reflects overall solid health and longevity. If you over-optimize for a single fitness trait, you often do so at the expense of other traits and your health itself. If you've recently asked yourself, "How fit am I?" I've put together a five-minute test that will instantly reveal how fit you are.
If you want a quick assessment that can give you an insight into your overall fitness, try the following four exercises, and see how you perform. They test your muscular strength endurance, aerobic endurance, core endurance, and flexibility. While these cannot completely assess overall fitness, they do give you a quick insight into how you currently stack up. Consider additional fitness tests such as one repetition maximum tests on various lifts, or a 1.5-mile run test if you have more than five minutes to spare.
Keep reading to find out how fit you are. And when you're finished, check out I Took a 'Fitcation' & It Was the Perfect Jumpstart to a Healthy Me.
Pushups (Muscular Endurance)
This is a simple, yet effective test to measure your upper-body strength endurance, particularly the chest, shoulders, and triceps. To perform a pushup, start in a high plank position, then lower your body until your chest touches the floor, then push back up. Repeat as many times as possible for one minute. Count the number of reps.
Fit: 20+ pushups for men, 15+ pushups for women
The Plank (Core Endurance)
The plank is a popular core strength exercise that tests your endurance. It engages multiple muscle groups at once. Start in a high plank position, lower your forearms to the ground, and hold this position. Keep your body in a straight line from your shoulders to your ankles. Time how long you can hold the plank without compromising your form.
Fit: able to hold for two minutes or more.
Jumping Jacks (Cardiovascular Endurance)
Jumping jacks are a full-body workout that tests your heart's endurance. Stand with your feet together and your hands at your sides. Simultaneously raise your arms above your head, and jump up just enough to spread your feet wide. Reverse the movement immediately, and return to your starting position. Perform as many jumping jacks as you can in one minute. This is a quick way to get your heart rate up and test your cardiovascular endurance.
Fit: 40+ jumping jacks in a minute
Sit and Reach (Flexibility)
The sit-and-reach test is one of the most common flexibility tests. It measures the flexibility of your lower back and hamstring muscles. To perform this test, sit on the floor with your legs extended straight in front of you. Reach forward from the hips, and try to touch your toes with your fingertips. Remember, the key here is not to strain too much. Just reach out as much as you comfortably can.
Fit: able to touch your toes or go beyond.