The Importance of Fitness Assessments
Fitness is pretty simple when you do it right. You eat well, train hard and recover properly.
But what if everything you were doing was going against your bodies natural states?
Yes, it is possible that you can work against how your body operates. For example, something as simple as your diet can be the most important step you can take to grow stronger.
Eating the foods that would be natural to where your blood relatives came from can help you to grow stronger and balance your body with the best possible hormone states.
This, however, might be taking it a little too far. For the purposes of this guide, we’ll only be discussing the importance of a fitness assessment. This will include some basic forms of your nutrition but the basis for the how you will grow stronger will be understanding how your body works and what it responds best to.
The second point there is the most important. Your best shot at succeeding in health and fitness will come when you can train within your means and grow stronger with exercises and training procedures that your body responds best to.
Let’s start by discussing the most important concept you should understand about your body.
Understanding Your Body Type
This is the first and perhaps most important aspect of your personal health. Remembering that there are three main body types can help us to train according to our body.
The first body type is generally regarded as a lean and sometimes even skinny look. These people will struggle to put on mass, but over time it is possible.
The diet of these individuals should be higher in carbs than any other fuel source and running or HIIT workouts will be your best shot at strength – especially when you are hitting bigger, compound movements.
The most common body type among the athlete community. Mesomorphs are described as strong and fit. Generally, have a good mass around their shoulders and mid-leg which allows them to put on size very easily – but losing weight is a challenge. Their diet should be very unbalanced but carbs should still be the major contributor to strength and size.
The largest body type that is most common in northern countries. This body type is generally regarded as a wide frame with a strong stature. These athletes will do best in powerlifting or bodybuilding that uses bigger, heavier lifts. The diet should be a little lower in carbs and favour the intake of good fat.
Understanding that body type is not necessarily cookie cutter is essential.
Some of you may not fit directly into these body types and may find they are a combination of multiple body types.
Simple Fitness Assessment
Now that you have a moderate grasp for where you stand in your workouts and your diet here are some simple tests you can do to assess your fitness and ensure that you are training specific to your goals.
1. Push Up Test
May sound like something you don’t want to do but the pushup test might just be the most reliable and well-researched test you can do to assess your fitness and strength. The test is simple. You assume a pushup position and complete as many push-ups as possible with a full range of motion. Typically you will have to either touch your chin or nose to the ground on each rep.
Anything more than 20 is a good result. If you cannot get 20 reps you should start off on some push-up programs to increase your strength or decrease your bodyweight to make this exercise easier.
TOP TIP: using a product like Testogen can help you to achieve more anabolic strength during your assessment. This increase in strength can help you to push further and push a higher frequency of pushups without the endless fatigue you might experience
2. Wall Sit
This is one of the easiest measures of lower body strength. Keep it simple and do your best to not let your knees come together. At a 90 degree angle, you will place your hands above your head and try to maintain a strong and sturdy position for as long as possible.
Anything over 90 seconds is a good score. If you find that you cannot maintain good form for 90 seconds you should start training your legs (mostly quads) more often and train for strength endurance. Activities like interval cycling will greatly help you in this assessment.
3. Resting Heart Rate
Although this may not seem like a fitness test it really is. Your heart is a muscle and a pretty strong one at that. Understanding that your resting heart rate is an indicator of good health is important.
To complete this test all you need to do is find either your radial pulse or carotid pulse, set a timer for 20 seconds and count the number of beats you feel in that time period. You will then multiply this number by 3 which will give you the number of beats in 60 seconds.
A good fitness score here would be below 60, but most people will find they are in the realm of 72-90. Higher heart rate can mean many things, but it is always best to have a resting heart rate around 60. This indicates that your heart is working properly and your fitness is at a steady level.
4. Run a Mile
There might not be a better assessment for all components of your health than a simple 1-mile run. Running a mile will test your endurance, stability, leg strength, cardiovascular health and even your heart health. If you can measure your heart rate during this test you will really be helping yourself out long-term.
A good score in a mile is somewhere in the real of 7-8 minutes, but this can vary a lot.
TOP TIP: using a product like 4 GAUGE can help to provide you with a surge of energy to assist in running a quicker time and recovering faster from the workout.
Bringing it Back To Body Types
You may have noticed that some of these tests will work better for specific people. While an ectomorph may do quite well in the 1-mile run and resting heart rate, they may not see as good of scores as a mesomorph in the pushup test.
This is why it is always important to consider the type of body you have and how you can use simple fitness assessments like these ones to better define your strength and power. Only by performing these tests will you gain some information about your health and fitness and start to move closer to achieving a better physique and a more complete lifestyle.
Irregardless of your body type, health and fitness can be pretty simple.
Do the easy things like eating whole foods, exercising daily and avoiding alcohol and high sugar/fat intake. Make activity a part of your life and every once in a while (4-6 weeks) come back to these simple fitness assessments and make measurements of your progress. If you are finding that you are not achieving the results you want it could be time to consult a qualified professional or use supplements that amplify your performance.
Gabriello is a writer and strength expert best known for his science-based and practical approach to Exercise Physiology, Nutrition and Strength. After serving in a directors position for The Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology Gabriello moved towards writing to help more people understand the importance of living a healthy life. Gabriello’s writings have been published in several languages on some of the largest health and fitness websites helping people learn, grow and understand the complex components of optimizing human performance in a simplistic way.
Gabriello also takes on specialized, high-performance athletes who are in need of strength, mobility and conditioning programming to optimize their fitness through his Earned Fitness program.
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