As a trainer for over a decade, I have been blessed to have had the opportunity to train thousands of people of all ages, shapes and sizes. I have always assessed my client’s fitness level at the beginning to design the right program for where they are starting at and where they want to be. So if you want to just test your own fitness level you want to follow this guide to help you get started. Just remember to listen to your body and never overdo it.
1. Step Test
The step test is a good place to start a fitness assessment. Step up and down on and off a step bench for 2-3 minutes. During this assessment, record how long you were able to step and use this as a gage of where you are starting at. This marker will be a thing of the past in a few weeks as you build up your fitness level.
2. Perceived Exertion
At the end of each workout, ask yourself how you feel on a level of 1-10 (1 being easy, 10 being super tough). Record this and pay attention to simple cues, like labored breathing. If you feel stressed and cannot go on, stop. Remember the purpose is to assess your fitness.
3. A Mile Run or Walk
Running or walking a mile is super effective in gaging your fitness level. If you're a beginner, a run will probably be out of your thoughts but even a walk can help you to determine what fitness level you're at. Then you know what you have to work with. And in a month you can repeat this same test to see how much improvement you have made and assess if your workout routines need adjusting.
4. Push up
If you do not lift heavy stuff on a daily basis, chances are your upper body is lacking in strength. But do not be discouraged; you have to start somewhere, so put your body to the test. Assess your fitness level by performing as many pushups as you can in 1 minute. Record the number and repeat this test in 4 weeks.
If you have a weak lower back or rarely perform core exercises, you probably do not have a strong core. But you do not know what strength you have until you put your body to the test. So get in pushup position, resting your weight on forearms and go for the plank. Plank as long as you can without your body shaking. If you feel tired drop down. A fair assessment on the first day is if you can perform for 30 seconds.
6. Heart Rate Recovery
After performing the cardio exercises like running or step ups; check your heart rate. This will establish where your heart is at when you start exercising. The longer it takes you to recover to a steady heartbeat, the less fit you are. Keep track of this and assess every 2 weeks.
Last but not least, reach to touch your toes and record, then perform a butterfly stretch. Pay attention to how low you can get your legs to the ground. Make note of your flexibility because total fitness is having cardiovascular strength, muscular strength and flexibility.
So now that you know the ways to assess your fitness level, are you ready for the test?