There are so many ways to gauge your fitness level that it is hard to know how or where to begin. From body composition and body mass index to body measurements, what is the true test? As a personal trainer, clients often come to me asking these questions. For most the goal is to get stronger, leaner, have more endurance and better health. So here are the ways to gauge your fitness level, to help you get started.
1. Body Composition
Body composition is the best way to measure your fitness level, at least physically. You can measure your fat versus muscle mass as well as visceral fat (fat around the organs). However, if you are doing this measurement on a scale, it is only fairly accurate. For the ultimate accuracy, do an underwater measurement of body composition. This is one of the best ways to gauge your fitness level.
2. Body Mass Index
Based on numbers from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, your body mass index is the number calculated based on an individual’s weight and height. This is a fairly reliable source of gauging your overall health but not to survey your fitness level because this does not take muscle into account, like a body composition measurement does.
To evaluate your fitness level, try stepping up and down off an 18 inch step for 5 minutes. You can then check your heart rate or see how labored your breathing is. Also pay attention to how quickly you recover, because the better shape you are in, the quicker your body will recover and then you can breathe normally again.
There are many ways to measure your strength but I prefer the method of doing a pushup test. Pushups work your upper body as well as your core and this is a great gauge of your fitness level. Why else would the military still use this test for their physical fitness assessments? So get working on your pushups to build your strength.
5. Body Measurements
Body measurements using a caliper or skin fold are still common, although I prefer a tape measure. The main goal you should have is to measure in a month in the same area or there is a large margin of error. The only thing I do not like is this does not take into account the muscle you may have gained and does not test your endurance. But this is a fun gauge for you to just take note of.
6. Core Strength
Test your core strength today by performing a plank. How long can you plank for? Since the plank works your total core, this is a fair test of your core strength. Remember you can have lean toned abs and a weak back, which will be evident if you are unable to hold the plank for long.
7. A Challenge
Challenge yourself with a weekly mile run, a pushup challenge, a squat hold challenge and even a chin up weekly goal. Enlist some friends and family members so you can all work on bettering your fitness level and the results will be astounding. I am always up for a challenge, especially when it comes to fitness. Are you?
I hope you enjoyed my tips on how you can gauge your fitness level. How do you gauge your fitness level? It can be as simple as noticing if you are winded when you walk up the stairs. So what is the marker for you? Wishing you improved health and a wonderful life!