How to determine fitness level?


10 Ways To Test Your Fitness

Beginner Fitness

Measuring fitness isn’t just about tight abs, lifting heavy weights or fast running times. There are other less obvious ways to test your fitness, here are 10 ways that you can test your fitness yourself.

Measuring fitness isn’t just about tight abs, lifting heavy weights or fast running times. There are other less obvious ways to test your fitness, here are 10 ways that you can test your fitness yourself.

The results classifications (excellent, good, poor and so on) given for each of the tests/exercises are based on the average scores of healthy adults. Make sure you don’t get too hung up about where you fall in the stakes, instead just see your test result as a fitness guideline figure from which to improve on.


Resting heart rate – to assess aerobic fitness

Counting the number of beats of your resting heart rate (RHR) is a useful way of indicating your fitness progress. It should reduce as your aerobic fitness improves.

Your resting heart rate (RHR) represents the number of times your heart beats each minute when you are at rest. Since a strong cardiovascular system allows your heart to pump more blood with every beat, a lower RHR tends to correspond with higher aerobic fitness. Some athletes have recorded a RHR of 40.

How to do this exercise

To measure your RHR, place two fingers either on your neck, just below your jawline (carotid artery), or on your wrist (radial artery), and then count the number of beats you feel in 60 seconds. You should count the first beat as ‘zero’. It is often thought that the best time to take our RHR is first thing in the morning.

Results of this exercise test:

  • 60 or less = Good
  • 61 to 80 = Average
  • 81 to 100 = High, but still considered acceptable
  • 101 or more = Abnormally high (not good!)

Your resting heart rate is a useful marker of your fitness progress, as it will drop as you get fitter.


Push-ups – to assess upper-body muscular endurance

Push-ups are a great indicator of your upper body strength and the progress of your muscle building exercise. Technically, this test measures muscular endurance rather than pure strength, as it is based on how many you can do in a fixed period of time rather than how much weight you can lift – but it is still a respectable measure of upper-body strength. Push-ups challenge the chest, shoulder and upper arm muscles – and require good core stability.

How to do this exercise

Assume a push-up position (if you can’t do any push-ups, then assume a modified position with your knees and lower legs on the floor). Each repetition must be executed with good technique: the body should remain in a straight line, the head should be in line with the spine, and the arms should bend to at least 90 degrees.

Results of this exercise technique:

  • 30 or more for men / 25 or more for women = Excellent
  • 25 to 29 for men / 20 to 24 for women = Good
  • 20 to 24 for men / 15 to 19 for women = Not bad
  • 19 or less for men / 14 or less for women = Needs work!


Head turning – to assess neck flexibility

Testing the flexibility of your neck will tell you how much more stretching and mobilising exercise you need to do to fully protect it from feeling tight.

The neck is the most mobile part of the spine – or at least it should be! Often the neck gets tight on one side due to favouring that side when using the phone, carrying a bag and completing other everyday tasks.

How to do this exercise

To test your neck flexibility, sit up tall and look straight ahead. Get someone to stand directly behind you as you rotate your head to the right. Ask them to note how much of your profile they can see. Eyelashes of the left eye? Nose in full profile? Now slowly return to the center and rotate your head to the left. Again, get your observer to assess how much of your profile they can see.

Results of this neck exercise

If you find you have a greater range of motion in one direction than the other, then you should incorporate stretches and mobilising exercises into your fitness routine to extend your flexibility.


12-minute walk/run – to assess cardio capacity

Kenneth Cooper – the man credited for inventing ‘aerobics’ – developed his ‘Cooper Test’ in the 1960s and the method is still widely used to measure cardiovascular fitness. The test is mainly designed for running exercise – but you can walk it if necessary.

The important thing is to maintain a steady pace, rather than go hell for leather for three minutes and then crawl for the remaining nine. Cooper’s results are based on a mixed gender sample of thousands of people.

How to do this exercise

Use a flat, measurable route (an athletics track is ideal) or a treadmill. After a five-minute warm-up, set a stopwatch and run or walk at as fast a pace as you can sustain for the duration of the test. Record the distance and compare it to the values below.

Results of this exercise


Plank – to assess core stability

You’ve almost certainly heard of core stability (the strength and function of the deep stabilising muscles of the trunk) – but how is yours? ‘The plank’ will give you the answer, as it is a position that you will find difficult to hold if your core stability is poor. Simply practicing this exercise movement will soon get your core stabilisers firing.

How to do this exercise

Lie on your stomach with your forearms on the floor, elbows directly under your shoulders, fists facing each other. Tighten your core muscles, curl your toes under, then press down through your forearms and extend your legs to lift your body. Your head, neck, back and legs should form a straight line (like a plank of wood). Hold this position for as long as possible.

Results of this exercise

Holding the plank for two minutes is considered the benchmark for very good core strength. If you can hold the position for more than one minute, then you have a relatively strong core. A time of 30 to 60 seconds is average, while less than 30 seconds means that you need to work on it more.


Loop-the-loop – to assess shoulder mobility

Hours working at a computer, surfing the net, watching TV, driving or simply sitting with poor posture can cause the shoulders to tighten up and the joints to lose mobility. The loop-the-loop exercise test assesses your shoulder mobility in all directions.

How to do this exercise

Sit or stand with your right arm straight up, and then bend your forearm from the elbow and reach your hand down to between your shoulder blades. Then take the left arm behind you, palm outwards, and attempt to make the hands meet.

Results of this exercise

If you can link the fingers, then you’re doing exceptionally well. If they touch, you’ve got no problems. If the fingertips are less than two inches apart, you could do with a bit of extra mobility, and if the gap is more than two inches, you definitely need to do some more shoulder work. If the test is easier to do on one side than the other, it means that there is an imbalance between the right and left sides that needs to be addressed, too.


Wet footprint test – to assess foot strike pattern

Words like pronation and motion control are bandied around freely in running and fitness circles, but instead of forking out for a full-scale gait analysis, an easy and more cost effective way to test your type of foot and foot strike pattern you have is to carry out the wet footprint test yourself.

How to do this exercise

You need some plain concrete, or even a sheet of cardboard to walk on. Dunk your feet in water and then walk across the surface of the concrete or cardboard. Can you see the entire silhouette of your foot, or is it more of an outline, with just heels and toes showing?

Results of this exercise

  • Toe prints plus heel but little in between = High arches. These are associated with excessive supination, or under-pronation.
  • Entire foot shows = Low or flat arches. These are associated with over-pronation.
  • Toes and forefoot plus heel, joined by a broad band = Normal or ‘neutral’ foot strike.


Vertical jump – to assess explosive power

Power is the ability to exert a force quickly. It’s what gets sprinters off the blocks and basketballers shooting hoops. To exert power, all your muscle fibers have to be recruited, so people with lots of endurance, but less strength, are often quite poor at it.

How to do this exercise

To assess your power, stand next to a clear wall space and raise your arm which is closest to the wall as high as possible while standing with your feet flat on the floor. Mark the spot where your fingertips touch the wall. Once you’ve done this, leap up as high as possible, arms overhead, and touch the highest point you can on the wall. If there isn’t anyone there to mark the spot you reach, you can smudge some chalk on your finger to make a mark. Now you need to subtract your standing height from your jumping height in cm and compare your result to those below.

Results of this exercise

  • 61 to 70 cm for men / 51 to 60 cm for women = Very good
  • 51 to 60 cm for men / 41 to 50 cm for women = Good
  • 41 to 50 cm for men / 31 to 40 cm for women = Average
  • 40 cm or less for men / 30 cm or less for women = Below average


Waist-to-hip ratio – to assess body fat distribution

Waist-to-hip ratio (WHR) is an assessment of the proportion of fat stored around the waist compared to the hip girth. Having an apple shape (carrying excess fat around the stomach) is worse for your health than having a pear shape (carrying excess baggage around your hips or thighs), as it is associated with heart disease and diabetes.

How to do this exercise

Measure the circumference of your hips at the widest part of your buttocks with the tape held firm but not pulling. Measure the circumference of your waist at the narrowest point. To determine the ratio, divide your waist measurement by your hip measurement.

Results of this exercise

For women, a healthy waist-to-hip ratio is less than 0.8. A healthy waist-to-hip ratio for men is less than 0.9.


Wall sit – to assess leg strength/endurance

This exercise test – in which you sit on an ‘invisible chair’ against a wall until your thighs tighten – is a great way to test your lower body strength.

How to do this exercise

Find a wall space, lean your back against it and shuffle your feet forward. Slide your back down the wall until your knee and hip joints are at a right angle, and then start your stopwatch. You should look like you are sitting on an invisible chair. Hold the position as long as you can bear while breathing freely.

Results of this exercise

  • 76 seconds or more for men / 46 seconds or more for women = Very good
  • 58 to 75 seconds for men / 36 to 45 seconds for women = Average
  • 57 to 30 seconds for men / 35 to 20 seconds for women = Below average
  • 30 seconds or less for men / 20 seconds or less for women = Poor

How to Find Your Fitness Level in 4 Simple Tests


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Most people are perfectly content with a laid-back, “just do it” approach to fitness: they hit the gym, work up a sweat, eat something healthy, and repeat. They’re happy with their current fitness level, and that’s all that matters. As for VO2 Max, optimizing macro- and micronutrient ratios, and other specificities? Leave that to the pros and obsessives.

And that’s fine: if you’re seeking general fitness, exercise doesn’t need to be a part-time job — just something you do a few hours a week to keep the blood pumping, the body strong, and stress levels in check.

But now and then it pays to take a look under the hood to make sure you’re on track and moving in the right direction. If you’re not assessing, goes the adage, you’re just guessing.

A good place to start is to assess your fitness level. Once you know that, you can see what things you can improve upon in your fitness regime, or simply where you should start with a new fitness program.

Below we’ve assembled four simple tests to help you quantify your fitness. Each one measures the muscular strength, endurance, and power of a different part of your body. Together, they’ll give you a good idea of overall fitness. Use the results to guide your choice of workout routine or class at your local gym.

Muscular Strength, Endurance, and Power

To find your fitness level, you should examine your ability to perform in the three key areas of fitness: relative strength, muscular endurance, and power. Here’s what these terms mean:

• Relative strength is how strong you are in relation to your bodyweight. This is different from absolute strength, which refers to the sheer amount of weight you can lift, regardless of your size. Being able to bench 180 pounds isn’t all that impressive if you’re a 190-pound guy, but it’s a remarkable show of strength if you’re a woman who tips the scales at 110. To keep everyone on the same playing field, the following tests focus your ability to move your own bodyweight, which embodies the idea of relative strength.

• Endurance is broken down into muscular endurance and cardiovascular endurance. The former measures the ability of your muscles to repeatedly contract against a resistance (dumbbell, barbell, bodyweight, exercise band, etc.) for a given amount of time. The latter measures the ability of your heart and lungs to deliver oxygen to the body’s tissues during physical activity for an extended period of time. The tests below focus on muscular endurance, which is most relevant to classes you may take at a gym. On the other hand, cardiovascular endurance (also known as steady state endurance) is the main component of something like running a 10K.

• Power is the ability to express strength quickly — like sprinting or performing a vertical jump. It’s a key component not only to athletics but to healthy aging, as well. The more power you have, the more resistant you are to many types of injury.

“To be considered truly fit, you can’t neglect any of those athletic pillars,” says Trevor Thieme, C.S.C.S., and Openfit’s senior fitness and nutrition content manager. “That’s why they’re all put to the test in each of the challenges below.”

4 Tests to Find Your Fitness Level


Focus: Lower body

“There’s a reason why the squat is often referred to as ‘The King of Exercises,’” Thieme says. “No other move mobilizes more muscle below the waist.”

Perform a bodyweight squat with correct form:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Push your hips back and bend your knees until the tops of your thighs are at least parallel to the floor. Bring your arms in front of you, keep your back flat, your chest high, and your weight on your heels.
  • Return to the standing position as quickly and powerfully as possible. Repeat for one minute and record the number of reps completed.

BEGINNER: less than 20


ADVANCED: more than 40


Focus: Core

There’s more to the core than making you look good in a bathing suit. The actual job of those muscles (including your abs, obliques, back muscles, and muscles around the pelvis)? ” Stabilizing the spine,” says Thieme. No exercise tests this capacity, which requires tremendous “strength-endurance” better than the standard plank.

  • Assume a push-up position, but with your weight on your forearms instead of your hands (your elbows should be directly beneath your shoulders).
  • Squeeze your glutes and brace your core to lock your body into a straight line from head to heels.
  • Hold for as long as possible and record your max time.

BEGINNER: less than 60 seconds.

INTERMEDIATE: 60 to 120 seconds

ADVANCED: more than 120 seconds


Focus: Upper body

Think you need a barbell and three gargantuan spotters to test your upper body? Think again: “Studies show the pushup activates just as much muscle as the bench press when matched for intensity — without the need for equipment,” says Thieme.

Perform a pushup with correct form: get on all fours with your feet together and place your hands in line with (but slightly wider than) your shoulders. Clench your glutes and brace your core to lock your body into a straight line from head to heels. Keeping your elbows tucked, lower your chest until it’s a few inches from the floor. Push yourself back to the starting position, keeping your body straight the whole time. Repeat as many times as you can in one minute. Record the number of reps completed.


BEGINNER: less than 15


ADVANCED: more than 25


BEGINNER: 25 or fewer


ADVANCED: 40 or more


Focus: Total body

The final test blends qualities of the previous three — and as such tests the strength and endurance not only of your upper body, lower body, and core, but of all of them together. That’s why the burpee is a staple in the workout routines of everyone from basketball players to Navy SEALS. “It makes everything burn, including your lungs,” Thieme says.

Perform a burpee:

  • Stand with your feet hip-width apart.
  • Push your hips back, bend your knees, and place your hands on the floor in front of you.
  • Jump your feet back into a push-up position, and then back into to a squat position.
  • Now explode up, reaching overhead as you jump off the floor.
  • Land softly, and immediately begin your next rep.
  • Repeat as many times as you can in one minute. Record the number of reps completed.

BEGINNER: 20 or fewer


ADVANCED: 30 or more

World record (in case you’re wondering): 47

Which Workout Is Right for You?

Because fitness isn’t always that formulaic, you might have scored intermediate in the bodyweight squats, but beginner in the plank. That’s when you’d want to find a program with a fitness level of beginner-intermediate. Or, if you crushed the burpee section to land in advanced fitness level, but struggled to break the intermediate level for push-ups, an intermediate-advanced” program could be perfect for you. These in-between programs are also useful if you want to challenge yourself with a program that’s slightly above your current level, but you don’t want to make the jump up an entire level right away.


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How do I determine my fitness level?

There are three exercise factors that reveal a lot about a person’s risk of death and disability — in other words, his or her RealAge (physiologic age). They all focus on the body’s reaction to vigorous exercise. (These tests have resulted from studies done at the Cooper Clinic, The National Lipid Clinic Trial headquartered at Johns Hopkins, the Cleveland Clinic, my own clinic, and several other sites.)
The three factors are:

  • The ability to achieve 80 to 90 % of the age-adjusted maximum heart rate with exercise for three minutes (the number of times your heart beats per minute when pushed to the limit — first subtract your calendar age from the number 220). When you are performing the maximal exercise you are capable of, does your heart rate reach 80 to 90 % of the maximum heart rate desirable for your age group?
  • The maximum exercise capacity in metabolic equivalent units (METs; one metabolic equivalent unit is your metabolic rate at rest, sitting quietly or lying down. When doing a vigorous workout, your goal should be to increase your metabolic rate to 10 or 11 METs
  • Heart rate recovery two minutes after maximal exercise. Two minutes after stopping strenuous activity that pushed your heart rate to its maximum, how much of a return to the normal rate at rest occurred in your heart rate?

Each of these tests can predict your risk of dying and disability in the next ten years from all causes (not just heart disease or arterial aging).

Are You Really in Good Shape? 15 Ways You Can Tell

Ever run (or walk, let’s be honest) up a flight of stairs and are so winded by the time you reach the top you reminisce on everything you’ve done to make you endure this kind of shame? You think, “Man, I am so out of shape.” Well, you’re probably right. Even if you work out consistently or pride yourself on eating healthy, there most likely is still room for improvement.

If you’re curious about how strong and fast you really are, we have some ideas as to how you can put yourself to the test. Here are 15 ways to tell if you’re really in shape.

1. You get two hours of moderate to vigorous exercise per week

You should be getting 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week. |

Well, yes, technically you are in shape. Switch up your workouts, challenge yourself, and set a limit of two hours of exercise or more per week. According to Mayo Clinic, you should get at least 150 minutes of moderate activity per week, which can include briskly walking or even mowing the lawn. For vigorous activity like running or higher-intensity aerobics, the recommendation is 75 minutes. Make sure to hit these guidelines at minimum, but for peak fitness, push for more vigorous activity when possible (just always remember to take rest days, too).

If you don’t exercise this much, not to worry — incorporating beneficial interval training is a perfect place to begin a fitness regimen.

2. You can touch your toes easily

This will test your flexibility. |

This usually comes with a great workout regimen and can also increase coordination. If you want to test yourself to see if you are physically fit, try touching your toes or stretching your arms across your body; if your muscles tighten or pull, it may be time to hit up your local yoga studio.

If you’re looking to increase your flexibility at home, Nerd Fitness recommends adding stretching into your gym routine. Try holding a hamstring stretch for 30 seconds three times a week, and you should start to see results within the month.

3. You can hold a plank for 60 seconds or more

Planks are good for the core. |

This is a sign of strong abs and lower back. The plank is touted as one of the best full-body exercises you can ever do. If you can hold a plank for about a minute or longer, you are in pretty good shape. Want to know if you’re in really good shape? Go for two, or try any of these plank variations for even more of a challenge.

4. You can finish a two-mile run

You can tell a lot from a two-mile run. |

Doesn’t this sound enticing? The two-mile run is a fitness test used by the U.S. military to test fitness. Jason Fitzgerald, founder of, told Health, “It’s long enough to challenge your endurance, but short enough to allow you to really push yourself.”

If you’re struggling to run two miles, not to worry — Verywell has a beginner’s running program that can help you work up to two miles. And, don’t forget the importance of cross-training — biking, swimming, and other aerobic activities can help shave your time and prevent injuries.

5. You sleep like a baby

If you’re in shape, you’ll sleep pretty well. | Photography

Believe it or not, increased sleep is a sign if you are in shape or not. According to Psychology Today, exercise can strengthen your circadian rhythm and help those who struggle with insomnia. If your quality of sleep is suffering and you’re not regularly active, try incorporating some moderate activity, like a brisk walk, into your daily routine.

6. You can do 20 lunges

Lunges are great for a variety of reasons. |

Great for your core, legs, and butt, lunges utilize a lot of different muscles. This is why they’re so tough. If you can do 20 lunges without falling over or wobbling too much, chances are you’re in fantastic shape.

Need an even bigger challenge? Check out these lunge variations that will really test your balance and lower body strength. You can add a dumbbell in each hand for extra added resistance, too.

7. You have a healthy BMI

Your BMI should fall in the healthy range, ideally. |

Body mass index is a measure of body fat based on height and weight. Many people who undergo fitness training have their BMI measured before and after their training to see their level of improvement. WebMD outlines the following BMI guidelines so you can see where you fall.

Underweight: less than 18.5

Healthy: 18.5 to 24.9

Overweight: 25 to 29.9

Calculating your BMI online is a good start, but keep in mind it has limitations. By simply entering your age, height, and weight, you won’t be distinguishing between fat and muscle. If you’re serious about fitness, a trainer at your local gym or a doctor will be able to more accurately calculate your body fat percentage using special scales or other methods.

8. You can do 27 push-ups

Push-ups are really tough. |

Push-ups are everyone’s worst enemy, but they signal how in shape you are. This tried-and-true exercise utilizes your own body weight to push yourself and is the ultimate sign of fitness. If your traditional push-ups are flawless, try push-up jacks for additional cardio or diamond push-ups for more work on your triceps.

9. You have a low resting heart rate

A low resting heart rate usually indicates you’re in good shape. |

While you should aim to get your heart pumping during exercise, a low heart rate at rest is a good indicator you’re in killer shape. According to Berkeley Wellness, your resting heart rate tells you the number of times your heart beats per minute when you’re sitting still. A normal range is between 50 and 100, though most people’s resting rates lie between 60 and 80 beats per minute. While an unusually low heart rate in an inactive person can indicate a heart condition, most athletes have very low resting heart rates.

You can also measure your level of fitness by how long it takes your heart rate to drop down to normal when you’ve finished exercising. The fitter you are, the faster you recover.

10. You can easily walk up five flights of stairs

Walking up the steps can take a lot out of you. |

This one may seem like a no-brainer, but unless you’ve tried walking or running up five flights of stairs recently, you may have forgotten how taxing the task can really be. Harvard Health Publications explains thoracic surgeons used to ask patients to climb five flights of stairs without stopping or using the railing for balance to see if they were fit enough to have lung surgery. While we have more modern ways of determining a patient’s health now, this stair method is still a good test of your cardiovascular endurance.

Don’t have five flights of stairs to climb? Grab a stair-stepper and a stopwatch, then see how many times you can step up and down in a minute. Check your heart rate — is it above your target rate, or could you keep going?

11. You can rise from sitting on the ground with no assistance

Try this one out at home. |

This is a test you can try anywhere at any time, and you can certainly learn a lot about your physical fitness by trying it. All you have to do is sit down on the floor (not on your knees), then stand up without using your arms, knees, or other parts of your body for assistance. this test demonstrates your muscular strength, flexibility, balance, and coordination. If you have trouble getting up with no help, you’ll want to focus on building your strength and practicing coordination skills like balancing on one foot or planking while lifting a leg or arm.

12. You can hold a wall sit for over a minute

Your legs will be tired after this one. |

You can also try this test in the comfort of your own home — but don’t think it’s easy to perform. To get into a wall-sit position, stand with your back against a wall and squat down. Your back should be straight and your thighs should be parallel to the floor with knees at a 90-degree angle. Topend Sports says men who can hold a wall sit for over 100 seconds and women who can hold it for 60 seconds are in excellent shape.

This exercise tests your strength endurance in your lower body, particularly in your quads. If you’re having trouble holding the position, try weighted squats and lunges to build more muscle.

13. You can jump at least 8 feet

American athlete, Jesse Owens, did well in the long jump event. | Central Press/Getty Images

Here’s a true test of your physical fitness from Men’s Health: See how far you can jump without a running start. Start with your toes on a line, feet shoulder-width apart. Then, bend your knees as you swing your arms backward for momentum, then swing them forward and jump as far as you can. Mark where you landed from the back of your heels and measure the distance. The average person can jump about 6 feet, but those in excellent condition can jump 8 feet.

This test measures your power, which is really just a combination of your level of strength and speed. If you want to improve your results for this test, try incorporating weighted hip thrusts, squats, and kettlebell swings for more explosive movements.

14. You can run 200 meters in less than 30 seconds

You’ll test your speed with this one. |

Just about anyone can run 200 meters easily, but this is a test of speed. According to Life by Daily Burn, you can test your power and speed by sprinting 200 meters and seeing how long it takes. Olympic champion Usain Bolt can run 200 meters in less than 20 seconds, so we’re betting you’re not that fast. If you can run the distance in less than 30 seconds, however, you should be impressed with yourself.

Need to increase your speed? Try doing treadmill sprint intervals on days when you’d normally do steady-state cardio at the gym. Also, weighted squats will help you increase muscle in your lower body, which will also enhance your speed.

15. You can do more than 60 crunches in one minute

You’ll probably remember this test from gym class. |

Crunches are a staple in any ab routine, but have you counted how many you can do (with good form, of course) in one minute? To start this test outlined by SparkPeople, get in proper crunch position — keep feet flat on the floor with your heels about 18 inches away from your behind. Place hands at your sides rather than behind your head, palms facing down. You’ll keep your hands on the floor for this test, as it requires you to engage the abs more and you won’t be able to cheat by pulling up on your neck.

If you can do 60 crunches in 60 seconds, you’re in excellent shape. Even if you can only do 45, you’re still looking good, though there’s always room for improvement.

Additional reporting by Lauren Weiler

Are You Physically Fit?

What is physical fitness or what does it mean to be physically fit? To put it in technical defined terms, fitness is a set of characteristics that people need to be able to complete physical activities. Being fit is defined by what type of activity you do, how long you do it, and at what level of intensity you are working.

Important measures of fitness include cardiorespiratory endurance plus muscular strength and flexibility. You need to check out your body composition and your muscular endurance. If you can pass all these with flying colors you may be physically fit.

Cardiorespiratory Endurance or Fitness

To start with, cardiorespiratory fitness is the ability of your body to supply you fuel during physical activities. Utilize activities and exercises that maintain your heart rate at a safe level for a certain period of time. Use swimming, walking, or bicycling as your exercise of choice for cardio. You may find that you are having fun while exercising. Do start slowly with any activity and gradually work up to a high or more intense pace.

Muscular Strength

When you think of muscular strength don’t think of Mr. Strong Man punching out Mr. Small guy, think of the force that muscles need to exert during activities. The best way to make your muscles more robust is pushing them against an opposing object or through resistance training. Resistance training can come from gravity or using weights. To gain muscle strength, lift weights or run up and down the stairs. Muscular strength is the capacity of the muscles to work without getting worn-out. You might want to combine resistance training with walking, jogging, dancing or bicycling.

Body Composition

Body composition is a component of fitness. You body’s composition is the relative amount of muscles, fat plus bone, tissues and muscles of your body. Your total body weight or what you see on the scale at the doctor’s office may not be different from visit to visit, but you are actually gaining muscle instead of fat. Consider your entire body composition when managing your weight and trying to be fit.


Range of motion is a phrase that is becoming more and more popular and heard in every gym you enter. Flexibility is the way the joints move and prevent injuries though every stage of your life. If you have great flexibility and good joint action you will probably feel much better even if you are 90. Try swimming or a basic stretching program or if you are more serious, take up yoga.

BMI (Body Mass Index)

To determine if you are physically fit learn about body mass indexing. This is a very common tool used to gage levels of physical fitness. BMI is used by medical professionals when diagnosing whether a person is at healthy, over or obese weight level. The basic formula to determining BMI is:

Your weight in pounds x 704.5 divided by your height in inches x your height in inches. The result should be between zero and more than thirty. If you are physically fit your BMI should be between 19 and 24.9. If you are between 25 and 29.9 you are considered heavy and an obese person has a BMI over 30. You don’t want to be obese; you look awful, feel dreadful, and might just have horrible diseases.

Yuhasz Method

The Yuhasz Method (or skin fold test) of testing for fat content and physical fitness is not as common BMI, but it has been used in schools to test the health of students. Yuhasz measure total fat percentages by measuring the layer of fat that is directly under the skin. There are various points on your body that are tested using this method and after these six sites have been examined your body’s composition is determined. The triceps, abdomen, front of the thighs, below the shoulder blades and directly above your pelvis is included in skin-fold tests. In males you may also test your chest and in females testing is done on the back of the thighs. Calipers define a precise measurement of the thickness of the sub-skin fat layer. Weight, gender and age all donate to the calculation of physical fitness. If a male has between fifteen and seventeen percent body fat, they are considered fit. If the normal female resides between eighteen and twenty-two percent body fat, they are healthy. Athletes generally have quite a bit less body fat and they are considered ultra-fit.

What is Physically Fit?

Are you physically fit if you don’t exercise? According to personal trainers, no you are not fit at all no matter what size you are. When asked why exercise is not a part of their lifestyles answers from “I don’t like to sweat” to “Why?” are produced. You may not like to exercise but exercise is a vital part of being strong, healthy and physically fit. If you would only exercise two or three times every week you would feel a dramatic improvement in daily life. More energy, strength and the ability to run around without being tired could be your reward.

“I am physically fit because I am active. There is a bit of a Catch 22 here, you can only be fit if you re active, and you can only be active if you are fit. In other words, you cannot become fit simply by being active. Only by being fit can you become more active. It just gets worse. The answer is to maintain a level of fitness through consistent and challenging exercise programs. This is the only way to truly be physically fit. You can consider yourself physically fit when your body is able to do what you ask it to do. This comes from flexibility, endurance and strength.

Do you exercise or do you just fool yourself with the ideas that being active is all the exercise you need. Reconsider what you actually do and what you should be able to do. Can you touch our toes? No, you are not fit. Can you walk a mile without breathing hard? No, you are not physically fit. There is no “I am active so I am physically fit” answer. You need to exercise at least three to four times a week. Try to touch your toes and work up to walking a mile without breathing difficulties. You might just find that you feel so much better being “physically fit.”

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Quiz: How Fit Are You?

Test your strength, endurance and flexibility to determine how fit you really are. Once you’ve evaluated your fitness level, take time to reassess your goals. Gauge your strengths and weaknesses to help improve your fitness.

Editor’s note: This is not meant to be scientific, but entertaining. Seek a professional for accuracy.

1. How long can you hold a plank?

A. 0 to 30 seconds
B. 31 to 60 seconds
C. 61 and up

More: 2 Plank Variations to Build a Strong Core

2. How many days per week do you work out (this doesn’t mean a leisurely walk to the fridge and back)?

A. 0 to 1
B. 2 to 3
C. 4 to 7

3. How many push-ups can you do in a minute? Legs straight, hands shoulder-width apart, drop your chest to within 3 inches off the ground.

A. 0 to 5
B. 6 to 15
C. 16 and up

More: 3 Steps to the Perfect Push-Up

4. How long does it take you to run a mile?

A. 12 minutes and up
B. 9:01 to 11:59
C. Less than 9 minutes

5. How far can you go on the sit-and-reach test?

A. Can’t get my fingertips past my kneecaps
B. Can’t get my fingertips to my toes
C. Call me Gumby—I can grab my toes.

More: Avoid Injury With the Proper Leg Stretches

6. How long can you hold a wall sit (they suck, we know)?

A. 0 to 30 seconds
B. 31 to 59 seconds
C. 1 minute and up

7. What is your BMI? (Calculate your BMI)

A. Over 25
B. 18.5 to 24.9
C. Under 18.5

More: What is BMI and How to Calculate It

8. How long can you maintain 100 rpm on a stationary bike?

A. Never been on a bike
B. 0 to 2 minutes
C. 2 to 5 minutes

More: 6 Reasons to Join an Indoor Cycling Class

How Fit Are You? A Fitness Test for Adults

You owe it to yourself to make fitness a priority. Physical fitness can help prevent more than 40 chronic diseases including potential killers such as diabetes, heart disease, obesity, hypertension, and even cancer.

But how do you know whether you’re fit? Your overall fitness is a measure of four physical abilities — endurance, strength, balance, and flexibility — and body composition or body mass index (BMI). BMI tracks height and weight only while a body composition test, which calculates your fat and lean muscle mass, is an excellent indicator of overall fitness. For a more hands-on approach, try these personal trainer-approved fitness tests to see how you stack up.

Endurance and Cardiovascular Fitness Tests

Your endurance level reflects the health of your cardiovascular system — your heart, lungs, and circulatory system.

The VO2 Max Test: When you exercise intensely, you’ll eventually reach a point when your body cannot breathe any harder to keep up. That’s your VO2 max — the milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight (ml/kg/min). The more oxygen that circulates throughout your body when you exercise, the fitter you are. This is a test endurance exercisers might want to determine how much oxygen they use during intense workouts, says Mario Serban, co-founder of the LA Training Room in Los Angeles and trainer of Dancing With the Stars contestants. Because the VO2 max test requires a special face mask and other equipment, it has to be administered by a professional, usually an exercise scientist or physiologist. Talk to your doctor about your heart health before pursuing a test.

The Step Test: A simpler way to test your cardiovascular strength is the step test, says Mark Reifkind, owner of Girya Russian Kettlebells in Palo Alto, Calif. To perform the test, you need a 12-inch-high step and someone to time you. Step on the block with your right foot and then with your left so that you’re standing on the step, facing forward. Reverse, going down with your right foot and then your left. Repeat this process at a consistent pace for three minutes. Rest in a chair for one minute. Then, take your pulse for six seconds and multiply that number by 10 to determine your heart rate for one minute.

The results will vary depending on your age and gender. For men ages 18 to 25, a 60-second pulse rate between 85 and 100 is average to above average; 84 or less is good to excellent, while 101 or higher is fair to poor. For men ages 46 to 55, a pulse rate of 93 or lower is good to excellent, while 113 or higher is fair to poor.

For women ages 18 to 25, a 60-second pulse rate of between 94 and 110 is average to above average; 93 or lower is good to excellent, while 111 or higher is fair to poor. For women ages 46 to 55, a pulse rate of 101 or less is good to excellent, while 125 or higher is fair to poor.

How to improve endurance: Get regular aerobic exercise. Try brisk walking, swimming, jogging, biking, climbing stairs or hills, or playing an active team sport, such as tennis or basketball.

Balance Test

Balance is a key ability for overall health as you age, and this simple test will help you determine where you stand.

The One-Legged Balance Test: Take off your shoes and socks and stand on a hard surface. Ask someone to time you. Close your eyes and lift one foot about six inches from the floor. Bend your knee and place your foot against the leg you’re standing on (if you’re right-handed, lift your left foot; if you’re left-handed, lift your right foot). See how long you can hold this position.

Do the test three times and average your times. You should be able to hold your balance for 30 seconds or more if you’re 30 or younger. As you get older, it’s normal for your time to go down. “If you’re over 65, I’d be happy with your being able to hold it for five seconds,” Serban says.

How to improve balance: Practice standing on one foot or walking heel-to-toe. Yoga and tai chi also improve balance.

Flexibility Test

This simple test measures your flexibility.

The Sit-and-Reach Test: Start by stretching your legs: Lie on your back and lift your right leg toward your chest and hold for 10 to 30 seconds. You can grab your thigh to get your leg closer to your chest. Repeat with your other leg. Then stretch your trunk: Sit up and stretch your legs out in front of you; bend your left leg at the knee so that your foot touches your right thigh, and then run your hands down your outstretched leg. Repeat on the other side. After a couple of stretches, take a brisk walk for one to three minutes.

Place a yardstick on the floor. With a piece of masking tape, mark the 15-inch spot. Sit on the floor with the yardstick between your legs. Your legs should extend straight with your toes pointing toward the ceiling and your heels at the 14-inch line mark, with your feet about a foot apart. Reach forward with both hands along the stick and see how far along it your fingertips reach. Repeat three times with five seconds of rest between each stretch. Write down the longest measurement. (The goal is to reach your heels.)

How to improve flexibility: Begin a regular program of stretching exercises that involves most of your joints. Include shoulder and upper arm stretches and calf stretches. Yoga and tai chi are also good for improving flexibility.

Strength Test

Muscular strength is key to being able to stay active.

The Sit-Up Test: Lie down on the floor and have someone time you. Count how many sit-ups you can do in 60 seconds. This drill will give you an idea of your core strength — the strength of your abdominal and hip flexor muscles.

Results will vary depending on your age and gender. The younger you are, the more you should be able to do.

For men ages 18 to 25, any number over 49 is excellent; 35 to 38 is average. For men over 65, any number over 28 is excellent; 15 to 18 is average.

For women ages 18 to 25, any number over 43 is excellent; 29 to 32 is average. For women over 65, 23 is excellent, and 11 to 13 is average.

How to improve strength: Start a weight-training program with free weights or weight machines. Target the major muscle groups, and challenge yourself by adding weight as you progress. An excellent discipline that focuses on developing core muscles is Pilates.

Moving Fitness to the Next Level

You can calculate your overall fitness score using the federal government’s President’s Challenge Adult Fitness Test. However, keep in mind that finding out your results the first time you do these tests isn’t as important as using them as a baseline and working to improve them with strength training and conditioning routines, Reifkind says. Repeat these fitness tests after a few months of conditioning to see how you’ve progressed.

“Think of improving your fitness level as a marathon — a long-term building process,” Serban says. “If you stick with it, you will see results.”

More on Living Healthier and Happier >>

How fit are you?

How fit are you? A healthy body and mind will make it easier to survive and thrive your teenage years. Looking after your body by exercising regularly, eating well, getting regular sleep and reducing stress can make you feel good. Feeling good about yourself can affect the way you think and feel. It can give you the confidence to help you to achieve what you want in life. How do you see yourself? Are you cruising along without a care in the world? Well, OK this might be a bit too much to ask, but when you feel good about yourself, life becomes easier and you are more likely to succeed. You are the only one driving your future, so take control of the wheel. It is not important to know exactly what you want to do, but you can make choices on the direction you want to head. And it iss good to have some kind of road map, a general plan. That way it is not as easy to get lost. So what do you want from your future? What are you meant to do with your life. Right now it may seem like a really big question that is too difficult to answer, but it is never too early to start thinking about it.

If you have got some sort of guide for the future it means that the steps you take now ̢?? today Рare steps in the direction you want. It is exciting to think that you are driving your future, so take control of the wheel. It is not important to know exactly what you want to do, but you can make choices on the direction you want to head. And it is good to have some kind of road map, a general plan. That way it is not as easy to get lost. A lot of people, however, just can̢??t figure out what they want to be when they grow up. Some of them reach their sixties still in that condition. It is just important to try things. The more you try the more options you have and you often find out what you DO want to do by discovering what you DO NOT want to do.

Created by: FitnessQueen

Scientists made an online calculator that tells you your ‘fitness age,’ and you can try it right now

Joe Raedle/Getty Images Aging is an inevitable fact of life.

But if you exercise pretty frequently and eat right, then you might be a lot younger than you think — at least as far as something called your “fitness age” is concerned.

The “fitness-age calculator,” which determines your fitness age based on how physically fit you are — rather than how many years you’ve been around — was developed in 2013 by researchers at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology.

In 2015, researchers tried out the calculator on athletes competing in the National Senior Games, a massive annual event with over 12,000 athletes 50 and over, competing from July 3 to 16.

While the average chronological age of the participants was 68, their average fitness age was a striking 43, The New York Times reported.

The calculator works by taking information about where you live, your age and gender, how frequently you exercise, your heart rate, and your height and waistline measurements.

Then, using these variables, the calculator comes up with something called your VO2 max, a measure of how much oxygen your body can take in, measured in milliliters of O2 per kilogram of body weight per minute. While your VO2 max is influenced by your age and gender, it’s largely determined by your workout regimen. Generally speaking, the more you exercise, the more oxygen your body can absorb.

What can your fitness age tell you about your health?

At its core, the calculator shows that as long as a person is not overweight and exercises regularly, then the chances of getting sick and dying at an earlier age lessen, said Dr. Amy Ehrlich, a geriatrician at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

According to a Gallup survey, about 28% of people in the US are obese, and 35.6% are considered overweight. So a majority of Americans who try out the calculator would probably get a fitness age that’s higher than their actual age.

In people older than 65, regular exercise has been found to help stave off a host of diseases, including colon cancer and depression. And it’s never too late to start, Ehrlich said. People who begin exercising as late as 85 can drastically improve their health, she said. Of course, you should consult with a health professional about what types of exercise to engage in to be sure that you don’t overdo it.

We gave it a try — and got some good news

I tested it out: I’m a 23-year-old woman living in New York City, and I exercise for at least 30 minutes about two to three times each week. After popping this information into the calculator, as well as some educated guesses about my waistline and resting pulse, it told me that I had the fitness age of under 20 years old, the same result I got last year when I tested it out as a 22-year-old. Oh, to be a sophomore in college again!

To see how weight gain could affect my fitness age, I increased my weight by 70 pounds and upped my waistline size by 10 inches. Surprisingly, my fitness age went up to only 22, likely because I didn’t change how much I was exercising. When I changed my response for working out to “almost never,” my fitness age jumped up to 40.

7 Ultimate Fitness Tests for Women

Take each of these tests to gauge your performance level. If you fall short in any area, follow our tips to boost your abilities, then retake the test in three to four weeks to track your progress.

Many women focus only on their biceps and triceps (we get it, who doesn’t want arms like Michelle Obama’s?). Problem is, they’re ignoring key muscles in the chest, shoulders, and upper back that build strength, streamline posture, and prevent injuries, says Rachel Cosgrove, Women’s Health fitness advisor and half of the husband-and-wife duo that owns Results Fitness in Newhall, California. Rowing movements—like the ones in this test—are an excellent measure of upper-body strength because they target all the muscles and use your body weight as resistance.
The Test: Three-Rep Inverted Row
Think of this exercise as an upside-down pushup: Lie faceup on the floor with your shoulders directly underneath a secure barbell. The bar should be high enough that when you grab it your back is not resting on the ground. Hold the bar with an overhand grip, hands wider than shoulder width.
Rep one: Bend your knees 90 degrees, feet flat on the floor, lift your hips to form a straight line from shoulders to knees, then pull your body to the bar. If you can touch your chest to the bar, move on to rep two.
Rep two: Extend your legs so your body is in a straight line. Repeat the movement from the first rep by pulling your body to the bar. If you can touch the bar with your chest, move on to rep three.
Rep three: Place your feet on an exercise bench so your legs are in line with your shoulders. Perform the same movement as the first two reps, pulling your body to the bar while maintaining a straight line.
Measure Up
Excellent If you can complete all three reps with proper form
Good If you can complete one or two reps with proper form
Below Average If you cannot complete one rep with proper form
Get Stronger
Add this upper-body combo from Cosgrove to your routine two or three times a week: Do as many reps of the modified inverted row (rep one) as you can, then do as many pushups as you can. Rest for 60 to 90 seconds, then repeat for a total of two or three sets. Aim for more reps each workout.


“Being able to run miles a day is a good measure of cardio endurance, but it’s not the best measure of muscle endurance,” says fitness expert Robert Dos Remedios, author of Cardio Strength Training. That’s because running for distance primarily challenges your heart and lungs, not your legs. (Yes, your legs may feel tired, but your muscles aren’t actually exhausted.) When you focus on muscular endurance—your ability to sustain resistance over time—you gain the strength to power through longer, more intense workouts, says Dos Remedios. The following test challenges both aspects, showing you how long your lungs and muscles can last before calling it quits.

A fitness test is a measurement of strength, endurance, and flexibility. Once you start exercising and eating healthy your body transforms, and scales are usually the go-to tools to measure those changes. But scales don’t tell the whole story, they can only tell you how much weight you’ve lost or gained. This at home fitness test is aimed at healthy adult women and it’s designed to track your body changes properly and assess the real progress you are making!


Place your knees on the floor, position the hands below the shoulders and cross your feet. Start bending the elbows until your chest almost touches the floor and then push back to the starting position. Do as many knee push ups as you can in 1 minute, and then use the chart below to find out how you rate.

Age 20 – 29 30 – 39 40 – 49 50 – 59 60+
Excellent > 49 > 40 > 35 > 30 > 20
Above Average 34 – 48 25 – 39 20 – 34 15 – 29 5 – 19
Average 17 – 33 12 – 24 8 – 19 6 – 14 3 – 4
Below Average 7 – 16 5 – 11 4 – 7 3 – 5 2


Get into a push up position, with your elbows under your shoulders and your feet hip width apart. Bend your elbows and rest your weight on your forearms and on your toes, while keeping your body in a straight line. Hold for as long as possible.

Excellent Average Poor
> 60 sec 30 – 60 sec


Stand up with your feet shoulder-width apart. Bend your knees, press your hips back and stop the movement once the hip joint is slightly lower than the knees. Press your heels into the floor to return to the initial position. Do as many bodyweight squats as you can in 1 minute.

Age 20 – 29 30 – 39 40 – 49 50 – 59 60+
Excellent > 29 > 26 > 23 > 20 > 17
Above Average 24 – 28 21 – 25 18 – 22 15 – 19 12 – 16
Average 21 – 23 18 – 20 15 – 17 12 – 14 9 – 11
Below Average 19 – 20 16 – 17 13 – 14 10 – 11 7 – 8

Write down your results on our free template and keep track of your fitness progress!

Fitness Test Results Chart


Place a box or a step in front of you and step onto the box with your left foot followed by the right. Step down and then step back up, this time starting with your right foot. Keep alternating feet for 3 minutes and maintain a steady pace. Once the time is up, immediately take your pulse for one minute.

Age 18 – 25 26 – 35 36 – 45 46 – 55 56 – 65 65+
Above Average 82 – 103 81 – 103 85 – 106 92 – 112 93 – 112 93 – 115
Average 104 – 110 104 – 110 107 – 112 113 – 118 113 – 118 116 – 121
Below Average 111 – 121 111 – 121 113 – 123 119 – 125 119 – 128 122 – 127
Poor > 122 > 122 > 124 > 126 > 129 > 128


Place a box on the floor with a ruler on top and sit with your legs extended and your feet flexed. Press the soles of the feet against the box, place one hand on top of the other and then slowly reach forward without bending the knees. Measure how far you can reach, knowing that the edge of the box represents zero flexibility. This means that if you can’t reach the box your flexibility score will be negative, but if you go past the edge of the box the score will be positive.

Flexibility Excellent Above average Average Below average Poor
cm > 21 11 – 20 1 – 10 0 – -14
inches > 8 5 – 7 0.5 – 4 0 – -4

Start the fitness test with a 10 minute warm up routine and rest between each exercise until you are fully recovered. To evaluate your progress, repeat this test every 3 to 4 weeks.

Marine Corps Physical Fitness Test (PFT)

Fitness is essential to the day-to-day effectiveness and combat readiness of the Marine Corps.

The service considers physical fitness an indispensable aspect of leadership. The habits of self-discipline required to gain and maintain a high level of physical fitness are inherent to the Marine Corps way of life and must be a part of the character of every Marine. Marines who are not physically fit can be a detriment to the readiness and combat efficiency of their units.

Accordingly, every Marine will engage in an effective Physical Conditioning Program on a continuing and progressive basis.

Marines will perform “dead-hang” pull-ups or push-ups, abdominal crunches, and a three-mile run. Marines can opt out of pull-ups and perform push-ups, but you cannot max the PFT if push-ups are performed. If you max the pull-ups, you can 100 points for that event. If you max the push-ups, you only get 70 points for that event, so your max possible PFT score will be 270.

Focus on building your strength to max the PFT. Don’t even concern yourself with the minimum standards because you have to score even higher now, as of 2019. The minimum passing score for both the Physical Fitness Test (PFT) and Combat Fitness Test (CFT) has changed. Marines cannot score the old minimum standards and still pass, enforcing the mantra, “Exceeding the standard IS the standard.” Male and female Marines also have to perform a greater amount of pull-ups to max the pull-up test now.

Male/Female Pull-up Standards (Max/Min)

Male Marine Pull-up Standards/Age
Age Group Minimum Maximum
17-20 4 20
21-25 5 23
26-30 5 23
31-35 5 23
36-40 5 21
41-45 5 20
46-50 5 19
51+ 4 19
Female Marine Pull-up Standards/Age
Age Group Minimum Maximum
17-20 1 7
21-25 3 11
26-30 4 12
31-35 3 11
36-40 3 10
41-45 2 8
46-50 2 6
51+ 2 4

Maximum Points is 100 and Minimum Points is 40 for each age group.

If you don’t want to do pull-ups, push-ups are now an acceptable alternative:

Male/Female Push-up Standards (Max/Min)

Male Marine Push-up Standards/Age
Age Group Minimum Maximum
17-20 42 82
21-25 40 87
26-30 39 84
31-35 36 80
36-40 34 76
41-45 30 72
46-50 25 68
51+ 20 64

Maximum Points is 70 and Minimum Points is 40 for each age group.

Female Marine Push-up Standards/Age
Age Group Minimum Maximum
17-20 19 42
21-25 18 48
26-30 18 50
31-35 16 46
36-40 14 43
41-45 12 41
46-50 11 40
51+ 10 38

Male/Female Crunch Standards/Age

Male Marine Crunches Standards/Age
Age Group Minimum Maximum
17-20 70 105
21-25 70 110
26-30 70 115
31-35 70 115
36-40 70 110
41-45 65 105
46-50 50 100
51+ 40 100
Female Marine Crunch Standards/Age
Age Group Minimum Maximum
17-20 50 100
21-25 55 105
26-30 60 110
31-35 60 105
36-40 60 105
41-45 55 100
46-50 50 100
51+ 40 100

*Note: As of Jan. 1, 2020, Marines will be able to replace crunches with the plank pose. Practice getting a five-minute plank post to max the test.

Male and Female 3-Mile Run Standards/Age

The Marine Corps PCP has two main components — the Physical Fitness Test and the Body Composition Program.

Many PT programs to train for the Marine Corps PFT can be found in the following links:

  • Pull-ups
  • Push-ups and Sit-ups
  • Running

Other Marine Corps fitness-related links:

  • The USMC Recruit Training PFT Standards
  • The Marine Corps Body Composition Program
  • The Marine Corps Fitness Score Charts
  • The RECON Marine PFT
  • The Marine Corps Weight Charts

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