Let’s get real: your physical fitness is your current state of health and well-being that not only impacts your ability to participate in sports and recreational adventures (like a Tough Mudder), but also when performing occupational activities and normal day-to-day tasks. These are our tips to assess your fitness level.
Performing a self-assessment is important, so you can recognize what your capabilities and limits are, so you can progress day over day, week over week and year over year. Becoming your version of “physically fit” takes time, so be patient with the goals you give yourself.
The goal of this at-home self-assessment is to get you thinking about your level of fitness. It features four exercises to gauge your flexibility, balance, strength, and cardiovascular capacity.
4 Tips To Assess Fitness Level
1. TEST YOUR CORE STRENGTH
Hold a plank: With a watch placed in front of you, get on all fours on the floor with your palms and forearms on the floor with elbows placed directly under your shoulders. Extend your legs and flex your feet so your toes touch the floor. Keeping your abs tight and your back flat, your bodyweight is supported on your forearms and toes. Your body should create a straight line from the top of your head to your heels. Hold this position until you no longer can. Record your time and see how long it took you to perform this task. Use this as a benchmark, depending on how fatigued you are.
2. TEST YOUR UPPER BODY STRENGTH
Push Ups: The push-up has been around for a very long time because it is simple and effective, both as an upper body exercise and as a way to measure upper body strength and fitness.
To perform the push-up test, begin in a push up position before lowering your body until your elbows are bent at 90-degree angles. Straighten the arms and return to the starting position. This counts as one repetition.
Do as many push-ups as you can while still keeping good form (your toes, hips, and shoulders should all be in a straight line). Record the number you were able to complete, and use this as a benchmark moving forward based on how fatigued you are.
3. TEST YOUR LOWER BODY STRENGTH
Squats: How many squats can you do? Stand in front of a chair or bench with your feet at shoulder’s width apart, facing away from it. Place your hands on your hips. Squat down and lightly touch the chair before standing back up. A good sized chair is one that makes your knees at a 90 degree angle when you are sitting. Keep doing this until you’re fatigued.
Write down how many squats you can do. Use this as a benchmark for where to start, based on the fatigue level you have at the end of this exercise.
4. AEROBIC CAPACITY
Burpees: The burpee is a full body exercise that is generally broken into four positions: chest to ground position, standing, a jump into the air, and hands over ears. This move is a good indicator of leg/upper body strength and cardiorespiratory fitness for aerobics.
From a standing position, do a squat, making sure to keep your back straight and core engaged. Place both hands on the ground underneath you and jump both legs back so that you’re in a push-up position. Do a push-up so that your chest touches the ground; return to the low squat position. Now, jump up with your feet off the ground and raise your hands above your ears. Do this for 3 minutes straight and record how many reps you were able to do.
After you record your performance for the above exercises, use these as benchmarks moving forward. Were you completely out of breath? Were you hungry for more? Find a comfortable number that has you complete the exercises by doing it in the correct form, but also feeling like you are accomplished at the end, but have put yourself to the test.
Understanding where to start is the first step, and we all start somewhere. Use the above as a place to recognize where your goals might be or how to approach an event with an objective in mind. Looking to take on a Tough Mudder? Tough Mudder Training is here to help get you on track to cross the finish line feeling great.