Keep'er Fit

Gary Wallace

Test yourself… it’s a great way to measure fitness!

Testing yourself is a great way to measure your strength, but it also highlights areas that you may need to improve on.

I have just finished my final session of our CORE Super 6, where my clients get to pick from six classes per week to come and train.

At the start of the six weeks I tested each of them on how much they could squat, bench press, pull and deadlift. The retest results were fantastic and well deserved for all the effort these guys put in.

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Testing like this is a great way to measure strength but it also highlights areas that you may need to improve on.

If you are a regular gym goer, have you ever tested yourself, measured how much you can lift or timed how far you can run?

Even if you aren’t a regular gym user you can still test yourself from home or test whatever form of exercise you do.

Why should you test?

The first thing testing will do is highlight the areas which you may need to work on.

It may also surprise you when you find out you were better than you thought in these areas.

Once you have completed your testing you can design a program to help you improve on certain areas while still maintaining others. Testing will give you that motivation to hit the gym harder, run on the roads quicker or get out of your bed earlier to do your workout.

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When you retest and smash your pervious scores you will feel like a superhero – a bit like my guys did this morning.

Testing also in a group dynamic means you can push each other along and you have that competition factor where you might want to beat someone else’s scores, which can be a good thing at times. This morning the group were brilliant at this.

They supported and cheered each other on, and when they did smash their previous score, they all congratulated each other. Makes my job very rewarding when you see this happen.

What to test?

You should test in relation to your goals. I want my guys to get stronger as when you are stronger then you are healthier, will lose more weight and most importantly maintain the weight loss.

You don’t even need any equipment to test and you can do it right at home. Here is some tests you can do anywhere.

• Upper body – Count how many press ups for can do in one minute.

• Lower body – Count how many squats you can do in one minute.

• Core – Hold a plank for as long as you can.

• Explosive strength – Vertical jump; stand beside a wall with some chalk in your hand.

•Squat down, jump and reach as high as you can by marking the wall with your hand. Measure the top of the mark.

• Speed endurance – record a 1km run.

No matter what tests you choose, make sure you record them.

When to retest?

Retest yourself in a number of weeks, anywhere around six weeks is good. This is enough time to see improvements in your scores.

Retesting helps you identify what is going well with your program and things you may need to change.

Set a date for your retest and stick to it, if you don’t the likelihood is that you will never retest.

I have done it a few times myself and never got round to retesting once I didn’t set a date.

Try and make sure everything is the same as the day you first tested.

The same exercises in the same order in same environment and the same rest the day before your first test. This will help you achieve a more realistic and honest assessment of your scores.

Give it a go and see how you get on. It’s a nice feeling when you beat your last test.

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