To comprehensively measure your fitness levels, assess your cardiorespiratory fitness, flexibility, muscular strength, muscular endurance and body composition. Compare your test scores to the respective ratings charts of each test to calculate your fitness level.
Cardiorespiratory fitness tests measure the efficiency of your heart, lungs and circulatory system. Run 1.5 miles at your fastest pace. For men, a finish in less than 9:44 is superior, between 9:45 and 10:45 is excellent, between 10:46 and 12:00 is good, between 12:01 and 14:00 is fair, between 14:01 and 16:00 is poor and finishing in 16:01 or longer is very poor. For women, finishing in less than 12:29 is superior, between 12:30 and 13:30 is excellent, between 13:31 and 15:54 is good, between 15:55 and 18:30 is fair, between 18:31 and 19:00 is poor and in 19:01 or longer is very poor.
Flexibility refers to your joints' range of motion. The sit-and-reach test is the primary flexibility fitness test. Sit on the floor with legs extended and bare feet against the side of a step. With knees straight, bend forward, reach your arms out, stack your hands and keep your palms facing down. Measure the distance between your fingers and the step. If you can reach the step, measure the distance your finger tips move beyond the edge of the step.
For women, a score greater than 11.5 inches or more is superior, 8 to 11.5 is excellent, 4.5 to 7.5 is good, 0.5 to 4 is average, -2.5 to 0 is fair, -6 to -3 is poor and -6 or less is very poor. For men, a score greater than 10.5 inches is superior, 6.5 to 10.5 is excellent, 2.5 to 6 is good, 0 to 2 is average, -3 to -0.5 is fair, -7.5 to -3.5 is poor and -8 or less is very poor.
Muscular strength is the force your muscles can produce for one maximum repetition. Measure upper-body strength with a one-repetition maximum test of your bench press. For lower-body strength, perform one-repetition maximum leg press. For both tests, begin with five to 10 reps using light weight. Next, do three to five reps with moderate weight. Then, add five to 10 pounds and perform one rep. Continue to add five to 10 pounds until it's too heavy. The maximum weight you are able to complete one repetition with -- with good form -- is your score.
Divide your score by your body weight. For bench press, a score of 1.4 for men is excellent, 1.2 is very good, 1.0 is good, 0.8 is fair and 0.6 is poor. For women, 0.7 is excellent, 0.6 is very good, 0.5 is good, 0.4 is fair and 0.3 is poor. For the leg-press test, 2.8 for men is excellent, 2.4 is very good, 2.0 is good, 1.8 is fair and 1.4 is poor. For women, 2.2 is excellent, 2.0 is very good, 1.8 is good, 1.4 is fair and 1.2 is poor.
Muscular endurance is your muscles' abilities to hold a contraction or to perform multiple sub-maximal repetitions. Measure upper-body muscular endurance by completing as many pushups as you can in one minute. For both sexes, a score of 50 is considered excellent, 40 is very good, 30 is good, 20 is fair and 10 is poor.
For lower-body muscular endurance, perform the wall-sit test. Stand with your back to a wall and your feet about 12 inches away from the wall and shoulder-width apart. Slide down the wall until your knees are bent to 90 degrees. Hold that position for time. A score of 60 seconds or more for women is excellent, 45 to 60 seconds is good, 35 to 45 seconds is average, 20 to 35 seconds is below average and 20 or fewer seconds is very poor. For men, a score of 100 seconds or more is excellent, 75 to 100 seconds is good, 50 to 75 seconds is average, 25 to 50 seconds is below average and 25 or fewer seconds is very poor.
Measure the muscular endurance of your core by doing as many sit-ups as you can in one minute. For both sexes, a score of 60 is considered excellent, while 50 is very good, 40 is good, 30 is fair and 20 is poor.
Body composition is the percentage of fat in your body. To determine whether you’re carrying too much weight, use the body mass index, or BMI, equation. Divide your weight in pounds by your height in inches squared and then multiply that value by 703. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds and are 65 inches tall, your equation would be [150 / (65 x 65)] X 703, and your calculated BMI would be 24.96. A score of 18.5 or less is considered underweight. A score of 18.5 to 24.9 falls in the normal weight range. A score of 25 to 29.9 is considered overweight, while a score of 30 and above falls in the obese category.
- American College of Sports Medicine: Getting a Professional Physical Fitness Assessment
- Sports Fitness Advisor: Strength Tests
- ExRx.net: YMCA Fitness Assessment
- Top End Sports: Sit and Reach Flexibility Test
- IDEA Health & Fitness Association: Buff Up Your Muscular-Fitness Testing Skills
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: About BMI for Adults
- CNN: Which Test Should I Trust When Measuring My Body Fat?
- Top End Sports: Wall Sit Test
- Top End Sports: Cooper 1.5 mile / 2.4 km Run Test
- Top End Sports: Sit & Reach Flexibility at Home
- Photo Credit John Lund/Sam Diephuis/Blend Images/Getty Images
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