Taking stock of your fitness goals is an important step in achieving the results that you want. You need a starting point to determine your progress. In addition, you should also measure your physical performance to see how close you are to hitting the mark that you’ve set for yourself. There are a number of ways to test your, or another person’s, fitness levels. Choosing the one that suits you best is up to you. Let’s take a look at some of the most effective approaches that offer the most accurate results.
Measuring fitness progress
Endurance Test: Running
Running is an age-old test of human fitness. Some people are better at it than others. Experts suggest that a mile-long run should be able to tell you what you need to know about your base fitness. This is based on the amount of time it takes you to finish the trail.
Studies suggest that men over the age of 50, who have optimal cardiovascular capabilities, should be able to finish a mile-long run in around eight minutes. For women, the average time taken to complete a mile-long run is nine minutes. If you’re younger, you should be aiming to finish a mile in even less time.
This number is a good starting point to test your fitness. You shouldn’t accept it as your best. As your fitness levels improve, you should be aiming to complete the mile in less time.
The Maximum Aerobic Function (MAF) Test
The Maximum Aerobic Function test is an excellent way to measure more advanced levels of fitness. Developed by Phil Maffetone, it’s been hailed as one of the best ways of measuring a person’s fitness capacity. Here’s how it works:
- Take to the track while using a strap-on heart-monitor. Begin your routine slowly while gradually elevating your heart rate to around 75%.
- Now, continue doing about eight laps. Ensure that you maintain your heart rate steadily at 75% by adjusting the amount of exertion you put in to do so. Make sure to time yourself as you do.
While not particularly strenuous (since you’re maintaining your heart rate at 75%) this method will give you detailed information on your speed, endurance and fitness levels which will show how your body will perform at higher intensities. The MAF test can be performed on just about any aerobic activity including jogging, cycling and rowing.
Calories Per Minute on a Bike
The age-old test of seeing how many calories you can burn in a given amount of time is still an effective way of measuring fitness levels today. While this activity doesn’t need to be strictly done on a stationary bike, they’re the most accessible since some bodies just aren’t meant for flat-out running (perhaps owing to age or injuries). Stationary bikes with their systems of minimal impact can, on the other hand, be used by just about everyone.
The process is fairly simple:
- Get on a stationary bike at the gym and cycle flat-out for a full minute.
- In that time, you should be able to burn over 87 calories.
Doing these types of cycle sprints provides a method of measuring fitness that minimises the risk of injury, especially for those with diminishing fitness levels while still providing you with measurable results.
Can You Enjoy Long Walks?
It’s no secret that the human body was built for walking great distances. Our ancestors were, after-all, wanderers.
Because of this, a fit body should be able to walk for exceptionally long periods of time before discomfort starts to set in. A good benchmark to hit is around two hours. If, within this period, you start to struggle with shortness of breath, muscle cramps or an inability to take in the scenery, your fitness levels will need some work.
There are, of course, many more ways that a person can test their fitness levels. Each one might be more or less suited to specific people and their individual fitness goals and needs. To learn more about how you can become a part of the exciting world of professional fitness, by obtaining personal training certification, contact a representative from the Trifocus Fitness Academy today. Alternatively, visit our website for additional details.