Often, after I work with someone for the first or second time it is not uncommon for them to ask me how they did, and follow-up that question with how do I compare against other people my age? These are difficult questions for me to answer because everyone is a little different, and not everyone is starting at the same place. I try to get them to initially focus on just getting to the gym, but this does not always satisfy the curiosity of everyone. So, when the person is so focused on comparing themselves to others I use the ACSM’s (American College of Sports Medicine) Fitness Tests.
There are several components to the ACSM’s Fitness Test. They include1. Aerobic Fitness 2. Muscular Fitness 3. Flexibility 4. Body Composition
In this entry I am going to review the second component – The Muscular Fitness Test. This is a very easy test to complete.
Here is what you will need: A large unobstructed Floor Space.
Exercise you will perform: The Standard Pushup.
Warm-up – You will want to do a couple of pushups and do some shoulder and triceps stretches before you attempt the test. Be sure you do not do too many pushups for the fitness test.
Men – Position yourself on the floor so that your weight is supported by your toes, and hands. Your hands should be flat on the floor, and directly under your shoulders.
Women - Position yourself on the floor so that your weight is supported by your toes, and knees. Your hands should be flat on the floor, and directly under your shoulders.
Performing the Exercise:
1. Lower your body until your chest touches the floor – Your back should remain straight throughout the entire exercise. 2. Push your body upward to the starting position. 3. Continue the lowering and raising movement until you must stop to rest. (note – 1 pushup is when you completely lower and raise yourself.) 4. Write down how many repetitions you complete.
Assessment of your muscular strength.
The following are the standards for muscular fitness.