A full time health and fitness guru on YouTube with over 80 million views, Sarah is obviously passionate about sharing healthy lifestyle information. Check out her site, SarahFit.com, for the most effective workouts and motivational advice. She is also a regular contributor to Everyday Health’s YouTube channel and girl behind “No Gym, No Problem”.
So, you go to the gym at least 4 times a week, you can run at least 3 miles and can hold a plank for an entire minute, but just how fit are you compared with the rest of the crowd? Whether you are a beginner or a veteran, these 4 simple tests will help you gauge your progress.
1. Plank - Lift up into a forearm plank squeezing glutes and inner thighs together, abs pulling in towards your navel and shoulder blades pinching together. Don’t let your head hang down, but keep it in line with your spine. Aim to hold it for at least 30 seconds. If you can go longer, test and see how long you go with proper form. If you belly begins to sag down, stop before you feel any lower back pain. Keep track of your time on your smart phone or in a document on your computer. Test your progress every 4 weeks.
Below average: You can’t hold a basic plank 60 seconds
Average: You go 60 seconds
Above average: You can hold a plank 60 seconds with your feet elevated on a bench
Men’s Health Fit: You can hold a plank with your arms extended for 60 seconds
2. Wall Sit - Find a wall that you can lean against. Lower down into a squat position with feet shoulder width distance apart. Knees should be at a 90 degree angle, with thighs parallel to the ground. Start your timer and keep track of how long you can hold this position. Remember to engage your glutes.
3. Push ups - If you are a female, you will want to do this test in a modified position on your knees. Why? Because to compare your strength results to other women in your age group, you will need to do so. Who ever began collecting data, did so with this modification. If you could care less about how your stats rank, go ahead and try a full push up if you can with proper form. Men will need to do this exercise starting in high plank position. Lower chest down to the ground and press back up. See how many you can do before your muscles are fatigued.
4. Sit ups (aka Curl ups) - Start lying down on the ground with knees bent. If you have a partner, ask them to sit on your feet and help keep count. Start the clock and see how many complete sit ups you can do in a minute. Lower all the way down, and come all the way up to the top. If you are fatigued before the minute is up, just rest and keep track of your score. Hands should go behind your head. Compare your results to the population to see how fit your abs really are below.