Fitness Tests

Understanding how fit you are helps ensure that your exercise program is appropriate for you, and is a great way of monitoring your improvements.

Why should I have a fitness test?

  • To determine current your health condition, risks or limitations
  • To learn about past injuries or surgeries
  • To assess your current fitness levels so you can find ways of improving
  • To identify fitness goals, interests and motivation for exercising
  • To identify appropriate training options for getting fit
  • To establish methods to track progress and evaluate your success

Fitness tests generally look at four main areas:

How fit is your body composition? Describes the different components that make up your body weight including the muscles, bone and fat.

How fit is your cardiovascular endurance? Measures how efficiently your heart and lungs work together to supply oxygen and energy to your body during exercise.

How fit is your muscle strength? Measures the amount of force a muscle group can exert at one time, and the length of time a muscle group can contract before it fatigues.

How fit are you in terms of flexibility? Measures the flexibility and range of motion of joints in your body and is important for assessing muscle weakness, injury and imbalances.

What fitness tests are available?

There are hundreds of fitness tests available. Some of the more common fitness tests include:

Running test:This test involves continuous running over a distance of 1km.

Sit and reach: This test is a measure of the flexibility of the lower back and hamstring muscles.

Body Mass Index: BMI is a method of estimating your body fat based upon your weight and height to gauge fitness levels.

The formula used is to divide your weight (in kilograms) by your height (in metres) squared. So, if you weigh 72kg and are 1.73 metres tall, the calculation is 75 divided by 1.73 squared (that is, 72 divided by 2.99) = a BMI of 24.1.

Handgrip strength: This test measures the strength of the hand and forearm muscles by squeezing an implement called a dynamometer for about five seconds.

Push-up test: Easy to perform at home, the push up test is simple. Just complete as many push-ups as you can until exhaustion.

Sprint test: This test determines acceleration, maximum running speed and speed endurance and involves running a single maximum sprint over a set distance, with time recorded and compared to defined fitness results.

Home sit-up test: Another easy fitness test to do at home. Measure your abdominal strength and endurance by recording how many sit-up-test you can do in one minute.

The 12WBT Fitness Test

The 12WBT fitness test will only take you around 15 minutes to complete. All you need is a ruler, a stopwatch and a wall.

So, how fit are you?

There are five components to this fitness test: push-ups, abdominal strength (plank) test, the one-kilometre time trial, the sit-and-reach test, and the wall-sit test and.

First, warm up with a brisk 10-minute walk.

Push-ups: On your knees

Do as many push-ups as you can, continuously, until exhaustion. No pauses. Which group do your fitness levels fall under?

  • Beginner – 20 or under
  • Intermediate – 21 to 30
  • Advanced – 31 plus

One-kilometre time trial: This is best done outdoors

Jog or walk one kilometre and time how long it takes you to complete. Identify which fitness level group you belong to by using the following guide:

  • Beginner – 8 minutes plus
  • Intermediate – 5.5 to 8 minutes
  • Advanced – Faster than 5.5 minutes

If running outdoors is not an option, other similar tests include:

  • One kilometre on the rowing machine
  • 500 metre swim
  • Five-kilometre bike ride

Monitor your heart rate as soon as you finish, and again one minute after. You will notice that the fitter you become, the quicker your heart rate will drop after exercise.

Take a two-minute recovery then move to the push-ups test.

Abdominal strength test: Record how long you can hold the plank position from the knees. You should retest your ab strength every week for comparison.

  • Beginner – 30 seconds or less on knees
  • Intermediate – 30 to 60 seconds on knees
  • Advanced – 60 seconds plus

Wall sit test: Place your butt against a wall and hold this seated position for as long as you can.

  • Beginner – 59 seconds or less
  • Intermediate – 1 minute to 1 minute and 59 seconds
  • Advanced – 2 minutes plus

Sit and reach test:It is important to know how stiff or flexible you are. Sit on the ground with your legs out straight and reach for your toes. Your results are based on how close you manage to get to, or how far past, your toes.

  • Beginner – 5cm or lower
  • Intermediate – –4cm to +5cm
  • Advanced – 6cm or higher

Once you gauge how fit you are, you can develop a tailored training program according to your fitness and health goals. Go back to the fitness test to monitor your progress and keep inspired! Let’s get fit!