How Fit Are YOU? Use These Tests to Find Out.

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Question: I have heard that one test of explosive strength for a guy is to be able to bench his bodyweight and be able to squat 1.5 times his bodyweight. Are these accurate tests? Are there others that I should be able to do?
Answer: There certainly are other tests and the two you mentioned are for checking muscular strength. It is one of four tests you can use to compare yourself but this is where we will start.
For guys the benchmark for testing muscular strength is to be able to bench press 1.25 x bodyweight or better and for females it is 0.8 x your bodyweight or better.
The squat benchmark is 2 x bodyweight or better for males and for females it is 1.5 x bodyweight or better.
The Vertical Jump is another good test for comparing how explosive you are. For males a 31 inch vertical or more is excellent. 25 to 30 inches is good. 20 to 24 inches would be considered fair and 19 inches or less needs work. For females 26 inches or more is excellent while 25 to 30 inches is good. Fair is 16 to 19 inches but you need work if you jump 15 inches or less.
Strength endurance is another factor in determining how “in shape” you are. This can be checked with two simple exercises, the push-up and pull-up. In a one minute period do as many push-ups as you can. For males 45 or more is excellent; 21 to 44 is average and 20 or less needs work. For females 30 or more is excellent while 9 to 29 is average but 8 or less needs work. Pull-ups are done for a minute as well. For men 10 or more is good, 6 to 9 is average while less than 5 is poor. For women 5 or more is good, 3 to 4 is average and 2 or less is poor.
Flexibility is important and the Sit-and-Reach test is standard to determine that. Tape a 12 inch ruler on the floor. Sit with your heels on a line across the bottom of the ruler. Stretch forward trying to reach past your toes. For males 4 inches past your feet is excellent. 1.5 inches past your feet is average while 1 inch short of the bottom of your feet needs work. For women 6 inches past the bottom of your feet is excellent while 3.5 inches past your feet is good but only touching the bottom of your feet needs work.
The 300 yard shuttle run is a good test of anaerobic capacity and recovery. Using 2 cones set 25 yards apart, sprint to the second cone and back again six times to complete 300 yards. Guys who can complete this in under 55 seconds are excellent. 56 to 64 seconds is good while more than 65 seconds needs work. Women who can finish this in 65 seconds or less are excellent. 66 to 74 seconds is good but more than 75 seconds needs work.
Whatever you are training towards these are solid benchmarks to determine if your training is going the way it should.
God bless and keep training,
Daryl

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