Benchmarking against the tests and metrics I chose in the previous post was quite a humbling experience!
Here are the tests/metrics and my initial test scores:
Resting heart rate.
Angelique measured my pulse on my wrist. The Mayo Clinic article suggests counting the beats in 15 secs and converting this to the beats per minute. Mine is 16 beats in 15 secs, so 64 in a minute.
Fastest time to run 1.5 miles (2.4km)
This is a key test I think as it measures aerobic fitness. Here’s a screenshot from the Mayo Clinic article that shows what different times mean:
And from the Men’s Health article on the same test:
12 minutes or more: Slow
Between 10 and 12 minutes: Ordinary
10 minutes or less: Endurance excellencehttps://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19534622/fitness-level-tests/
I did my initial measurement on the treadmill and I scored 13:00 mins flat. Which is slow!
Number of press-ups to fatigue
From the Coach Mag article, these are what your max press-up scores mean:
My score was 30 which puts me in the Good range. However, I revised this down after I saw a video about how the Royal Marines do their press-ups. They do ones where their hands are shoulder-width apart. I’ve always done mine a bit wider. This makes my elbows point out to the side when going down. The Royal Marine way is to do them so that your elbows stay close to your body when going down. Here’s the video:
And here’s another video confirming I’ve been doing press-ups wrong all my life!
Doing press-ups their way, I cranked out an arm-trembling 20, which puts me in the Average bracket.
Sit up test – max number in a minute
From the Mayo Clinic article:
I did 26 in a minute which is quite weak. From the table above, I should have scored around 37 in a minute.
I’ve used the technique and form that the Royal Marines use to make sure I’m doing them right:
Flexibility – sit and reach test
This is where I really struggle! My hamstrings are tight! My lower back is a bit fragile too, since putting it out a few years ago. I think my back problems stem from being too inflexible around my hamstrings, meaning that my range of movement is too limited and I instead put too much pressure and strain on my lower spine to achieve the range of movement.
Here’s how to do this test: get a tape measure and lay it on the floor. At the 15 inch point, put a pen or ruler across the tape at right angles. Sit down along the tape with your leg straight out and with your soles flush to the pen or ruler at the 15 inch mark. Reach forward as far as you can and note the measurement.
Mayo Clinic interprets the results this way:
I scored 3.5 inches, which is shockingly bad! Definitely need to improve this.
This was humbling! My jeans from Uniqlo and shorts from Asos each say that I’m a 32in waist. I’ve suspected for years that brands massage our egos when it comes to waist size.
Measured at the widest point of my waist and above the hip bone and below the bottom rib, my waist measurement read……….
39.5 inches. WTF! I’m 5 foot 6! With a belly of that?!
This becomes even more pressing with the next test:
This is your waist circumference divided by your hip/butt measurement.
From the Men’s Health article:
Take a look at yourself. If your belly is growing faster than your butt, you have bigger problems than figuring out how to get a tan without taking off your shirt. The more fat your body stores in your midsection, the higher your risk of heart disease. And this much we know: Fit men don’t get heart disease.https://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19534622/fitness-level-tests/
And this is the scorecard:
0.92 or higher: Your wife and kids are going to miss you
0.82 to 0.91: Ordinary
0.81 or less: Flat and happyhttps://www.menshealth.com/fitness/a19534622/fitness-level-tests/
My hip measurement (taken at the widest point) is 40 inches.
My waist measurement is 39.5 inches, making my waist to hip ratio: 0.9875.
Using the NHS BMI calculator which takes into account my age and ethnicity, my BMI is 27.9 which is at the upper end of Overweight.
Touch the Rim. I’ll have to find a high thing to jump and touch.
From Coach Mag:
How to do it: Hold your body in a straight line from head to heels. Keep your feet together and your elbows beneath your shoulders. Look straight down and brace for as long as you can. Focus on keeping your hips from sagging. When they do the test is over.https://www.coachmag.co.uk/exercises/full-body-workouts/1861/6-tests-fitness
|More than 2min||Excellent|
|Less than 45sec||Poor|
My initial score was 1 min and 1 second, which puts me in the average bracket.
Bodyweight Squat. 50 or more is Excellent
1km run. 3min or less is Excellent
From Coach Mag:
What it targets: Your cardiovascular system and muscle co-ordination between the upper and lower body
How to do it: On a Concept2 rowing machine, select level ten resistance. Sit upright with your shoulders back and core braced. Drive with your legs.https://www.coachmag.co.uk/exercises/full-body-workouts/1861/6-tests-fitness
|1min 30 sec or less||Excellent|
|1min 31sec–1min 44sec||Good|
|1min 45sec–1min 59sec||Average|
|2min or more||Poor|
I did the 500m row in 2min 08 seconds, which is Poor!
From Coach Mag:
How to do it: Grip the bar overhand, extend your arms fully and let your body hang. Pull up until your chin is over the bar, squeezing your lats. Lower again without swinging. The test is over when you can’t maintain perfect form.https://www.coachmag.co.uk/exercises/full-body-workouts/1861/6-tests-fitness
|12 or more||Excellent|
|3 or fewer||Poor|
I did 3 pull-ups on the initial test, which is Poor.
Trying to improve these test results as much as possible in a month!