Incredibly Simple Fitness Tests for Beginners
What Is a Fitness Assessment?
You can think of a fitness assessment as a medical examination to assess how well your body is responding to a new fitness program, and whether or not you’re doing the right things.
There are many different ways that fitness assessments can be used, but some of the most common ones are called body fat percentage, heart rate monitoring, and treadmill tests.
Most people like to keep track of their progress when they begin a new fitness program, but they find the task difficult because they’ve never done one themselves. So they’re not sure where to begin or how to figure out their current fitness level, how strong they are, or how weak.
Why Are They Important?
Many people have lost their motivation to get in shape because they can’t tell if their fitness program is working. Fitness assessments can help you figure out if your program is working and if you are on the right track. If your fitness level isn’t improving, you need to change something.
This is why fitness assessments are important. They gauge your overall health and when you exercise regularly and correctly, all of that physical activity creates good health.
You shouldn’t care about how young or old you are, or what your gender is. You can just use these basic assessments to tailor-fit your training program to your specific needs.
Things to Consider Before Giving a Fitness Assessment
BGivinga fitness assessments are a fairly simple process. Here are some things you need to think about before you give one.
What’s the purpose of your fitness assessment?
You should know the main purpose of your assessment by asking yourself questions like; What do you want to learn from it? What questions do you want to be answered?
For example, if you want to see how your cardiovascular system is working and you want to be able to work out more, you may want to perform a cardiovascular exam to see how well your body uses oxygen during your workout. With this information, you can decide whether you need to incorporate more or less cardio fitness in your program.
How will your results be used?
You need to know how the results of your fitness assessment will be used.
Will you use the information to make minor changes to your program without altering it? If you are using your results to just find out what your fitness level is and you don’t want to change your program, you can use the information to increase the intensity of your fitness program without changing its core details.
Will you use the information to give your doctor a better understanding of your fitness level? If you are planning to see your doctor and are using the results to help your doctor understand your fitness level, you will need to discuss the results with him/her.
How can you use one as a learning tool and as a support for your fitness program?
If you know your results, you can adjust your workouts to improve your training workouts. For example, if you want to increase your cardio by implementing walking, running, and cycling after getting bad scores on your cardiovascular Endurance results.
How valid will it be? They can be very subjective, so you need to be sure that you have questions answered. You want to know what the standards are, and whether you can use any questionable results. What I mean by that is if you performed all the exercises correctly without cheating yourself.
For example, sometimes people like to count a “half try” as a complete rep and add it to their score.
What kinds of questions will provide information on what you know and don’t know, and where you need to go next?
When you receive your results, you will want to have specific questions in mind about how you are doing. You may want to ask the following questions:
How was it? Was my body fat percentage and body weight compared to the average? Did I complete it correctly?
Will you use multiple assessments and if so, from which will you choose?
There are a lot of fitness assessments on the market today, and some of them are pretty bad. This is why it’s important to know which are reputable and which ones are not. I would recommend that you choose one that is recognized and recommended.
How will you use it to verify your self-assessment and monitor your progress toward your targets/goals/objectives?
If you are an elite athlete, you will want to make sure that your results can be used as evidence to support your self-assessment. You may also want to have a fitness assessment done before an event that you will be competing in so that you can use it to validate your self-assessment.
Does the investment of time in preparing, administering, and recording your physical fitness scores pay off for you?
The investment of time that you have put into your examination and getting your fitness assessment is worthwhile when and if you’ve achieved your goals, and improved your physical fitness level. This is something you will know down the road if you’re just starting a new fitness program.
How Many Should You Take? You can give as many as you want but you have to be consistent with them. This is because the tests are meant to assess your progress.
Types of Fitness Assessments
There are many different types of assessments and variations that you can do depending on what you’re trying to achieve, they can include:
Cardiovascular Endurance Exams
Cardiovascular endurance checks are a process of exercising for longer and harder than you normally would. It is mainly done to calculate what your maximum heart rate is and how healthy your body is.
This may include exercises like the following:
- Diesel Engine
- Mountain Climber
- Running Endurance
- Aerobic Endurance
Suggested Reading: 31 Speed Training Exercises To Become Faster
Lower Body Strength and Conditioning Exam
The lower body strength and conditioning checks can help measure how strong your lower body is. They are used in many athletic programs to help athletes determine their strengths and weaknesses.
Strength and conditioning might be used with:
- Weighted Jumping
- Weighted Squats
- Calf Raises
Aerobic Endurance Examinations
Aerobic endurance is a benchmark way to measure your physical fitness and is defined as the capacity of the human body to resist fatigue during continuous prolonged muscular work. If you want to find how fit you are, you need to take one.
They can be done with the:
- 5 Minute Walk
- 10 Minute Run
- 2 Minute Run
Upper Body Strength and Conditioning Exams
Many athletes use these to determine their fitness for various sports. They isolate upper body strength and evaluates a person’s strength and endurance through a variety of positions and movement.
Typical upper body and conditioning include the:
- Bicep Curls
- Triceps Push-Ups
- Standing Press-Ups
- Bench Press
- Military Press
- Hand Release Push-Ups
Tightness & Flexibility
Flexibility is one of the most important factors in fitness. If you want to be healthy, you need to be flexible. Without flexibility, you will get injured more easily.
To assess your flexibility from head to toe, do these checks:
- Flexibility for Your Spine and Neck
- Flexibility for Your Shoulders
- Flexibility for Your Outer Hips and Spine
- Flexibility for Your Hip Rotators
- Flexibility for Your Hamstrings
- Flexibility for Your Calves and Ankles
Neuro/Muscular Fitness Exams
Here you assess your body and brain for central nervous system & muscle control, flexibility, hand-eye coordination, as well as your muscular endurance.
They help to assess the state of the brain how well it is working, and how well your body has responded to physical activity. Different types take place to help assess the different parts of the brain and body.
Below are some neuro/muscular exams:
- Sufficient Motor Strength
- Sufficient Visual Skills
- Insight and Apprehension
- Decision-Making Skills
4 Elements of a Great Fitness Assessment
The one you’ve decided to take must be carried out in a healthy, safe environment. A great fitness assessment should be realistic, relevant to your goals, and have a practical approach.
Also, it should cover the most relevant aspects of fitness because it will help you to get in the best shape of your life. Try your best to use one that is quick and easy to carry out.
This is what you should aim for in each upcoming functional fitness assessment.
- Health Evaluation
The only way to determine if you’re improving is to assess your overall health. If you need an in-depth health assessment to measure and evaluate your whole body, get one that’s comprehensive. These are some aspects that could be included in your assessment:
- Fatigue, Resting Heart Rate (HR)
- Muscular Strength, Pulse Rate (PPR)
- Cardiovascular Health (Blood Pressure, Heart Rate, Blood Circulation)
- Body Composition Check
Your body composition determines your health and fitness level by indicating your body fat percentage. The muscle-to-fat ratio (muscle mass divided by fat mass) tells you how much muscle you have and how much fat you have. More muscle and less fat mean better health for you.
To calculate your body mass index, you can visit the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. The body mass index (BMI) measures your body fat according to your height and weight.
These are the BMI categories and how they are rated. They’re only dependent on height & weight, muscle mass & fat mass are not included in the calculations. That’s the only drawback with these figures.
- Under 18.5 = underweight
- 18.5 to 24.9 = healthy weight
- 25.0 to 29.9 = overweight
- 30.0+ = obese
- Cardiovascular Endurance
This is how much endurance you have during exercise. You should know how much oxygen & energy is supplied to your body during intense physical activity. To determine your cardiovascular endurance, you’ll need to be evaluated on your maximal aerobic capacity (VO2 max), and the max rate of oxygen that you use.
- Functional Exam
To determine your functional fitness, you’ll need to perform one for your strength, speed, power, and flexibility. The idea here is to use this part to figure out what areas to target in your fitness program.
Now we need to cover some of the consequences that plague many people from a bad assessment experience.
Common Consequences of Bad Fitness Assessments
Poor assessment results will impact your current physical fitness level, as well as your future fitness level and physical capabilities. This will impact your overall health and it’s a good idea to consult your doctor if you have any health conditions that may prevent you from performing any of these functional fitness assessments.
- Poor assessment results will impact your current confidence level, as well as your future fitness level and physical capabilities. This will impact your overall health and it’s a good idea to consult your doctor if you have any health conditions that may prevent you from performing any of these functional fitness assessments.
- Undermine your efforts by showing you that there’s been no progress. low progress, or that you’re regressing and losing fitness. This will give you the impression that you’re not improving after all the effort you’ve put into your training and you’ll become upset.
- Loss of motivation due to these bad results may reinforce your previous presumptions that exercising is just not for you. These poor assessments will be what you reference to support how you’ve restricted yourself from completing your fitness goals.
- You may feel embarrassed about your results and would rather not share them with others who already know about them before you took them It can cause embarrassment and anxiety. In your mind, you’re afraid to let anyone see how much you’ve not improved. You may feel that you’ll be judged or looked down upon.
- This may lead someone to stop working out or exercising altogether.
Physical Activity Recommendations for Different Age Groups
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the following is the recommended physical activities for different age groups.
Children between the ages of 3 to 5 years – Children should be physically active every day throughout the day, actively playing in a variety of enjoyable physical activities.
Children and Adolescents between the ages of 6 to 17 years – Children and Adolescents should take part in physical activity that’s mild to an energetic level for one hour or more at least three days a week.
- Energetic activities can include things like running, cycling, or soccer.
- Muscle-strengthening activities can be things like climbing or pushups.
- Activities to strengthen bones can be gymnastics or rope jumping.
Adults between the ages of 18 to 64 years – Adults should exercise at medium strength for at least 2.5 hours, 2 days a week to strengthen muscles with exercises such as brisk walking. You should try to exercise at medium strength, the recommended level, or as much as you’re able to.
Older Adults at the age of 65 years and older – The older adult’s bracket is the same as the 18 to 64-year-old bracket except that you want to implement balance control exercises like standing on one foot.
How Do I Perform a Basic Fitness Assessment?
There are several different ways to use fitness assessments to measure your progress. Some of the most common fitness assessments include body fat percentage, treadmills, heart rate monitoring, and body strength.
The basic fitness assessment you are about to do will give you a better understanding of your fitness level. It is a great benchmark to determine your progress after you start your fitness program, which is going to benefit you greatly in your training process.
You’ll be able to easily record your results without having to use any special equipment. The results you get from your assessment here will be your starting point in understanding your strengths and weaknesses. It will give you the motivation you need, something many people end up losing because they weren’t sure if their fitness program at home was working or not.
This will also help you in setting up your goals and managing the direction your exercise routines will take.
NOTE: Your safety is the most important part of this or any assessment. If you’re new to training and your fitness level is at beginner level, or you’ve been away from your workouts for a while, don’t overdo things.
Here’s how to do your physical fitness assessment at home. Choose from the two versions below.
Basic Fitness Assessment Version 1
This assessment is what I use every six months. It’s a good indicator of how much in or out of shape you are. There are three sections to this and it’s the most basic fitness assessment I can give you, but it’s going to work for you, so don’t take it lightly and make sure you do them in this order.
They might leave you exhausted for the rest of the day if you’re not in shape. Make sure to drink plenty of water afterward and throughout the day.
#1 – Upper Body – Do regular pushups by going all the way down to the ground until your nose almost touches the ground and up until your arms are completely extended. Do as many as you’re able to but you want to try and get as close to a count of 100 pushups.
Write down your score count when you’re done take a 5 to 110-minute break and continue to #2.
#2 – Core, Abdominal & Back – Lay down on your back, put your palms on your thighs, and place your legs at a 90-degree angle with your feet flat on the ground. Perform partial sit-ups by contracting your abs and raising yourself until your fingers reach the top of your knees.
Do as many as you can but make sure you keep proper form throughout your movements. Here want to also try to hit 100 sit-ups.
Write down how many sit-ups you completed take a 10-minute break and continue to #3.
#3 – Cardiovascular Endurance – You can walk or run a distance of two miles. Your score time here will depend on your age and fitness level. In general, a good score time for someone in their 20s is just under six minutes per mile.
Make sure to time yourself and record your score time down.
Basic Fitness Assessment Version 2
This physical fitness assessment will include cardiovascular endurance, core, upper, and lower body strength, and flexibility. It’s very simple.
Make sure to record your scores and times because when you decide to redo it, you can compare future results to your initial feedback and check how much you’ve progressed.
#1 – Upper Body – Either do regular or knee pushups by going all the way down to the ground until your nose almost touches the ground and up until your arms are completely extended. This exercise is a good indicator of how strong your upper body is.
Do as many as you’re able to and write it down when you’re done.
#2 – Core, Abdominal & Back – Lay down on your back, put your palms on your thighs, and place your legs at a 990-degree angle with your feet flat on the ground. Perform partial sit-ups by contracting your abs and raising yourself until your fingers reach the top of your knees.
Do as many as you can but make sure you keep proper form throughout your movements. Write down how many partial sit-ups you completed.
#3 – Lower Body – Sit on the edge of your chair with your knees at right angles to the ground. You’re going to do squats here. Start by standing up and sitting back down but you’re not going to touch the chair, then quickly get back up.
Keep doing squats until you start losing proper form. Make sure to record your score.
#4 – Flexibility – In the standing position, you’re going to stand with your feet together and legs straight. Then bend at the waist with your palms parallel to the ground and measure how close your palms have reached the ground.
#5- Cardiovascular Endurance – You can walk or run a distance of one mile. Make sure to time yourself and record your time down.
When you’ve completed our basic fitness assessment here, you’re going to repeat this the same way again in eight weeks to check how much progress you’ve made.
In conclusion, I have explained the importance of going through a fitness examination to begin a new fitness routine and how it’s incredibly important for beginners. There are many bad ones out there and more importantly, a plethora to consider before taking one.
A great exam will provide an insight into what is happening inside your body right now and go well with guiding you in choosing a good lifestyle workout that fits your needs. MI hopes that this article has helped you make sense of common questions and answers about fitness assessments.
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What fitness assessments are used to measure speed? In endurance athletes, a treadmill is often used to measure speed. This is done by recording how long it takes for your body to run a specific distance. The goal is to find out how fast your body can run without oxygen being used up, how fast you can run for a specific amount of time, and how much energy your body uses during that time.
For example, if you want to measure your speed for running a mile, you’re required to run one mile as fast as you can. This will determine your speed based on how long it takes to run the mile.
How long does a fitness assessment take? The length of a fitness assessment will vary based on the program and exercise being used. Most fitness assessments are no more than 15 minutes long. If you’re just starting 15 minutes is more than enough time to assess your body’s progress and make adjustments to your training. Note that one that is several hours long may be used as a follow-up to measure your progress.
For example, if you did a 1-mile run and took longer than average to complete the 1-mile run, a follow-up may be done to determine how well you’re recovering from the 1-mile run.
Can I perform the fitness assessment at home? You can perform a basic fitness assessment at home, although a few require you to visit a lab to get them done if you’re not doing it yourself and you require special equipment, like when you need to find out your body fat results, you will be measured using a body fat caliper. It’s all about what you want to learn about your body’s health and fitness level.