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The Fitness Tests

The second part of the fitness test will help you to assess your current level of fitness, your health and strength.

This will help in designing an appropriate exercise program designed for your fitness and also give you a benchmark against which you can test your progress.

It’s not necessary to do all the tests to get a measure of fitness – if you are a complete beginner, some of the tests may prove quite difficult.

It’s best to have someone else help you with the tests, preferably an exercise professional.

Its important that you try and keep the tests the same throughout, i.e. using the same style of sit-ups etc. And very important that you make a written note of your progress.

If you feel light headed / dizzy at any point, then stop the test and look at seeing your doctor if you still feel unwell after 5 minutes.

For any of the strength or aerobic tests, aim to fully warm-up and stretch to prevent injury.


The best time to take this is when you first wake up in the morning. If you take the recordings over three days and average them, you will get a more accurate result.

Place two fingers on either your wrist (radial artery), or neck (carotid artery). Being careful not to press too hard, count the number of beats for a minute. If you own a heart rate monitor, this will obviously give you an accurate reading.

Check the Heart Rate Chart to see where your heart rate places you.



Test 2 (Blood pressure)

Having your blood pressure taken is a very easy operation, best done by someone with experience. There are electrical systems available, but be sure they are accurate before relying on them.

Most doctors / health clinics will be happy to test you.


Test 3 (Lung size)

This measures the size of your lungs. Most doctors and good health clubs should be able to offer this service.

Regular exercise will quickly increase this reading, while smoking and inactivity contribute to reduced lung capacity.


Test 4 (Body fat percentage)

The static water tank is the most accurate method, but is also expensive. More common methods include a bio-impedance machine or body calipers.

Body fat is a much more accurate measure than weight alone.



Test 5 (Flexibility)

Poor flexibility is a result of tight muscles, and can lead to injury.

Test yourself as indicated – most good gyms or clubs will have the ability to conduct this test with you.



Test 6 (Upper body strength) Work within your limits!

Press-ups are an excellent way of judging a person’s upper body strength.

Count how many press-ups you can do in a minute.

Men should aim to do full press-ups; women should use box / 3/4s. Check the press-up workout for advice.


Test 7 (Abdominal) Work within your limits!

Lie flat on the floor with knees bent, hands to the side of your head, raise up till your elbows touch your knees, lower then repeat.

Record how many sit-ups you can do without stopping.



Test 8 (Leg Strength) Work within your limits!

This test is simple – with your back pressed into the wall, and your legs bent at 90 degrees, see how long you can maintain this position.

Make sure that the surface is not slippery, and have a chair by your side to help you straighten back up when you have finished – your thighs may have seized up!

Keep your hands off your legs throughout the exercise, and time how long you can hold the position.


Test 9 (Explosive power) Work within your limits!

From a squatting position, jump up as high as possible, holding a piece of chalk in one hand.

Make a mark on a wall at the top of your jump.

Do this three times and measure the highest mark.


Test 10 (Speed) Work within your limits!

From a standing start, have a partner blow a whistle, and three seconds later blow again. The goal is to run as fast as you can over a flat surface in that time.

Have your partner judge where you ran in the three seconds.

Chalk a line across that point, and aim to beat it with two more attempts. Record the distance to your furthest chalk line.



Test 11 (Aerobic 12 minute run) Work within your own limits!

Accurately measure how far you can run in twelve minutes. This is best done on a running track or treadmill.

If you have to run on the road, use the same route each time and measure the distance with either a car or bike odometer. Avoid routes with road crossings, train barriers etc.


Test 12 Balance Test - Take care when landing!

On a flat surface draw a total of 12 circles, 1 inch larger than your shoe size. They need to be one meter apart, running at right angles to each other in a zig-zag line.

Hop on one leg, staying on your toes, from circle to circle. Time yourself to go up on your left, and then back on your right leg 3 times. Each time you miss the circle, or put your other foot down, add 3 seconds to your time.

Becoming a Netfit member is a good way to help you improve, and stay motivated.

Once you have your results, you have a benchmark to work from. Analyze each area of the fitness test, and target those you are weak on.

Printing off the RECORD CHART will help you keep a record of your results. Enjoy the tests!

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