Assessing your fitness
There are 9 main adaptations that the body can go through
- Skill or technique
- Force / strength
- Anaerobic capacity (maximum amount of work you can do in 30s-120s)
- Maximal aerobic capacity (8-15mins of work)
- Long duration exercise (steady state training)
Much like everything, before we start any program, we need to first assess where we are. These are notes about assessing your fitness accross these adaptations.
Testing skill and technique
- Pick an exercise that you want to get better at
- Try to pick a push and pull for the upper and lower body
- something like a pull up, push up, squat and a dead lift.
- do all of this with bodyweight and do it in a controlled fashion
- Record yourself from the front and side view.
- Do 3 reps per view
- Then look at the video, these are the things to look out for
- Is one side of your body different to the other ?
- Like in a push up, is one of your elbows flaring more ?
- Can you do the movement slow and controlled ?
- Did you notice yourself struggling or shaking through any parts of it ?
- Were you aware of every body part ?
- i.e. if you deadlift and had an arching spine, did you know you were arching your spine ?
- Range of motion
- Can you go through the entire range ?
- Score each one out of 3
- absolutely terrible (don’t do it) - 1
- Not bad, minor flaw (not bad but need to be careful) - 2
- Pretty good (no problems) - 3
Testing for power
- There is no straight forward test for speed but you can infer speed from a power test
- To test, do a simple broad jump forward.
- Stand about shoulder width apart and try to jump as far forward as possible.
- Measure from the front of your feet to the heel of the landing foot/feet.
- Meaning, take the worst result
- You can also swing your arms and bounce but no running.
- You should be able to jump your height
- It's about 15% lower for females
Testing for strength
- You have to measure strength in the movements that you want to get stronger at.
- So, test for an upper body and a lower body movement. But also test your grip strength.
- For any movement that you choose, you want to test your 1 rep max.
- But if you don't want to go to that extreme, pick a weight that you can do <5 reps and enter those numbers in an online calculator to get your 1 rep max.
Testing Grip Strength
- Get a grip dynamometer and you want to be gripping about 40kg,
- ideally past 60kg
- 35kg and 50kg for females
- Or/and test your dead hang.
- minimum of 30s, try to get about 60s.
- But it doesn’t work very well if you are very heavy
- Don't have to test this unless you want to.
- A good test is leg extensions.
- You should be able to leg extend your bodyweight
- men over 40 years should can take that number down 10% every decade.
- Another test is the goblet squat hold
- Hold 1/2 your body weight for 45s and then stand up.
- As an introduction, try 1/3 of your body weight.
- Don't test on movements that you are unfamiliar with.
- And with these test, warming up is extremely important.
- Make sure all your joints are ready to move and you are in a good state to start
Testing for hypertrophy
- Do a DEXA scan,
- look for an FFMI of 20 for males
- and about 18 for females
- but compare it against your body fat
- because you can have a high FFMI and high body fat.
- You want to have <35% for males and <40% for females.
Testing for Endurance
- There are several categories in endurance apart from just how long you can run/walk for.
- Test your push up reps
- for males, you should be able to get 25+ reps
- females, 10 reps
- do this consecutively, so no rest in between
- Or, take your movement in the strength test and use 75% of your 1 rep max weight
- see how many reps you can do.
- If you can to 8 reps, that's good
- If you can do more, means you have a peak strength issue.
Max Anaerobic Capacity
- Pick a cardio machine like a bike/ellipse/treadmill and go for 30-60s
- Mark down the distance you covered and check if you got close to your predicted max heart rate (220-your age)
- Caveat here: if you went pass it or if you didn't, it doesn't matter as much.
- What you want to see is your heart rate recovery, look for half a beat per second.
- e.g. after 60s then you should have recovered 30 beats per minute.
- e.g. if you went up to 200bpm, then you want to see your heart rate at 270bpm after 1 minute
Maximal Heart Rate Test
- ideally you want to do a V02 test
- This is to test how much work you can do at your max heart rate.
- A good test is the 12minutes coopers test, run for 12mins and see how far you can cover.
- You can also do a 1 mile walk test, record your heart rate and distance covered.
- There is a calculator online for this.
Long Duration Test
- Simple, can you moce at a non-walking pace for 20 minutes and only nasal breathing
source : Guest Series | Dr. Andy Galpin: How to Assess & Improve All Aspects of Your Fitness - Huberman Lab
Testing frequency and routine
Do this test at least 1x a year
- but you can do it more frequently, if you wanted to
- It might be a nice way to end/start the year
You need a min of 3 days and this is how you should go about testing.
Start with your body composition scan
- Try not to do any hard exercises 48 hrs before that
Then you can do your (on the same day or the next):
- Movement test
- Strength/power test
- and leg endurance test
Then the next day,
- Long endurance test
- Anaerobic test
the last day
- Your V02 max test (which is the maximal heart rate test)