From the pages of Men's Health magazine comes this simple test to measure your fitness level. I'd actually meant to write about this some time ago but the magazine ended up on the bottom of my 'to read' pile. Oh, well, better late than never. Here goes:
a. Press Ups- get down and hammer out as many as you can in two minutes with proper form. You're in good shape if you can do 40-50 and apparently top army recruits can manage 68 in that time.
b. Sit-Ups-Feet flat on floor, knees bent and hands on thighs. As you curl up move your hands up to your knees. Do as many as you can in one minute. The average for most men is 35 and Men's Health rates 40 as giving you a solid core.
c. Squats- Keeps knees behind toes and lower until thighs are parallel to the ground. Do as many as you can- no time limit. A score of 31-34 is average leg strength. 45 is excellent.
2. Cardiovascular Fitness
You'll need to concentrate for this one. Get a sturdy box or step that's 12-18" high and step up and down for three minutes straight. Rest for one minutes and then take your pulse rate for 30 seconds. Multiply the result by 5.6 and then divide this figure into 18,000. A mark of between 60 and 100 is considered fit.
Sit down on the ground with your legs straight out in front of you and reach towards your toes. Being able to reach your toes is okay, past them is good.
You'll need someone to time you on this one. Place two markers on the ground 9ft apart, marker 1 and 2. Set two books down beyond marker 2. Start the clock at marker 1 and sprint to 2, grab the book and run back to 1 and set it down. Return to 2, grab the second book and return to 1. Stop the clock. Anything under 10 seconds is fast.
Standing against a wall, wet your fingers and reach as high as you can to mark the wall. Now, do three vertical jumps, marking the wall with your fingers each time. Select the highest of the jumps and then measure between it and your standing mark. 20" is good.