Trainer Tip of the Week – Testing Your Cardiovascular and Muscular Strength

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Whenever I have a new client, I always like to put them through some tests to see where their cardiovascular strength, and muscular strength stand.  This is important, because it gives me and idea on what we need to focus on.  Here are some simple tests that I have found to be effective, and you can even do these in your own home.
1 mile test- A very simple and common test to see how fast you can accomplish one mile.  If you’re unable to run, then jog.  If you’re unable to jog, then walk!  Remember to have a timer as well, and when you’re finished, be sure to document your time.
Wall sit test- This test is designed to test your lower body strength.  Put your back flat against a wall, then drop your butt down until your butt is even with your knees.  Keep in mind that your knees should be in a 90 degree angle, and directly above your ankles.  Set the timer, and hold it for as long as you can!  Once your butt raises or drops, stop the timer and document your time.  Word of warning, this burns!
1 minute push-up test- This is a test to test your upper body strength.  Set the clock for one minute, then get in proper push-up position (hands under chest, butt and stomach tight, and maintain a straight line from your ears through ankles as your body descends and ascends).  Start doing push-ups until your form starts to fail, or when the minute is over.  If you need to go on your knees, that’s perfectly fine as well.  Keep in mind that during a proper push-up, you should go down all the way until your shoulders are even with your elbows.  Once finished, document your reps.
Plank test- This test is designed to test core strength.  Similar to the wall sit test, you will simply set the timer, and let it go until you reach failure.  Start with your elbows under your shoulders, knees elevated, and maintain a straight line from your ankles through your ears the whole time.  Once your lower back starts to collapse, knees touch, or your butt elevates, stop the timer and document your time.
I like to re-test every 6-8 weeks to see the progress we have made.  If I notice my client did great on the push-test, but not so much on the wall sit test, that’s a good indicator that we need to emphasize strengthening the lower body.
Are you seeing progress in your workout program?  If not, let me help you!  You can reach me at 806-789-2529 or at brianvaligura@gmail.com

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