Best Ways To Test Your Strength and Body’s Limits
If you’ve been around the fitness scene for some time, you probably have been asked “how much can you bench?” or “how many muscle-ups can you do?” Even if you know the maximum weights you can lift, you still have a feeling that you can do better.
In this article, we’ll give you solid ways of testing your body’s limit so that the next time you face a life-or-death situation or a simple question as above, you know what you’re capable of doing.
Squat, Curl, and Push Press
- Fit: 20 reps in one minute
- Above-average: 18 reps
- Ordinary: 16 reps
The squat, curl, and push press will test your anaerobic conditioning. Anaerobic endurance refers to your ability to work at the near-maximal intensity in bursts of 20 to 60 seconds. In this type of exercise, your body uses fat as a source of fuel.
Test – Pick up dumbbells that are roughly 30 percent of your body weight and hold them by your sides while placing your feet shoulder-width apart. Perform a squat, curl the dumbbells to your shoulders as you stand up, and then press them straight overhead using your legs. Return to the starting position and repeat for one minute.
One Controlled Wall Squat
- Fit: Full squat in control
- Above Average: Halfway down
- Ordinary: Less than halfway
The controlled wall squats test your mobility which is one of the most undervalued aspects of fitness. The more mobile you are, the better you can move your joints through their full range of motion and the less likely you are to be injured.
Test: Stand facing a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart and toes 2 inches from the baseboard and turned slightly out. Keeping your feet flat, chest up, and back naturally arched, see how far you can lower your body without touching the wall or falling backward.
- Fit: 8 feet or more
- Above Average: 6 to 8 feet
- Ordinary: Less than 6 feet
Explosive strength is an integral part of overall fitness. There is a reason why everyone from college strength coaches to drill sergeants uses the standing broad jump to gauge raw power.
Test: Stand with your feet placed shoulder-width apart and your toes on a line. Dip your knees, swing your arms, and jump as far as you can. Measure the distance from the starting line to the back of your heels.
- Fit: 10 clapping push-ups
- Above Average: 5 clapping push-ups
- Ordinary: No clap
A strong upper body makes all the difference inside and outside the gym. It gives you an edge in most sports, whether you’re trying to tackle an opponent in football or trying or spring off the mat in a UFC Octagon.
Test: Place your hands shoulder-width apart and your feet should be closer than shoulder-width. Use the 3:1 ratio as a guide – lower yourself 3 times slower than you push. Push yourself back up explosively so your hands leave the floor. Maintain a straight body as you clap in midair and land back in the starting position.
- Fit: More than three minutes
- Above-average: 2 to 3 minutes
- Ordinary: one minute or less
Planks are one of the most brutal exercises. They are one of the exercises which look easy from far away but can kill you once you start performing them. Planks entered the mainstream as CrossFit caught fire.
Test: Get into a planking position by placing your forearms on the floor. Your elbows should be directly under your shoulders and your entire body should be in a straight line throughout the exercise. Brace your core by contracting your abs as if you were about to be punched, and hold the position for as long as you can.
Deadlift 1.75 Times Your Bodyweight
- Fit: 1.75 x bodyweight
- Above Average: 1.5 x bodyweight
- Ordinary: Bodyweight
Deadlifts have been a symbol of machoism for a long time. There are only a few other exercises that can test your strength like the deadlifts. Deadlifts are a must for people who want to build strength and muscle mass.
Test: Since you’ll be performing a one-rep max, load a barbell with the maximum amount of weight you can lift once, and bring the bar close to your shins. You need to make sure you’re following the correct form or otherwise you risk getting injured.