Fitness tests are a great way to check your fitness at the beginning of a new workout routine and help you track your progress and make changes to your workout routine along the way. You can go to a sports performance lab to learn your VO2 Max, LT and exercise metabolism, but that can be elaborate and expensive. If you're not an elite athlete, or just want to track some basic measurements, here are a few simple fitness tests you can do on your own at home.
BMI or Body Mass Index is a formula that estimates a person's ideal body weight based upon weight and height measurements. Even though the BMI calculation is an indirect measurement of body composition, it has been found to be a fairly reliable indicator of both body composition and ideal weight recommendations for most people.
Unlike direct body composition measurements, BMI can't specifically tell you how much of your weight is muscle and how much is fat, but it's a simple way to track progress during a weight loss program.
Calculate your BMI with this online BMI calculator.
This simple run test was developed by Dr. Ken Cooper in 1968 to measure aerobic fitness and provide and estimate of VO2 max for the military. The run test is still used today and is a simple way to assess aerobic fitness. Clearly, this test is for runners, and should be done after a thorough warm up. It's also best performed on a track so you can accurately measure distance. Simply plug the distance you ran in 12 minutes into one of these formulas to get an estimate of your VO2Max.
- In Miles: VO2max = (35.97 x miles) - 11.29.
- In Kilometers: VO2max = (22.351 x kilometers) - 11.288
The push-up test has been around for a very long time because it is simple and effective, both as an upper body exercise and as a way to measure upper body strength and fitness. You can check your own upper body strength and monitor your progress by performing this test every few months.
A new way to test not only upper body strength, but core strength and stability is this test created by sports coach, Brian Mackenzie. I like the simplicity of this test, and how it engages more muscles than nearly any isolated abdominal exercise.
Many people who can do a hundred crunches are surprised when they can not fully complete this test. Try it and see for yourself.