Simple Tests to Measure Your Fitness/Performance

Bodyweight Workouts, Human Performance Discussion

I have never liked the word fitness.  It just reminds me of people like Tony Little and Richard Simmons bouncing around like circus clowns.

I think I might go as Tony Little this year for Halloween now that I think about it.  Interesting.

A net worth of $200 million. Unreal.


What I want to talk about today is how to measure your training to make sure that you are moving forward.  Just like improving your eating is going to help your body composition and weight issues, measuring improvements in your training goals is also going correlate with the amount of fat you lose.  I suppose this is assuming that you don’t ruin your workout by eating an ice cream sundae.

If I were you, these are some simple measures of physical fitness that I would measure…

  • 1 mile run
  • 400 meter run for time
  • Distance ride for time (amount of time it takes to ride 5 miles on a stationary bike)
  • Maximum # of push-ups (full reps)
  • Maximum # of bilateral squats (bodyweight and 2-legs)
  • Maximum # of single leg squats (are both sides equal?)
  • Maximum # of pull-ups and chin-ups
  • Maximum # of inverted rows (aka:  body rows)
  • Time to complete:  24 squats, 12 fw lunges r/l, 12 split squat jumps r/l, 24 squat jumps (beginners= 1 set, intermediate/advanced=2-3 set repeats)

Take note of the last bullet where I recommend that an intermediate or advanced trainee complete the circuit 2-3 times.  Record the time it takes to complete one full circuit.  Your rest period before starting the next circuit will be twice the time it took for you to complete the prior circuit.

Example: Intermediate trainee required 96 seconds to complete circuit…  2 x 96 seconds=  3:20/rest

This is a lower body work capacity circuit for an intermediate or an advanced trainee, and probably a combination of strength and work capacity for a beginner.  If you are beginner, GREAT!  You may have to modify it a bit to complete the circuit, but that is no problem.

Kudos to you for taking action.  

Most people don’t.

Just remember that what is easy for one person, may be difficult for another.  It is quite common for a beginner to get one hell of a training stimulus from simple bodyweight moves.  Heck, I still use bodyweight moves in my own training just because they are so effective and require zero equipment.

Very simple to implement.

Let me be clear that there are far more extensive tests that I could recommend, there are.  But, when it comes to training at home, not everyone has the equipment necessary to properly measure your performance. That’s fine.  You’re not training for the olympics, I wouldn’t worry about it.  Use what you have.  That will work.

If you are making solid improvements in most of the performance based tests I listed above, I guarantee something great is happening to your body.  The correlation between increasing performance is closely tied with leaning out and getting fit in my opinion.

Especially when you begin to make significant improvements in load lifting, work capacity efforts and

Improved performance comes with this great little by-product called leanness.

With the olympics still rolling in London, now is as good of time as ever to make that point.  Performance and leanness seem to go hand in hand.  Take a look at 99% of the athletes in the olympics.  Of course I would exclude the olympic lifting, archery and table tennis, but hey, most of those athletes are pretty lean also.  I should probably add in the ridiculously skinny/atrophied long distance guys/gals too.

Maybe we should all train like athletes?  (Hint, hint)

Don’t be afraid of sweat and effort. 🙂

Let me know how it goes…



(P.S.  This is performance based testing.  Keep in mind that movement quality should be evaluated also, I will show you how to measure that in a future post).


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