Get full access to Outside Learn, our online education hub featuring in-depth fitness and nutrition courses and more than 2,000 instructional videos when you sign up for Outside+.
Exactly how fit are you? How do you measure up? Find out with these next-level self-trials from Autumn Calabrese, Beachbody trainer and author of Lose Weight Like Crazy Even If You Have a Crazy Life.
5 Fitness Tests to Push You Harder
1. Push Your Upper Limits
“A traditional push-up test gauges strength and endurance in your chest, triceps and core,” Calabrese says. More effective, though, is a dead-stop push-up, which erases any upward assistance you’d get from your natural stretch reflex.
The Test: Assume a push-up position with your hands on the floor just outside your shoulders and your legs extended behind you; your head, hips and heels should align. Bend your elbows and lower your body all the way to the floor. Lift your hands off the ground for one second, then replace them and extend your arms to rise to the start. You’re done when your form begins to break down.
- >25 reps: excellent
- 16-25 reps: good
- 10-15 reps: average
- <10 reps: below average
Push-ups need some work? Check out our 30-day Fitness Quest designed to solve that problem. By the end of the month, you’ll be repping out 50 — or close to it — unbroken.
2. WALL + BALL
“The wall squat measures lower-body strength and muscular endurance,” Calabrese explains. Level up by squeezing a medicine ball between your thighs to increase lower-body and core recruitment.
The Test: Stand a few feet in front of a wall with your feet shoulder-width apart. Lean against the wall with your back straight, bend your knees and slide down until your thighs are parallel to the floor. Place the ball between your thighs and squeeze them together. When you can’t hold the position any longer, stand up, rest two to three minutes, and then repeat the test twice more. Your score is your best time out of three.
- >60 sec: excellent
- 45-60 sec: good
- 30-45 sec: average
- <30 sec: below average
3. DOUBLE YOUR DEXTERITY
“A T-test measures speed, agility and power in multiple directions,” Calabrese says. This iteration replaces the lateral shuffle with Carioca, adding rotation to the mix.
The Test: Place three cones in a line 10 yards apart. Set a fourth cone 20 yards away from and perpendicular to the center cone.
Grab a friend and a timer. At the word “go,” sprint from Cone A to Cone B, touching it with your right hand. Carioca laterally to Cone C and touch it with your left hand. Carioca to Cone D and touch it with your right hand. Carioca to Cone B, touch it with your left hand and run backward past Cone A to stop the clock.
- <10.5 sec: excellent
- 10.5-11.5 sec: good
- 11.5-12.5 sec: average
- >12.5 sec: below average
4. RAISE YOUR ROM
“The sit-and-reach test gives you a general sense of hamstring flexibility,” Calabrese says. “But this straight-leg raise test is not influenced by your natural arm and leg length.”
The Test: Grab a partner and a yardstick or pole. Lie faceup with your legs straight. Keeping your right leg on the floor, raise your left leg as high as possible without arching your lower back or bending your knee. Have your partner hold the yardstick vertically alongside your left ankle. Where the stick aligns in relation to your extended leg indicates your score.
- hips (90 degrees): excellent
- top of thigh: good
- above knee: average
- below knee: below average
5. ENDURO PLANK
“A plank test is a great way to determine core strength and endurance,” Calabrese says. This version increases the duration to three minutes and adds some hand/foot lifts to challenge your balance.
The Test: Get into plank with your hands underneath your shoulders and your head, hips and heels aligned. Hold 60 seconds. Lift your right arm and hold 15 seconds. Repeat on the left. Next, lift your right leg and hold 15 seconds. Repeat on the left. Now, lift your right hand and left foot simultaneously and hold 15 seconds. Repeat with the opposite limbs. Finally, hold plank 30 seconds more. You’re done when your form begins to break down or you lose your balance and fall out of position. How long you last is your score.
3 min (unbroken): excellent
2-3 min: good
1-2 min: average
<1 min: below average