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Measuring Fitness

The goal of exercise is to ensure you are getting fitter and stronger. When this is combined to eating right for your metabolic type you will also lose body fat and gain muscle.

For motivation purposes it is important to view and focus on exercise in its own right and in terms of the benefits you are achieving. If you simply link exercise to changes in body fat then you may lose motivation if you are not losing fat (Not losing fat while exercising suggests your nutrition is incorrect for your body).

Measuring the different areas of exercise.

Exercise is made up from four areas. These are aerobic fitness, resistance training, flexibility and core strength.

Aerobic training

This is easy to measure as it is simply the time it takes to cover a certain distance. This could be on an exercise machine such as a bike or treadmill or something more personal to you, e.g. how long it takes to go around the valley, or to the big bridge and back etc.

Whatever you use as a measure simply go out and note how long it takes you to cover the distance and how hard it felt. This means you could do a maximal test, e.g. putting every effort you have into the test or a sub maximal test, e.g. how long it takes at a comfortable effort level.

Take an aerobic test every month at least. If you have not made improvements then you need to re-evaluate you exercise plan and long term structure.

Resistance training

This is the ability to move the body against a resistance. It is associated with lifting weights and it is again easy to measure. Simply pick a couple of exercises and note how many repetitions you can do and what weight / difficulty you have used.

For example you could say you have done 10 squats with weight 15, or 11 press ups off your knees.

Take an aerobic test every month at least. If you have not made improvements then you need to re-evaluate your exercise plan and long term structure.

Flexibility training

There are numerous ways to measure flexibility. For me the most functional would be the overhead squat using a towel. Simply try and do a squat as low as you can with a towel above your head. Stop immediately if you feel any pain and note the point at which you lose your perfect technique.

Retest each week and focus on stretching the tight areas preventing your deep overhead squat.

Core training

This exercise area is the foundation upon which resistance training is built. There are numerous tests you could do, e.g. holding a plank position, using a blood pressure cuff for core activation. My personal option would be to see how much weight you can lift squatting. This requires strong core strength.

Other measurements

If you perform any sports then there may be various other measurements you should take, e.g. vertical jump, sprint times etc. If your goal is body fat losses then you should take note of your clothes size and body fat levels. I would stay away from using your weight as a measurement parameter.

Take this attitude further for great results.

If you want to maximise the changes in your fitness parameters and body fat then consider working with through personal training here in London or On line


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