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Fitness Theory and Practice. CrossFit's rationale & foundations. Who is fit? What is fitness?

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Old 07-07-2005, 02:21 PM   #1
Jeremy Jones
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Found this article here for measuring fitness:

(Some of the charts may be hard to read unless you go to the actual site)

http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/Dumm...e/id-2995.html

Testing your strength

Fear not: You won't be required to do one-arm push-ups or lift a barbell that weighs more than your dad. Strength tests are simply designed to give you a starting point. If you get started on a good weight-lifting program and stick to it, you're likely to see dramatic changes when you take another fitness test in two or three months.

Most health clubs don't take true strength measurements; in other words, they don't measure the absolute maximum amount of weight you're capable of lifting. Going for your "max" can be dangerous and can cause more than a little muscle soreness. Instead, gyms test your muscular endurance: how many times you can move a much lighter weight. You can do many of these tests at home. Having a friend count for you and make sure you're doing the exercise correctly is a help. Here are some common muscular endurance measures.

Measuring your upper-body strength
Count how many push-ups you can do without stopping or losing good form. For this test, men do military push-ups, with their legs out straight and toes on the floor. Women do modified push-ups, with their knees bent and feet off the floor. Lower your entire body at once until your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Pull your abdominals in to prevent your back from sagging. Do this test correctly! One guy we watched didn't have the strength to lower his body all the way, so he just bobbed his head up and down.

Use Table 1 or Table 2 to find out how you stack up against other people of your age and gender.

Table 1: Push-Ups — Men

Age:
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60+

Excellent
55+
45+
40+
35+
30+

Good
45-54
35-44
30-39
25-34
20-29

Average
35-44
25-34
20-29
15-24
10-19

Fair
20-34
15-24
12-19
8-14
5-9

Low
0-19
0-14
0-11
0-7
0-4


Table 2: Push-Ups — Women

Age:
20-29
30-39
40-49
50-59
60+

Excellent
49+
40+
35+
30+
20+

Good
34-48
25-39
20-34
15-29
5-19

Average
17-33
12-24
8-19
6-14
3-4

Fair
6-16
4-11
3-7
2-5
1-2

Low
0-5
0-3
0-2
0-1
0


Some health clubs also measure upper-body strength on a free-weight bench press or a chest-press machine. The amount of weight doesn't matter, as long as you use the same weight every time you get tested. You simply do as many repetitions as you can.

Measuring your abdominal strength
The strength of your abdominal muscles is usually measured by a crunch test. (However, this test isn't recommended if you have a history of lower-back problems.)


Place two pieces of masking tape about halfway down the length of a mat, one directly behind the other, about 2-1/2 inches apart. Lie on your back on the mat with your arms at your sides and your fingertips touching the rear edge of the back piece of tape. Bend your knees and place your feet flat on the floor. Curl your head, neck, and shoulder blades upward, sliding your palms along the floor until your fingertips touch the front edge of the front piece of tape. Return to the starting position and keep going until you're too tired to continue or you can't reach the tape. Don't cheat by sliding your arms without moving your body or by moving only one side of your body.

Use Tables 3 and 4 to gauge the results of your crunch test.

Table 3: Crunches — Men

Age:
Under 35
36-45
Over 45

Excellent
60
50
40

Good
45
40
25

Marginal
30
25
15

Needs work
15
10
5


Table 4: Crunches — Women

Age:
Under 35
36-45
Over 45

Excellent
50
40
30

Good
40
25
15

Marginal
25
15
10

Needs work
10
6
4


Measuring your lower-body strength
The strength of your lower-body muscles is often measured on a leg-extension machine, which targets your front-thigh muscles. (This machine is sort of like a big chair with a high back.) Some clubs test lower-body strength on other machines; others don't test your lower-body strength at all.

You can test the strength of your thigh and butt muscles at home by doing an exercise called a squat. If you're a woman, you hold a 5-pound dumbbell in each hand with your arms hanging down at your sides, and if you're a man, use 15-pound dumbbells. If you're a novice, skip the weight and place your hands on your hips.

There are few standard norms for this test, so just use your results as a basis of comparison for future evaluations.
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:31 AM   #2
Fran Mason
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Women are supposed to do knee push-ups? Sheesh! How'm I supposed to rate my 15+ "military" push-ups? :happy:

Ironic that a fitness test would pooh-pooh being able to lift a heavy weight. I'm kind of proud of being able to "lift a barbell that weighs more than my dad," yet I am certainly not off the charts in the fitness department.
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:39 AM   #3
Alex McClung
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Interesting scale.

I'd imagine a straw poll of elite fitness devotees would place the dummies' "excellent" score somewhere around "Beginner" on the Crossfit scale.
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:53 AM   #4
Jeff Martin
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Low expectations yield insignificant results.
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Old 07-08-2005, 02:47 PM   #5
Jeremy Jones
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^^ You said it Jeff ^^

There was another article linked at the bottom of the first one that talks about "Gym Etiquette" (etiquette is harder to spell than 'masquerade').


Heh, it was kind of like reading "How to get kicked out of your gym in 10 steps or less" but in reverse.




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Old 07-08-2005, 03:16 PM   #6
Russ Greene
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Couch sez I kneed to wurk on my jim eteekit if I wandt two be a krawsifit trayner. It's interesting how the favored exercises (crunches, pushups, leg extension) for testing strength all focus on the front of the body, almost entirely ignoring the more important back.

Preeviosly Mescarayding az Ross Greenberg
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Old 07-08-2005, 10:23 PM   #7
Laura Rucker
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Jeff IS right. I can already do more pushups than the "average" man in my age category. Forgeddabout crunches. ;)
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Old 07-09-2005, 10:46 PM   #8
Ray Cooper
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Suspiciously as intelligent as military fitness testing.
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Old 07-10-2005, 02:30 PM   #9
Eric Cimrhanzel
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Ray, military fitness testing is now intelligent? Since when?! ;-)

Hey, the Marines do have pullups, though! but they still have crunches, too...
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