How Fit Are You?

Three classic exercises to test your strength

October 26, 2012
Woman on the track

See how you stack up with other women in your age-group by doing these three classic exercise tests, adapted from The American College of Sports Medicine's Complete Guide to Fitness & Health, by Barbara Bushman, Ph.D. Then use your results to determine your starting point for our age-defying workout.

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The pushup is a basic body-weight move that gauges your muscular strength. Place your hands directly under your shoulders and extend your legs behind you, knees on the floor. Bend your elbows to lower your chest to within an inch of the floor, keeping your back flat, then press back to start. Do as many as you can with proper form in two minutes. (Track your progress with Fit Tracker, our free online fitness tool)

6 Power Moves That Boost Your Speed, Strength, Metabolism

Level: Needs Improvement/Fair
Ages 20-29: <14
Ages 30-39: <12
Ages 40-49: <10

Level: Good
Ages 20-29: 15-20
Ages 30-39: 13-19
Ages 40-49: 11-14

Level: Very Good/Excellent
Ages 20-29: 21+
Ages 30-39: 20+
Ages 40-49: 15+

Position a measuring tape on the floor with a 12-inch piece of tape across it at the 15-inch mark. Sit barefoot on the floor with your back straight and feet about a foot apart, heels on the edges of the tape. Reach forward (without bouncing) as far down the tape as you can. Try two or three times and count your longest reach. (Video: 5 total-body moves to try)

Get Lean Legs

Level: Needs Improvement/Fair
Ages 18-25: <18”
Ages 26-35: <18”
Ages 36-45: <16”

Level: Good
Ages 18-25: 19-20”
Ages 26-35: 19-20”
Ages 36-45: 17-18”

Level: Very Good/Excellent
Ages 18-25: 21+”
Ages 26-35: 20+”
Ages 36-45: 19+”

This test estimates your VO2 max, a measure of aerobic capacity, or how easy it would be for you to maintain a sustained effort. Walk as fast as you can (without jogging) for one mile. Record your time and heart rate. (Right after the test, find your pulse and count the number of beats in 15 seconds. Multiply that by four.) Use this formula to get your score:

132.853--(0.1692 x weight in kilograms)--(0.3877 x age in years)--(3.2649 x time in minutes)--(0.1565 x heart rate in beats per minute)

To calculate your weight in kilograms, multiple your weight in pounds by 0.454.

Simple Medicine Ball Moves

Level: Needs Improvement/Fair
Ages 20-29: <39.4
Ages 30-39: <37.6
Ages 40-49: <35.8

Level: Good
Ages 20-29: 39.5-43.8
Ages 30-39: 37.7-42.3
Ages 40-49: 35.9-39.5

Level: Very Good/Excellent
Ages 20-29: 43.9+
Ages 30-39: 42.4+
Ages 40-49: 39.6+