Wellness Wednesday #42: Fitness Test

buttonOne of my health goals this year is to improve my overall strength. I’ve lost a lot of strength as I’ve gained weight and since my foot prevented me from doing many exercises. I need to get that back, and to evaluate my progress, I took a specific fitness test. This fitness test is one I first came across in May 2013, back when my weight was still all trim in the 150s. Since then, I’ve taken the test six times, including this past weekend. Before this last test, the last time I took it was at the beginning of 2015. In all my previous tests, my weights have ranged from 158 to 170 – in other words, far below my current 225 lbs. That, of course, affected many parts of this test, especially the exercises that involved pushing/pulling/holding up my entire body weight. Still, I was surprised to find that despite the 60 lbs of gain, I’m not doing too badly in terms of strength.


(look at me back then!)

Pull-ups: I knew this one would be severely affected both by my heavier weight and by my major abdominal surgery in 2014. Indeed, my highest pull-up count was just before surgery with 4, and I haven’t been able to do more than 1 since then. I’m currently unable to do any, so I took my hanging time instead. It’s a paltry 12 seconds. I really want that to improve!!

Push-ups: Ditto the body weight thing. I could only do 8 push-ups. Previous tests have ranged from 15 to 32. I have a long way to go!

Toe touch: This is one area in which I’ve improved – yay yoga! I can reach 7 inches past my toes with straight legs, and hold it there no problem. Previous tests show in the 3-4 inch range.

V-crunches (no hands): This is another one affected by my abdominal surgery. My abs are just not what they used to be. Still, I managed 16 of these without putting hands or feet down, and previous numbers were only around 21, so I’m not doing as bad as I thought here!

Wall squat: I expected to last less than 30 seconds on this exercise. When I hit 1:09, I was extremely surprised. The highest time I’d gotten previously was only 1:23, and my time today was longer than almost every other test score. Woot!

Arm curls: This is a to-failure exercise, and you have to estimate the poundage to use. When I first started taking these tests, I used 10 lbs in each hand and could only do 14 curls before my muscles gave out. I later upped the weights to 15/hand as my strength grew, but I knew that wouldn’t work out now, so I dropped back to 10. Still, I got 23 curls in before failure, so my arms are apparently stronger than they were at my lowest weight of these tests. Again, yay yoga! I’m guessing all those downward dogs are improving my arm strength, haha.

There were two exercises I had to skip on this test – vertical leap and a jumping jacks heart rate test – due to my foot injury (nothing high impact! jumping is out!). Generally, though, I have a good baseline to work on, with a plan to re-take this test on a quarterly basis.

About Amanda

Writing. Family. Books. Crochet. Fitness. Fashion. Fun. Not necessarily in that order. Note: agender (she/her).
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14 Responses to Wellness Wednesday #42: Fitness Test

  1. Word Lily says:

    Sounds good! I’m working really hard on getting pullups, staying late at the gym every time I go doing things that will help me get there, eventually, for about the past month.


    • Amanda says:

      That’s awesome! I really need to get more weight off before I’ll be able to do much more than hang on the bar. I’m back to calorie-counting, which isn’t my favorite, but other tactics aren’t working, so hopefully this can get the ball started rolling, you know?


      • Word Lily says:

        It still might take me forever; by the scale I still weigh a lot (BMI 29.7), but I’m only about 1 size off — in any/everything — from what I was at my lowest weights ever (when my BMI was about 20). But I am so strong now, already, compared to what I’ve ever been. I honestly don’t know what I should use as a target.


      • Word Lily says:

        I know calorie counting isn’t fun, but you’re limited in what else you can do right now, so you do what you can. And once you get started, it’ll keep going, this time, I believe, yes.

        And you’re going to get stronger too. It’s awesome that you’re stronger already than you thought you were, and you’ll get even stronger as you keep working on it. 🙂 And the body weight work will obviously get easier as you lose weight, too.


      • Amanda says:

        I’m just not sure what I can really do. I worry that calorie counting won’t help either. My insulin is crazy out of control and that doesn’t make things easy, you know? Stupid PCOS. I thought paleo might be an answer a few years back, but after a couple months of it, my body started rebelling against it, and now I get really sick if I eat that way more than a couple days, and I start piling on weight if I stop eating that way after a few days. It’s maddening!

        I’ve been so excited to see how far you’ve come and that you’ve found something that really works for you. You look so happy!


  2. Kailana says:

    Good luck working on your strength training!


  3. czesiachet says:

    I’m really impressed with 8 push-ups! I can’t even do one! I think this test!


  4. Michelle says:

    This is why I want to start Crossfit. I have never been able to do a single pull-up, but I SO want to do one. As for push-ups? I could do real push-ups only once in my adult life. When I went to my first class, it was modified push-ups until my arms gave out. I’m really impressed with the strength you still have! Just imagine how strong you will be as the weight drops!


    • Amanda says:

      I really want to do Crossfit too, and I wonder if I can maybe after my foot heals. Maybe in the meantime I can use yoga and body weight exercises to get strong enough to last a first Crossfit class, haha!


      • Hi Amanda! Regarding crossfit, I’ve never been a fan. In fact, my brother is a fitness trainer and he doesn’t recommend it because you can quickly do some real damage if you don’t already have good form a baseline of strength to build from. I’ve actually talked to multiple personal trainers who say this. In my opinion, strength training is a good start, and it sounds like you are well on your way!


      • Amanda says:

        Thanks for the advice! I’ve heard a lot of reports good and bad about crossfit and it seems like it depends heavily on the trainers and facility. Unfortunately there’s only one option in my area so if it’s not a good one, I’m out of luck. However, I do have a pretty good foundation in ST over many years, so if I can build my strength back up, I hope to avoid any more injury!


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