Ultra Fitness Challenge

How fit are you? Here’s another test I am going to have to try out and will be blogging my results soon! For now I’m putting it here for safekeeping!

This one is taken from Ultra Fitness Magazine Feb/March 2013.

Why do it?

According to Jenny Stamos Kovacs  “A body that can meet all five challenges with ease could someday have the strength and power to save your life – or at least, help you out of a tight situation.” That is certainly motivation for me.

1. THE CHIN UP CHALLENGE 

  WHY? 

A chin up is considered one of the most valuable measure of upper-body strength and muscular endurance. (A pull up is with the palms facing away from you instead of towards you and is considered by many to be even more difficult). You will find that so many people, men in particular obsess over their ability to push weight and focus on how much they can bench press etc, but they can’t match this ability on the chin-up bar (or with push-ups either sometimes .

HOW

Hands shoulder width apart, palms facing you. Bring yourself up until your chin clears the bar and make sure at the end of each rep that your elbows are fully extended. If you stay in this end position for more than three seconds without moving your body upwards you must end the test. Excessive swinging of the hips will also disqualify you.

SCORE

Out of shape: no reps

Average: Three to six reps

Fit: seven to 10 reps

Ultrafit: More than 10 reps

2. Push-Ups 

WHY

Excellent test for muscle endurance and a very functional exercise that mimics moves in everyday life.

SCORE

Out of shape: less than 20 reps

Average: 20 to 34 reps

Fit: 35 to 49 reps

Ultrafit: more than 49 reps

3. The Vertical Jump 

WHY

The vertical jump is a true test of short-term explosive power, showing how much power you have packed into the muscles of your lower body. Of particular interest this test can also be used to determine if your training is progressing or if you should be resting your muscles for longer in-between workouts. It is recommended that before a workout you measure your vertical-=jump test status and if it id down by fiver percent from your best jump, take some extra time to recover.

HOW

Stand against a wall on a flat surface. Reach up as high as you can marking this point with some chalk (“Standing reach”). Dip down quickly until your thighs are roughly parallel to the ground (don’t pause in this position or it cuts down the power) and then explode up as high as you can, marking your highest point. You get three chances. Measure the space between your standing reach and your highest mark.

SCORE

Out of shape: less than 400mm

Average: 400mm to 500mm

Fit: 501 mm to 700mm

Ultrafit: more than 700mm

4. Single-Leg Squat

WHY

Apart from measuring lower body strength this exercise measures balance and control as well as testing if both legs are equally strong.

HOW

Male sure you go down so your butt is in line with the bench. (Weights not needed).

SCORE

Out of Shape: Less than two reps

Average: Two to five reps

Fit: Six to 10 reps

Ultrafit: More than 10 reps

5. The one-mile challenge 

Brendan Brazier Vegan Athlete

WHY

This challenge measures your endurance and your body’s ability   to generate energy using oxygen. Aerobic endurance can be seen as the foundation for all other aspects of fitness.

HOW

Go to a track/path you know to be one mile (1.6 km) set your timer and take off.

SCORE

Out of shape: 10 minutes

Average: less than eight minutes

Fit: Less than seven minutes

Ultrafit: Less than six minutes

Go on and give it a go for yourself! and don’t be afraid to let me know how you did?

Advertisements

Fitness Goals – Pushups and Chin-ups!

I like this photo which I found on facebook from the group Female Health Motivation: Eat Clean Train Mean.

Reminds me of my fitness goals…I have many, many fitness goals but the top two right now both involve improving my upper body strength, which has been very slow going for me.

Goal one: 100 consecutive push-ups 

Achieve by: 50 by end of March, 100 by end of June! 

Right now…I can do a little over 20 consecutively… one of my personal trainers that I go to told me she thinks I can do 100 consecutively by the end of March this year! I think she is crazy, so secretly I am aiming for 50 by the end of March and 100 in 6 months…that will still be impressive to me. I can still remember only a couple of years ago when I could only do 1-2 push-ups… (on toes of course.)

I feel like being able to do so many pushups is especially empowering for a girl. I have skinny arms that look very useless but slowly i have managed to increase my strength and have found that it makes so many everyday movements such as carrying things and lifting so much easier.  Many girls don’t realise the value of increasing their strength in particular upper body, they are more concerned with simply looking slim (and therefore do a lot of cardio) and there is nothing wrong with that, however increasing your strength has so many benefits, in addition to making everyday tasks easier, it helps improve your posture, balance out your body and protect you from injuries.

How to achieve this goal? 

For a while I have been using this free app i downloaded onto my phone called 100 pushups. It breaks down pushups into sets and increases the sets each time.  For example my next attempt looks like this:

13, 12, 14, 12, 12, 11 with 60 seconds rest in between each set for a total of 74 pushups.

You are supposed to do this every second day….I admit that I only get around to doing it maybe once a week. I do pushups as part of my workouts often but the amount I can do is greatly affected when i am already fatigued. So the main issue will be simply reminding myself to practice every every second or at least every third day!

Goal Two: Perform 5 (unassisted) chin-ups

Achieve by: end of March 

Another goal I’ve had for a long time but until recently wasn’t really putting the effort that I should have into it! I guess because I hadn’t set a time. This is why you have to set very specific time for achieving goals by!

We all had to choose a fitness goal to reach by the end of our PT course and that will be in March…

so this is the one that I have put down. Currently I can do 2 chin ups on a good day….I don’t want to even say how long it took me to get to that point.

My training for this is to use the assisted chin-up machine at the gym where you use weight to help make it easier a few times a week. I also will jog down to a park near by me and attempt chin ups using the bars there, and then i do “reverse” chin ups where I will jump up till my chin is over the bar and then slowly lower myself down and repeat as many times as I can – this helps build the muscles. The other method is to jump up and then lower yourself down till your elbows are bent at 90 degrees and then hold in that position for as long as you can.

Hopefully the fact that I blogged about this will put more pressure (and motivate) on me to achieve these goals in time!