Making the decision to exercise can be a great choice. There are many benefits to exercising, such as stress relief, building muscle, stronger bones, and increased cardiovascular health. However, these benefits are just the beginning. Starting to exercise can come with a lot of questions.
- How do I get started?
- What plan should I follow?
- What type of exercise should I perform?
It's a lot of think about when first getting started. For the purpose of this article, we'll primarily base everything around working out, such as lifting weights and some form of cardio. Taking a fitness test is something that is often overlooked by beginners but can be helpful to get started.
- Fitness tests create a baseline to start your plan. Source: Dex Ezekiel, Unsplash
Why Take a Fitness Test?
One of the best reasons to take a fitness before exercising is to create a baseline. You won't know if you're improving without testing yourself. These tests typically should be performed every three months. For each test, you can track how well your performing. It's also going to show areas of your fitness you need to work on. This could be strength, flexibility and cardio.
A good fitness plan should incorporate all 3 of those aspects above. The average person is just looking to increase their fitness level. They're not looking to become professional bodybuilders or professional runners. Taking a fitness test that looks like a generalization of fitness areas is an excellent way to ensure you're improving.
A fitness test is an excellent tool to track performance and see if you're improving. For instance, how do you know you're getting better without creating a baseline. Another question that occurs is, are you improving? As you exercise, you should be improving. You should see increased strength, flexibility and cardiovascular. If you're not improving, your exercise plan needs to be addressed.
What Fitness Plan to Take?
There are a number of fitness tests out there to track performance. It's also going to require what your fitness goals are. As we mentioned above, most people in the gym are looking to increase their fitness overall. But there is fitness test for some professions in Canada such as military, police officer or firefighter. These tests require a different specific type of training to pass the test effectively.
A basic test you can do at home or in the gym we'll list down below
- 12 Minute Run Test
- Sit and Reach
Performing these exercises is an excellent way to judge your overall fitness level before exercise.
Push-ups - assess upper body strength
Squats - assess lower body strength,
Sit-ups - assess core strength
Sit and reach - asses flexibility
12-minute Run Test - assess cardiovascular fitness.
- 12-minute run test is a good way to test your cardiovascular fitness level. Source: Andrea Piacquadio, Pexels
You'll want to perform each exercise for 60 seconds. Complete as many reps as you can. Be sure to write down the numbers either on the computer or on a sheet of paper. This creates your starting baseline. It's also going to highlight what you need to work on.
With these exercises above, you can also compare your results to the Canadian average. You can see what areas you need t to improve on.
A Few Notes Before Starting
- Always speak with the right professional when it comes to exercising. They can give you the appropriate recommendations for your body
- Stop when feeling dizzy or lightheaded
- Don't perform other exercises after your fitness test or before
- Have a friend with you
Expected Outcomes for a Fitness Test
Whatever the number is for your fitness test you could be below average or above, it's okay. The fitness test isn't to say your good at exercising or bad. It's simply a tool for starting. Of course, still, try your best at the fitness test. It's important to get a real baseline for starting. As we mentioned above you'll continually take the fitness test every so often. As long as you're improving you're on the right path.
On the other hand, if you're numbers aren't improving, it's time to evaluate. Was there something comprising your fitness numbers today? It could have been your energy level was low, you have an injury or anything else along those lines. if this is the case schedule the test for another day. If you have no other reason why you could have done poorly on your fitness test you need to evaluate your plan. It could be not effective or your not putting in the workload to see results. This is one of the more important reasons for fitness testing. Your fitness program should get results. There are other benefits to programming, but that's the main one. Re-evaluate your fitness program and test again.
Goals and Your Fitness Test
Your fitness test should be based on your goals. If you want to improve your strength, you need to test for it. If you want to improve your cardiovascular you need to test for it. The example of a fitness test we gave below gives you an excellent overall baseline to work with you.
Goals are something that should be looked at before enrolling in a fitness test. You want to ensure you'll have the right results to work with accurately. After your fitness test, you can assess the areas you need to work on and exercise accordingly.
Personal Training and Fitness Testing
Fitness tests are a standard tool used by all trainers or coaches. Like we have mentioned throughout this article, they use a fitness test for all the same reasons. They want to see where their athletes or clients are starting. In fitness, it's so important to know where you're going. A fitness test ensures you're training appropriately and getting results through exercising.
All personal trainers you work with should incorporate a fitness test at the beginning of your training program and then again at the end. The goal of a fitness test is to improve your fitness level.
If you want to start working with a personal trainer, Superprof is here to help. They have 100s of personal trainers all over Canada that are ready to work with you. Superprof's trainers have the experience and knowledge to teach you everything you need to know. They also offer sessions online and in-person, giving you the freedom and flexibility to have a session when you want. Now is the perfect time to work with a trainer. They can help you with any fitness goal you may have and perform a fitness test.
- Fitness tests help you track progress. Source: Andrea Boncota, Unsplash
Start Your Own Path
A fitness test is a great way to start on your own path. You should perform a fitness test when you start your new training plan, in the middle and end. The goal of any fitness plan is to get results. So whether that's losing weight, building muscle, strength or flexibility, you want to make sure you're improving.
Remember to always consult with the right professional in Canada to ensure your exercising safely. You want the best information for you. Fitness testing can help you track your progress better. Something beginners often don't use is writing down their plan. Fitness testing can be the start of tracking your progress each week to see results. If you have never done a fitness test now, it is the perfect time to start.
If you're looking for more advice around fitness and nutrition. We have written several other articles on those topics. Check out the articles below to explore more.
- Importance of Nutrition and Fitness
- Calculating Your Basal Metabolic Rate
- Manage Your Caloric Intake with These Tips
- Calculating Your Body Mass Index
- Personal Trainers Tips on Nutrition