Evaluating & Measuring Fitness

Evaluating & Measuring Fitness

Evaluating & Measuring Fitness
Determining fitness levels is important in order to see where you are and where you can go with improving your fitness. Checking body fat, muscular endurance, cardio fitness and flexibility are just a few ways to evaluate your physical fitness.

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    A , Fitness, answered
    Anyone interested in increasing performance or burning calories for weight loss. As long as the form is correct and the participant can keep up, it is a great way to burn calories and get faster in most sports. Power training is demanding on all joints and one should rest enough and recover before repeating.  Only a certified trainer would help you follow a strategy program with a structured routine. Plyometric or power training is not the best choice for growing children or older people. It puts a lot of stress on the knees and hips. When trainining for power, timing and body weight matter so good mechanics must be used to perform in alignment without any compensations. NASM programs provide great sequences of exercises to follow in an order so that you are improving without getting injured. Sometimes it takes time and dedication to follow a program which might not work for everybody, but you can find your program through trial and error or hire a trainer to develop one for you based on an assessment. Remember that power or plyometrics should not be used everyday. If you do, make sure you are not using the same exercises or muscles.
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    The circumference of your waist may trump body-mass index (BMI) or body weight to gauge your risk for developing diabetes, especially if you’re a woman. According to a study published by PloS Medicine, non-obese people with large waists are at a higher risk for the disease. A large waist is 35 inches or more in a woman, for men, 40. Get out the tape measure, then get to the gym.
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    A Fitness, answered on behalf of
    Yes, but what is happening to you is every bodybuilder’s dream. If your statistics are correct, you’ve gained over 10LBS (estimating your weight at over 150 lbs.) of lean body mass (LBM) while reducing more than 3% body fat (lost 4.5LBS body fat). With this much muscle gain during body fat loss, it appears you may be fairly new to resistance training and must be taking your supplements (e.g. vitamins, pre/post training formulas). Muscle is great to add because it helps you burn more fat, but at some point your LBM gains should dramatically slow down while your fat continues to drop. At 28% body fat you have plenty to lose (if you want to) and you probably are happy with the amount of muscle you have acquired. You can therefore reduce your calorie intake by at least 500 calories daily and body fat should start dropping faster while muscle gains slow down. If your weight plateaus, you may continue to drop calories in order to restart the process or better yet, increase daily activities and/or cardio time.
    Stay with this formula until you hit your goal, and you will succeed! And always remember, the lighter you are, the fewer calories your body burns during all activities. To make sure you stay on goal, use the Free Sharecare Fitness Application. You can set your goals and create the ideal program including individualized menus, proper calorie and protein requirements, meal timing, exercises that you choose to perform, ideal supplement recommendation and coaching/feedback all the way till you reach your goal. Click here for access: http://www.sharecare.com/home/coach.
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    Gait analysis is a test performed by a specialized foot or fitness professional to monitor the motion of your body during walking or running. It is used to determine whether your body is in proper alignment and functioning optimally. Improper alignment of the foot can lead to additional posture and joint issues. Observing the feet first and then moving up the body to the knees, hips, core, shoulders and head can help to determine the cause of other movement concerns throughout the body.
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    The Shark Skill test measures agility and neuromuscular control in the lower extremities. Start by making a grid of squares three rows by three columns. You can use tape to mark this area on the ground, large enough for your foot to fit inside each square. Number each square cross ways 1, 2, 3, then 4, 5, 6, then 7, 8, 9, and then stand in square number five. Create a designated pattern, such as hopping to each number in order but going back to five in between each. Time yourself performing the pattern, hopping on one foot, with your hands on your hips. Repeat on the other foot. Add 0.10 seconds for each of the following: other leg touches the ground, hands fall off hips, foot goes in wrong square, foot does not come back to center square. Reassess every couple weeks/months to measure improvements.
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    The most common method for testing lower body strength is to estimate the one-rep maximum (1RM) on the leg press.
    • Good form should be utilized throughout the test: feet shoulder-width and pointing forward, knees in line with toes (when legs are bent), and low back in a neutral position.
    • Start out by doing 8-10 repetitions with a light weight that can easily be performed independently.
    • Rest for one minute and then add 30-40 pounds and lift three to five times.
    • Rest for two minutes and then add 30-40 pounds more and lift again for 3-5 repetitions. Continue this step until you reach a weight that you cannot lift five times with proper form.
    • Use a “one-rep max estimation chart” to calculate your 1 RM, based on the amount of weight and number of times lifted.
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    A , Fitness, answered
    Your specific needs and conditions will make your best progression unique. Follow these basics for safe and effective strength training:
    • Start with a single set with a light weight you can do 15-20 times. 
    • Focus on exercises for major muscles. 
    • Lift twice a week with at least 48 hours between sessions. 
    • After two weeks, increase your number of sets to two.
    • After another two weeks, increase your total sets to three or increase your weight so you can lift just 10-12 times. 
    • Depending on your time constraints you may choose to keep it at two sets or increase to three. 
    Progressing safely takes weeks, even months. Don't rush this stage, since your joints and ligaments will be less likely to be injured with a smart progression. 
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    The most common method for testing upper body strength is to estimate one-rep maximum on the bench press.

    • For safety purposes, this test always requires a spotter. Additionally, good form should be utilized throughout the test: feet straight ahead, low back neutral, hips remain in contact with the bench.
    • Start out by doing 8-10 repetitions with a light weight that can easily be performed independently.
    • Rest for one minute and then add 10-20 pounds and lift three to five times.
    • Rest for two minutes and then add 10-20 pounds more and lift again for 3-5 repetitions. Continue this step until you reach a weight that you cannot lift five times with proper form.
    • Use a “one-rep max estimation chart” to calculate your 1 RM, based on the amount of weight and number of times lifted.
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    A , Cardiology (Cardiovascular Disease), answered

    Wondering just how strong your abdominal muscles are? Lie on the floor in standard push-up position with your toes on the ground, but with your elbows on the ground instead of your hands (the classic "plank" position). Maintain a straight line through your body with no arch in your back. Keep your head down and in line with your back. Hold that position for as long as you can.
    If you lasted less than 15 seconds: The core muscles in your abdominals and lower back are on the weak side, meaning you're more vulnerable to suffering from acute or chronic lower-back pain.
    If you lasted 15 - 45 seconds: You've got a nice foundation of strength, which will help protect your back, but there's still room for improvement.
    If you lasted more than 45 seconds: Wow, can I see your abs?

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    A , Internal Medicine, answered
    To measure your lower-back flexibility, sit on the floor with your legs straight out in front of you and slightly spread apart. With one hand on top of the other and fingertips lined up, lean forward and reach for your feet. Women 45 and under should be able to reach two to four inches past their feet. Older women should be able to reach to the soles. Men age 45 and under should be able to reach to the soles. Older men should be able to come within three to four inches of the soles.
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