Push-ups: Drop and give us as many as possible until failure. Maintain proper form throughout. If you cheat, you’re done.
Top army recruits do 68 pushups in two minutes. Your upper body is buff if you can grunt out 40 to 50 in that time. Reduce by 20 per cent if you’re female.
Sit-ups: Lie with your feet flat on the floor, your knees bent 90 degrees, and your hands resting on your thighs. Curl your torso up, sliding your hands towards your knees, then lower yourself back down. Perform as many as you can in one minute, while keeping your feet on the floor.
A score of 40 reps per minute (rpm) is a sign of a solid core. The average for most gym-going men is 35 rpm and women is 20 rpm.
Squats: Keeping your knees behind your toes and your torso straight, bend your knees and lower yourself till your thighs are parallel to the floor. Slowly stand back up and repeat. Continue till failure or until you break form.
31 to 34 times for men, and 23 to 26 times for women shows your leg strength is average. Close in on 45 or 36, respectively, and it’s excellent.
2. Cardiovascular ftness 3-mnute sep tst: Find a 12- to 18-inch tall stool. Keep a consistent four-beat pace when you step up and down for three min straight. Rest for one min and then take your pulse for 30 secs. Now multiply the result by 5.6 and divide this into 18,000 (the duration of exercise in seconds multiplied by 100). This is your step-test score.
The higher your step-test score, the more efficient your body’s blood pump. Anything between 60 and 100 is deemed fit.
Sit and reach: Put a 12-inch ruler on top of a box so that half of it is hanging off. Now sit on the floor with your legs extended and your bare feet flat against the front of the box. (Your feet should be on either side of the ruler.) With hands overlapping and legs straight, lean forward as far as you can. Hold your stretch and note the distance between your fingertips and toes. (Negative numbers if you stop before your feet, positive if you reach beyond.)
If you can stretch 2 to 6 inches past your feet, you’re flexible. More than 6 inches and you’re downright elastic!
Shuttle run: Place two strips of tape three yards apart and set two books beyond the far strip, which we’ll call Mark #2. Standing on Mark #1, time the following sequence.
2. Sprint back to #1 and place the book right behind the tape.
3. Sprint back to #2 to grab the second book and return it to #1. Stop watch.
Under 10 seconds is speedy. Under 9 seconds is practically supersonic!
5. Power (Plyometric Ability) vertical jump: Wet the fingers of your right hand and stand with your right side touching a wall. Reach up with your right hand and mark the highest point you can touch. Now rewet your fingers and stand close to the wall again. This time jump with both legs and extend your right arm to touch the wall. Jump three times and note your highest mark. Your vertical leap is the difference in inches between your standing reach and your top jump mark.
The magic number is 20 inches for men, and 16 for women. Sky that high and your springs are in great shape.
Jamal Shaikh is Editor, Men’s Health. You may write in to him at firstname.lastname@example.org
Caveat: The physical exercises described in Treadmill are not recommendations. Readers should exercise caution and consult a physician before attempting to follow any of these.