Fitness Evaluation

Heart Rate Evaluation: The purpose is to measure frequency of your heart's contractions. It is measured in beats per minute (BPM). Measure your heart rate by placing your fingertips on a pulse site such as your carotid artery or inside your wrist. If you have a stethoscope, position the bell on the third intercostal space to the left of your sternum. Heart rate watches and monitors consist of a chest strap containing electrodes which register your heart beat. These devices cost between $150.00 and $300.00. Heart rates range from 40 to 100 BPM. The average for men is 70 BPM. Women average 75 BPM. Endurance athletes generally have lower resting heart rates, but not always. Resting heart rate is most accurately measured before rising from your bed in the morning. During the day, be seated 15 minutes prior to taking your count. Your pulse should be taken for 60 seconds. Or, take it for 30 seconds and double the number. Exercise heart rate should be taken for 6 seconds so you may return to your activity. Multiply your total by 10. The product is your exercise BPM. Body Composition

Body Composition Evaluation: The purpose for measuring your body composition is to determine your percent body fat in comparison to your total body weight. Excess body fat is a secondary risk factor for coronary artery disease (CAD). Hydrostatic weighing is considered the "gold standard" for measuring body fat. Your body density is calculated from the relationship between your normal body weight and your underwater weight. Fat weights less than water. Bioelectrical impedance measures your body fat by passing an electric current from your finger to your toe. The conductivity of an electrical impulse is faster through lean tissue than through fat. You should be well hydrated, not have exercised within 6 hours, and consumed no alcohol 24 hours before the test, for an accurate reading. Skinfold measurements are based on the presumption that 50 percent of your total body fat is just below your skin. The experimenter pinches 3 sites on your body. For men these include your chest, abdomen and thigh. The average percent body fat for men is 12 to 18 percent. For women the sites are your triceps, suprailliac, and thigh. Women average between 18 and 25 percent body fat.

Waist to Hip Ratio Evaluation: The more weight you carry in your belly, the higher your risk for CAD. Use a tape measure to assess your waist and hips in inches. Divide your waist by your hip measurement. If your waist is 36 inches and your hips are 42 inches (36/42 = .85), this signifies a moderate/high risk for CAD. High CAD risk for men is greater than 1.0. For women, high risk is greater than .85.

Push-up Test: The purpose of the push up test is to measure muscular endurance. Perform as many push ups as possible. Do not rest in either the up or down position.Men assume the standard push up position with their knees straight. Hands are shoulder width apart. Chests come 3 inches from the floor with each repetition. Women rest their knees on the floor. An excellent score for men is over 50 push ups. Thirty is an excellent score for women.

Bench Press Test: This is another muscular endurance test. The weight is set at 80 pounds. Lie on a flat bench. A metronome is set at 60 BPM. Spotter are present for safety. Repetitions are counted when your elbows are fully extended (not locked), and the bar comes down to your chest. The test is concluded when you cannot maintain form, or lose the beat of the metronome. An excellent score for men is 37 repetitions. For women the test is identical except the weight is set at 35 pounds. An excellent score for women is 35 repetitions.

Canadian Crunch Test: The purpose of this test is to measure muscular endurance of your abdominal area. Lie on your back with your arms extended to your sides. Place a strip of tape on the floor at the end of your fingertips. Place another piece of tape 3 inches away from the first strip. To perform a proper crunch, curl your rib cage toward your pelvis. Your fingers move from one strip of tape to the next. Perform as many crunches as possible to a 40 BPM metronome. The test is completed when you cannot execute another crunch. An excellent score for men is 60. Women receive an outstanding score after performing 50 repetitions.

Trunk Flexion Test: The purpose of the trunk flexion test is to measure flexibility of your lower back and hamstrings. Take your shoes off and sit with your knees straight and your feet 12 inches apart. Place a yardstick between your legs with the 15 inch mark even with your feet. The 0 inch mark should be closer to your knees. Place one of your hands on top of the other. The tips of your fingers are aligned. Exhale and slowly lean forward by dropping your head toward your arms. Your fingers slide over the yardstick. Take the best of three measurements. An excellent score for men is greater than 20 inches. A superior grade for women is more than 24 inches.

Hip Flexion Test: The purpose of the hip flexion test is to determine if your hip flexors (the muscles that lift your knees) are too tight. Lie on your back. Maintain a flat lower back while grabbing behind your left knee. Pull your left knee to your chest. Normal flexibility is indicated when your right leg remains flat on the floor. Your hip flexors are considered tight if you attempt to lift your left knee toward your chest, and your right leg leaves the floor. Repeat with your other leg.