I know someone who can bench press 500 pounds, but gets exhausted when
he carries groceries up the stairs. #ThatsNOTwhyyoulift
C'mon, let's leave the bench press contests for another day.
Here are 3 fitness tests to go after with tenacity if you find
yourself in a rut or want to know your starting point...
Fitness Test # 1 - The Core Test
Can you hold a plank for a full 2 minutes?
I'm talking about maintaining those abs braced hard, not letting
your hips sag AT ALL. Can't hold it for 2 minutes? Let's get that
core stronger. Add in these moves 2-3 times a week into your routine...
Mountain Climbers (at a SLOW pace)
X-Body Mountain Climbers
Ab Wheel Rollouts
Variety of Planks
High-Rep DB Rows
Here's an ab finisher you can plug into your routine twice a
week to improve your core strength and endurance (while building
a bullet-proof back).
It's not fancy - VERY simple.
Do the following superset 3 times, resting for 30 seconds after
Ab Wheel or Stability Ball Rollouts (10)
Spiderman Climb (8/side)
Then rest 1 minute followed by ONE plank to failure. Try to improve
your time each week on the plank.
Fitness Test # 2 - Bodyweight Squat Test
This will test lower body muscular endurance.
Sit on a chair with your knees bent, feet flat on the floor just
outside shoulde our legs should show a 90-degree angle.
Sit back down until you're on the chair or bench.
Repeat as many times as you can using just your legs (no hands
on your knees for leverage). Once you can't keep a tempo of taking
1 second to come up and 2 seconds to lower yourself, you're done.
Not there yet? No problem. Here's how to fix it...
You might have muscular imbalances. Start doing single leg
work like a variety of lunges, split squats and the evil Bulgarian
Split Squats. Replace your normal squats with one of those.
If you're behind a desk all day, then focus on bringing your
knees out to the sides as you lower yourself into a bodyweight squat.
You have tight hips and you need to unlock those.
Fitness Test # 3 - The Pushup Test
You guessed it - you'll be testing your upper body muscular
endurance. Your pushing muscles allow you to... push stuff.
It's simple... Do as many pushups as you can (your chest needs to
be only about 2-3 inches from the floor for it to count). Use a tempo
of 1 second to go down and 1 second to come up. Once you break that
tempo, you're done.
Also - keep those elbows tucked (you'll save your shoulders).
Don't measure up?
It's simple - practice pushups. That, and include a variety of DB
Chest Presses into your program, focusing on the eccentric
Take the DB Chest Press for example. Take about 5 seconds to
lower the weight and one second to press it up. This will tax your
muscles more, while building up endurance.
The same goes for pushups - focus on eccentric pushups. So take
about 4 seconds to lower yourself, and one second to come up.
You'll jack up your endurance while at the same time, fry your
abs. You're very welcome.
Have fun with those tests and remember - you don't have to become
a legend with all of them. Focus on one goal at a time.
Challenge yourself leaner and get out of your rut
David E Knapp NCSF_MCPT