Bubba 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 each superset.
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 shoulder-width apart. Your 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.
Here’s a chart showing where you should be:
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).
Here’s where you stand:
It’s simple – practice pushups. That, and include a variety of DB Chest Presses into your program, focusing on the eccentric (lowering) phase. 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,
Mikey Whitfield, Master CTT