When spring rolls around, it’s tempting to spend your weekends lounging around the barbecue, eating bacon every meal of the day and alternating between naps and day-drinking sessions. Don’t let yourself go down that road—use your time wisely. And, of course, don’t let exercise fall by the wayside.
Simple fitness tests – most of which you can do at home – will clue you into your heart strength, balance, and flexibility and give you a blueprint for improvement.
For a more hands-on approach, try these four fitness test and prove to yourself how healthy you actually are. Check them out and see how your results measure up!
1- Hold a plank pose for 2 minutes:
Forget about all the excess movement and back straining that comes with crunches. The plank pose is the real basic building block for all ab exercises. Just put your elbows on the floor and hold the rest of your body straight, not letting your back or legs sag toward the floor (you can also keep your arms outstretched, but most find that a bit easier). If you can’t make it to two minutes, scope out some other exercises to build up your abdominal strength and you should get there soon.
If you can knock out two minutes easily, simply see how long you can go or add some modifications. Do a regular plank for the first minute, lift your left leg for the second minute, and lift up your right leg for the third. Or, balance your forearms on a foam roller or find some other tough variation.
2- Squat your body weight:
Squats are another time-tested fitness staple not unlike the gen-ed course you’re taking this semester. Trink says this one has great carry-over potential for any sports and activities you partake in, so pay attention to it.
Being able to do one rep of your body weight should be attainable for any guy who puts the work in, and, of course, it’s possible to move forward past that goal. “Go for 1 1/2 times your body weight and you’re likely to be one of the most impressive guys in the re-center,” Trink says. “Two times your body weight and you’re pretty much a beast.”
3- 15 unbroken pull-ups in a row:
The next step is to knock out 15 straight pull-ups, another classic exercise you’ve been doing since the presidential fitness tests in grade school. Trink says the goal here varies based on your weight: 15 is good for a guy from 170 to 190 pounds or so, but he says to shoot for 20 if you’re 160 pounds or less and go for 12 if you’re 200 pounds or more. If these seem unattainable, just keep at it and ramp up your upper body and core work.
4- Run 1 mile in under 9 minutes:
Considering there are people out there who can run a mile in under four minutes, finishing one in under nine minutes shouldn’t seem too tough,” Trink says. “However, if you’ve spent more time with dumbbell curls than you have on the track, it might be tougher than you think.”
Cardio is important! And school is all about making you a well-informed, well-balanced individual. Take that basic idea to the gym with you, too.