Fitness Testing Irrationality

Written by Brian D. Johnston

Continued from page 1

Does it matter if a person has poor endurance inrepparttar push-up and sit-up, since rate of fatigue may have some issues withrepparttar 142735 contention? What ifrepparttar 142736 goal is to increase lean muscle and strength, in thatrepparttar 142737 environment needs to be anaerobic, and such an environment does not requirerepparttar 142738 performance of dozens of consecutive repetitions with a focus on endurance?

FLEXIBILITY I have very good flexibility in some muscle groups, particularly around my shoulder joints and ankles, and to a lesser degree my hips. Yet, and because of laziness on my part, I never sustained good flexibility in my hamstrings, although it was attained once. I easily can perform very deep squats, but stiff-legged toe-touches are uncomfortable. Unfortunately, for me, flexibility ofrepparttar 142739 hamstring muscles was tested. The stretch was tested with me sitting onrepparttar 142740 floor and reaching forward with locked knees. I was about 2-3 inches from reaching my toes and scored below normal in flexibility.

I never understoodrepparttar 142741 need or desire to touch one’s toes while keepingrepparttar 142742 knees locked since I do not recall having to perform such a feat in my activities of daily living. Moreover, with locked knees, excessive forward bending increasesrepparttar 142743 compression and strain onrepparttar 142744 lumbar discs, an unhealthy practice for some people if performed regularly.

Further, what bearing would tight hamstrings have on exercises other thanrepparttar 142745 stiff-legged deadlift and, to a lesser degree, a few other lower body movements such as deep squats? There is little purpose behind this testing except thatrepparttar 142746 authorities who createdrepparttar 142747 test felt that flexibility had to be tested in some manner. Therefore, rather than testrepparttar 142748 range-of-motion of all joints, it is easier to focus on a limited area ofrepparttar 142749 body that typically is tight and inflexible.

CARDIO-RESPIRATORY FITNESS The person being tested moves three steps up, then two steps back on a tiered platform to a beat played on a cassette music machine. If this is accomplished for a specific period, without havingrepparttar 142750 heart rate rise aboverepparttar 142751 maximum rate allowed forrepparttar 142752 person’s age group,repparttar 142753 next level of step-up intensity, at a faster beat, is attempted. This process continues untilrepparttar 142754 person’s heart rate exceedsrepparttar 142755 maximum established for that age group.

What I noticed is that heart rate had much to do withrepparttar 142756 person's being used to an activity. I was not used to stepping up and down on steps to a predetermined beat, and so a considerable percentage of effort was utilized in that skill. Had I practiced only a few times prior to being tested, I could have increased my proficiency.

Nonetheless, I did score two standard deviations above normal for cardiorespiratory fitness. Ironically, I never performed any cardio-type exercise atrepparttar 142757 time, only weight training, yet my wife regularly usedrepparttar 142758 Stairmaster for cardio exercise and scored lower. It must be considered that her leg length was much shorter and she had to exert greater effort to climbrepparttar 142759 same stair height. Consequently, this test did not take into accountrepparttar 142760 size ofrepparttar 142761 person relative torepparttar 142762 steps, and this is similar torepparttar 142763 mechanical and leverage differences between a short person and a tall person who liftrepparttar 142764 same weight offrepparttar 142765 floor.

As with any other physiological factors,repparttar 142766 ability to improve cardiovascular fitness is limited – more so than muscular strength or muscle mass. That is not to suggest that cardio efficiency cannot be improved upon, but only to a marginal degree, although this would depend on how ‘deconditioned’ a person is. The fact remains, that either a person was born withrepparttar 142767 ability to run a marathon or not. Furthermore,repparttar 142768 goal ofrepparttar 142769 individual may not be to enhance cardio fitness to an optimal extent, and this test would not hold much relevance as a result.

SUMMARY It has been argued that a fitness test, at least, provides a benchmark for future comparisons, to see if an individual has made improvement. However, that isrepparttar 142770 purpose of exercise progression and accurate record keeping of workouts.

Moreover, after my twenty years experience in this field, this particular standardized industry test has never helped me make a decision in exercise prescription. I could never reason how it could. If someone is obese, it is obvious that he or she requires additional cardio work and greater volume and frequency to help reduce fat stores; and more attention needs to be directed toward safety during exercise in regard torepparttar 142771 effects onrepparttar 142772 heart and joints. It is unnecessary to have an obese person fail at one or two pushups and sit-ups to help decide exercise prescription. Other functional idiosyncrasies will present themselves duringrepparttar 142773 initial workouts, such as joint ROM and flexibility throughoutrepparttar 142774 entire body, ability to sustain constant activity (muscular endurance and cardio endurance), and a trainee’s strength level throughout all muscles. These are far more accurate and usable data than those provided by a very restricted and limited fitness test that examines specific abilities that may not reflect other abilities. In accordance withrepparttar 142775 SAID Principle,repparttar 142776 results of any test reflect onlyrepparttar 142777 ability that is tested.

Brian D. Johnston is the Director of Education and President of the I.A.R.T. fitness certification and education institute. He has written over 12 books and is a contributing author to the Merck Medical Manual. An international lecturer, Mr. Johnston wears many hats in the fitness and health industries, and can be reached at Visit his site at for more free articles.

Understanding Weight Loss

Written by Ken Shorey

Continued from page 1

For example, if you would ordinarily need 3000 calories in a day, you would follow a 2500-calorie a day diet. Next, figure out how much exercise a person of your weight would need to do to burn 500 calories per day, and engage in an exercise plan that will help you achieve your goal.

The result is simple: 500 fewer calories consumed and 500 more calories expended equals a 1000 calorie per day deficit, which, overrepparttar course of a week adds up to 7000 calories, or two pounds. Although individual results may vary,repparttar 142676 bottom line is if your body is consuming fewer calories than it's expending, then weight will be lost.

Ken Shorey is owner of provides ebooks and information to help you improve your health.

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