“If you’re not assessing you’re guessing.” – various strength coaches
You may have heard these words before, but now I’m going to show you what they really mean.
– Finding gaps/holes in people fitness
Beware though, this will leave a fair few in a potential state of dismay because they’ve over estimated their abilities and now feel stupid.
Well, men will feel stupid and then justify why and make up 1000 excuses.
Ladies on the other hand will hold themselves back, which makes them look equally as stupid as the gents who try to reenact feats from their teens.
The funny things with testing is that it’s not mean to upset.
It’s merely a set of objective test to help gain an understanding of a persons current level of fitness.
***Tests can vary based on the goal or discipline***
It’s also worth remembering that a test only gives a piece of the puzzle, this is where we have the need for ongoing assessment.
What tests/assessments you choose to do will vary base don the context in which they’re required for.
As such there are no ‘perfect’ tests.
Yet there are still some that yield some great insight in to what people might be lacking in a vernal strength/ability sense.
Here are three of my favourite ones that people can’t hide form.
1 – Pull Up 1/2/3/4
Grab a bar (any grip, however DOH is my preferred).
Hang for 30 seconds, do 1 pull up.
Hang for 30 seconds, do 2 pull ups.
Hang for 30 seconds, do 3 pull ups.
Hang for 30 seconds, do 4 pull ups.
Come down safely. The feeing in your hands will return shortly.
Completing all 10 reps means a person will have more than enough upper body strength to do pretty much everything, if they can’t hang for the first 30 seconds then the’ve got work to do.
*Advanced Variation – there isn’t one, this is tough enough 😂
2 – Deadlift Max
Perform single deadlifts (any variation with a straight bar is acceptable).
Increase weight until speed is lost, this is safer than going until form starts to lose its tightness.
Bw on the bar is okay.
1.5xBw is decent.
2xBw is more than enough for people to be awesome.
2.5xBw+ well, that’s just impressive.
*Advanced variation – how much can they pick up from the floor and put overhead in a strict press fashion.
**BW on the bar is where most men ideally want to be, ladies 3/4bw, if either exceeds this then applaud because it’s well deserved.
3 – Squat & Hold
Perform a full ROM squat (hip crease below knee line).
Sit here while maintaining good posture, this is a mobility test.
30seconds is minimum required for health.
60sec is decent.
2min is very impressive.
4min+ guess they’ve got no need for chairs any more.
*Advanced variation – Overhead Squat. Being able to perform this movement is a good standard for many people to aim for.
The tests above are nothing spectacular, they’re merely three tools I’ve used over the years that have always provided a good baseline understanding of a persons level.
If someone maxes out all of them their training will be most enjoyable to program.
When we see gaps in one or more of the above that means their training will be set up to address those first.
The above is also most optima for the AVERAGE PERSON.
Yep, an average Joe or Jane that can do well in all of these will often have solid posture/strength, good body composition and move well.
Several things many people desire.
If you are training an athlete or someone for a specific goal then you may have specific tests you need to utilise.
You should investigate this thoroughly.