During Week 1 and Week 4 of the Whole Body Action Plan, you'll assess your fitness, endurance, strength, and flexibility with these four simple tests developed by Kent Burden, mind-body program director at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa.
Record the results in your online journal so you can track your progress.
"If you aren't happy with your fitness test results," says Bob Harper, trainer on "The Biggest Loser" and author of "Are You Ready!," "remember this is just a starting point on your way to becoming stronger and healthier."
- For three minutes, step on and off a 1-foot-high bench (or a similarly sized stair or sturdy box) at a steady pace.
- When the three minutes are up, sit down and immediately take your pulse for one minute.
- Compare your heart-rate results with the results below. If your results aren't what you'd like, use that as motivation to work on your endurance.
Good: Less than 85; Average: 109-117; Poor: 127-138
Good: Less than 88; Average: 112-119; Poor: 127-138
Good: Less than 90; Average: 111-118; Poor: 130-140
Good: Less than 94; Average: 116-120; Poor: 130-145
- Start in a modified push-up position: Get down on all fours with hands just outside shoulder width and slightly in front of your shoulders. Align your knees directly with your hips. Keep your abdomen tight and your spine straight.
- Lower body until elbows are at a 90-degree angle and your upper arms are parallel to the floor. Return to start position.
- Keep going until you reach muscle exhaustion.
- Compare your results with those in the chart below.
Good: More than 35; Average: 11-20; Poor: 2-5
Good: More than 36; Average: 12-22; Poor: 2-6
Good: More than 37; Average: 10-21; Poor: 1-4
Good: More than 31; Average: 8-17; Poor: 1-3
- Get into the plank position (balancing on your elbows and toes, body lifted parallel to the floor) and hold 60 seconds.
- Lift your right arm off the floor, hold 15 seconds, then return to start position. Repeat with your left arm.
- Lift your right leg off the floor, hold 15 seconds, then return to start position. Repeat with your left leg.
- Lift your left leg and right arm off the floor, hold 15 seconds, then return to start position. Repeat with your right leg and left arm; return to start position. Hold for 30 seconds.
Results: If you can complete the test, you have good or excellent core strength. If not, don't worry: You'll get there.
- If you need to, warm up with a few minutes of cardio.
- Sit with legs extended, feet slightly apart.
- Place one hand on the other, then slowly reach forward.
- Hold the stretch a couple of seconds, then use a ruler to measure how far you've reached beyond the base of your feet. If you didn't reach your feet, use a negative measurement to mark the distance between your stopping point and the base of your feet.
- Compare your results to the description below.
Results: Good job if you reached 4.5 inches. Anything from 0.5 inch to 4 inches is average, and if you were in the negative ranges (especially below -3), keep trying.