My 10 Measures Of True Male Fitness
On their own these measures are not ground breaking, but if you can hit all 10 at any given time I would say you had good state of GPP (General Physical Preparedness).
You will see that all of the below exercises are simple gym based movements. This is my forte and I use them as I feel that they are a good all round measure of STRENGH, POWER, MUSCLE ENDURANCE & ENDURANCE. You don’t need to over complicate things when it comes to testing and working on the above elements.
What is GPP
General Physical Preparedness essentially lays the groundwork for later specific physical preparation (this is when athletes specifically train for their sport, military, weekend warrior training for a fitness event/ challenge etc.). When working on GPP you are working on general conditioning to improve strength, speed, endurance, flexibility, skill etc.
GPP is important because without building a solid foundation and a base level of fitness it will make it hard for you to progress to the best of your ability. Often a person will look at where they want to be and train like that person straight away, this can lead to burn out, injury or you may not see the results you hoped for because the higher your GPP, the more likely you are to see results.
2000m row/ske erg – sub 7:00 minute
Why: This is a great indicator of cardiovascular fitness, endurance and strength, both in your glutes, core and upper body. It will also test your mental resolve as a 2000m row is challenging enough, especially when aiming to finish in 7 minutes
2 x bodyweight deadlift 1 rep max.
Why: A properly executed deadlift is a great indicator of pure strength as it works your hamstrings, glutes, core and of course your grip strength.
Furthermore it is an exercise that you can do without a spotter and it’s a practical exercise as most people will have to lift something that they had to pick up from the floor at some point in their lifetime.
On a side note, recent research is finding the grip strength may be a good measure of heart health, so that being the case, you should work on improving it
1.5 x bodyweight back squat
Why: A well-executed weighted squat produces a level of muscular stimulation and growth that you can’t get from a machine. Furthermore it requires leg and glute strength, it works your core and balance, all of which are important elements for not only your health and fitness now, but for your longevity into older age.
75% bodyweight strict overhead press.
Why: While this exercise may not be as popular today (with many people favouring the bench press), a number of years ago (1960s) it was the cornerstone exercise for many of the best lifters because it’s not only a fundamental strength building exercise but also a great muscle builder.
The Bodyweight Strict overhead press is one of the original Olympic Lifts and I like to use it because there is a certain amount of skill required with it. You need to pay attention to your form to execute it correctly, but because you are standing and are not supported, it engages most of the muscles in your body, so if you can lift 75% of your body weight, that is a great indicator of strength
1.25 x bodyweight bench press 1 rep max
Why: Upper body strength is important, especially if you need to lift anything heavy or if you are doing any repetitive movements that may lead to injury if you are not strong, hence the bench press test
15 x strict dead hang, no kip pull ups
Why: The strict, deadhang allows you to maximally contract the muscles of the back and arms – mostly the lats, biceps, and forearms. The rest of the body is meant to remain in enough tension to maintain a rigid structure. This is a great measure of fitness as it tests your posterior chain. It’s important to ensure this part of your body is strong not only for good posture, but also for those who either hunch at their desks or carry bags etc. throughout the day which can lead to pain/ injury on those who don’t have a good base level of strength in the area
100 burpees – sub 7 minute
Why: A great measure of cardiovascular fitness, endurance, strength and mental toughness
50 box jumps – sub 3:30 minutes
Why: A great test of leg and glute strength, endurance and cardiovascular fitness
10km outdoor run (flat) – sub 50 minutes
Why: Again a good test in endurance and cardiovascular fitness
10. 5 minute front leaning rest (Hold at top of a push up)
This is a good test of core and arm strength as well as mental toughness