NEW START!!! Come Re-Learn How Best to Move! Feb. 2, 2014

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Read the latest magazine articles featuring FitBoot and expert training advice from Charla!
"Gung Ho!: A Marine Corps Boot Camp for Island Jarhead Wannabes" Alameda Magazine, Mar/Apr 2009

Scrubs Magazine: the first online guide to good living for nurses click on the "Nutrition," "Prevention," and 'Weight Loss" subcategories for articles on:
"The Cafeteria Eater's Guide"
"8 Sleep Tips for the Night Nurse"
"Quick Workout for a Wacky Schedule"



Assess Your Current Fitness Level

So where are you now? You should determine at least a few things about your current fitness level so you can set some realistic goals and have a yardstick for measuring your progress.

The following basic assessment test events and their corresponding desired standards for physical fitness represent a compilation of nationally accepted fitness test standards for ages 18 and older. Your FitBoot Instructor or Personal Trainer will use some of these test events to assess your readiness for FitBoot or to establish a baseline for your personal training goals. Please Note: your Instructor will use different assessment events if you are being evaluated for FitBoot - S.O.S.

You might test yourself in all or only some events - it's all intended to give you a big picture of your current fitness level. Also, note that no basic fitness assessment can precisely predict actual athletic performance or how well you will perform at specific training activities. Every score - no matter how perfect or how poor - can be improved with focused training.

Components of Physical Fitness

There are three components that comprise total physical fitness: strength, flexibility, and endurance. Only those who demonstrate at least "Average" standards in all three areas can be called reasonably fit. Our clients - in FitBoot and for one-to-one training - attain "Above Average" to "Excellent" standards before we declare them truly physically fit.


Proper Exercise Technique: Lie face down on the floor (or mat) with hands under shoulders (or slightly wider than the chest, if desired), fingers straight, legs straight and parallel (slightly apart if desired). Straighten the arms, pushing the upper body up and keeping the back and knees straight, then bend the arms to lower the upper body until the elbows are at a 90-degree angle, upper arms parallel to the floor. Perform as many repetitions as possible without resting.

Pushup Standards:
Male: Average = 30; Excellent = 50

Female: Average = 7; Excellent = 25

Proper Exercise Technique: Hang from a (safe, anchored) horizontal bar with arms fully extended, feet off the floor, using either an over- or under-hand grip. Pull your body up until your chin clears the bar and lower back down to the starting position (arms fully extended). Perform as many repetitions as possible without allowing the body to swing excessively, without kicking the legs, and without jumping up to clear the bar.

Pullup Standards:
Male: Average = 8; Excellent = 13

Female: Average = 1; Excellent = 8

Flexed Arm Hang: (Alternative to pullups, if no pullups can be completed)
Proper Exercise Technique: Using same hand position as pullups and beginning from a chair or other platform or with assistance from a spotter, assume the top of the pullup position with the chin clearing the bar. Objective, hold the flexed arm position for as long as possible without touching the chin to the bar or straightening the arms. Be sure the body doesn't swing. Timing stops when the chin touches or falls below the plane of the bar.

Flexed Arm Hang Standards:
Male: Average = 30 seconds (no Excellent standard for males as they should be able to complete pullups)

Female: Average = 7 seconds; PFT perfect score 1 min.,10 seconds

Curl-ups (Situps): (NOTE: measures abdominal strength plus endurance)
Proper Exercise Technique: Lie on your back on a cushioned (but not soft or giving) surface with kness bent and feet together and about 12 inches from buttocks. Have a partner hold your feet. Cross your arms across your chest with hands on opposite shoulders and elbows in close. Begin lying flat and curl up so that elbows touch thighs, uncurl so that shoulder blades touch floor - that is one repetition. Timing is for as many repetitions as possible in one minute. Repetitions completed by bouncing off the floor or by raising the buttocks should not be counted.

Situps Standards:
Male: Average = 44; Excellent = 55

Female: Average = 34; Excellent = 44


Sit and Reach Test
Proper Technique: Find or construct a box that is 12" high (a milk crate works well). Tape a yardstick or ruler to the top so that the first nine inches hang over the edge and the 9" mark is exactly on the edge against which you will place your feet. Place the box against a wall, take off your shoes, and sit with legs outstretched straight in front of you, soles placed flat against the front side of the box (the 9" of the ruler overhanging should be pointed into your chest or midsection). Legs must remain straight and flat on the floor feet shoulder width apart; preferably, have someone place her hands on your knees to keep them from bending. Take a few slow, easy practise stretches forward, then with hands one on top of the other palms down, reach along the ruler 3 times without bouncing; on the 4th time reach as far as possible, hold the farthest point for at least three seconds, and record the measurement.

Sit and Reach Standards:
Male: Average = 15.5"; Excellent = 18.6"

Female: Average = 16"; Excellent = 19"

V-Sit and Reach (Alternative to using the sit and reach box)
Proper Technique: Mark a straight line, 2 feet long, on the floor. This line is the baseline. Mark a measuring line perpendicular to the baseline, beginning at the midpoint of the baseline and extending 2 feet on either side of the baseline. This line is the measuring line. Mark off half-inch measurements on the measuring line with 0 at the baseline, negative measures on the near side of the baseline, and positive measurements on the far side of the baseline. Take off your shoes and sit straddling the measuring line with legs straight, heels 8-12 inches apart, and soles just at the edge of the baseline. Clasp thumbs together with palms down touching measuring line and have a partner hold your legs flat to the floor. Take a few practise stretches forward keeping toes pointed upward, then stretch forward 3 times without bouncing. On the 4th time reach as far as possible, hold the farthest point for at least three seconds, and record the measurement to the nearest half-inch.

V-Sit Standards:
Male: Average = 3"; Excellent = 7"

Female: Average = 4.5"; Excellent = 8"


One mile run/walk
Proper Technique: Map out a flat course that is exactly one mile. Be sure to warm up for 5-15 minutes before beginning. Be sure to pace yourself so that you can complete the entire distance.

One Mile Standards:
Male: Average = 7:35; Excellent = 6:30

Female: Average = 10:51; Excellent = 8:22

3 Minute Step Test (alternative to 1 mile run) (NOTE: this test is used as a predictor of cardiovascular endurance by measuring the heart rate to which the participant returns after completing 3 minutes of easy to moderate exercise)
Proper Technique: NOTE: requires a use of a metronome, because exercise must be completed at a precise pace, and a partner using a stethoscope because heart rate must be taken directly (not pulse)). Use a box or freestanding step that will support the participant's weight and that is 12" high ( a milk crate is fine). Have your partner listen for your heart beat with a stethoscope before beginning to ensure that he knows exactly where to find it (you don't want to waste time searching once the measurement should begin). Set the metronome for 96 beats per minute and take a few practise steps on and off the box to make sure you're comfortable. Participant will step on and off the box, alternating feet, for three minutes (that is left up, right up, left down, right down, etc.) to the metronome beat for 3 minutes. Be sure to take one step per beat - no more no less. At 3 minutes, sit down in a chair and have your partner count your heart beat for 1 minute. The more quickly it slows, and the lower it slows the better.

3-min. Step Test Standards:

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All text, FitBoot,©, FitBasic ©, and the FitBoot logo ©1998, 1999 & 2000 by Charla T.-McMillian. You may neither reprint nor distribute any text from this website, in part or in its entirety, without the author's express permission.

The information contained on this website is not intended to substitute for medical advice or for the advice of a qualified nutritionist. Individual needs and results may vary. You should seek the advice of your physician or a qualified trainer before starting or significantly modifying any exercise or diet program.