Testing Your Strength and Endurance
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Testing Your Strength and Endurance

When you start an exercise program, you need to test more than the strength of your muscles. ItÂ’s also important to evaluate your cardiovascular fitness (on a stationary bike or treadmill, for example) as well as your flexibility.

These additional evaluations provide you with a more complete picture of your fitness instead of only looking at your level of strength. Record the following information in your fitness journal before you begin weight training:

  • Height
  • Weight
  • Resting heart rate
  • Blood pressure
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Waist measurement
  • Body composition
  • Body mass index
  • Blood glucose levels

All these factors give important metabolic indicators of your overall health. Recording the above information helps you track your progress and see proven, documented results, even when you may not be seeing your waistline decrease or biceps increase as quickly as you want. When you do a weight training program consistently, you’ll see improvement in three areas:

  • Body composition
  • Body mass index
  • Blood pressure

All three of these improvements reflect overall in your health. Most fitness facilities offer fitness assessments for their members for a fee. Some clubs include these assessments as part of your introductory membership package.Research studies tell us that being fit to lower your risk of disease and to improve your quality of life is more important than simply being thin. For example, in a landmark study conducted at the Cooper Institute of Research,people who were both fit and overweight had a lower risk of disease and greater longevity than people who were thin and inactive.

The term strength testing is somewhat of a misnomer. Strictly speaking, your strength refers to the maximum amount of weight that you can lift one time —also called your one-rep max. For example, if you squeeze out only one shoulder press with 45 pounds, that’s your one-rep max for that exercise. In general, it’s not such a hot idea to go around testing your one-rep maxes, especially if you’re a beginner. Some veterans like to go all out sometimes,but they typically test their one-rep max for just one or two exercises in a given workout. Pushing to the max places a lot of stress on your body parts and can cause extreme muscle soreness even in experienced weight lifters.

A safe alternative to testing all-out muscle strength is testing your muscular endurance; you use a lighter-than-max weight and perform as many repetitions as you can. Most health clubs choose to do this type of testing. You can safely test your muscular endurance at home, too.

A lot of people set goals. Many of them even set realistic ones. But too often,people don’t fulfill their ambitions — for many reasons. Researchers have studied why this process is so difficult for people and identified strategies that ensure greater success.

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Comments (1)

Good tips to maintain health.