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by Angela Ford / Michael Bolger, Goldstone Gym Test your mettle

Following on from last month’s article where we discussed the issue of avoiding and breaking through a training plateau, this month we are going to look at health and fitness assessments. At this time of year it is commonplace for people to join gyms and start new fitness programs and it is essential to begin this journey by assessing your current physical state.

At Goldstone Gym and Fitness we break this assessment down into a number of different sections including health screening, cardiovascular fitness and strength testing and it is the purpose of this article to explain what these are and the importance of each.

The initial section is what we define as a health screening and this would usually consist of the answering of a health screening form (to determine any pre-existing illnesses or injuries), taking blood pressure and resting heart rate, height, weight, body composition and measurements. The important issue here is that it determines an individual’s ability to exercise at the most basic level and sets baselines from which an exercise

professional can determine what path to take.

Cardiovascular fitness refers to the strength and endurance of the heart and lungs and how these vital organs interact with each other. There are a number of ways that this can be assessed. Here at Goldstone we perform a two kilometre time trial whilst wearing a heart rate monitor. This allows us to find your maximum heart rate and track your heart rate at different intensities. We also use a rating scale called a Performance Index which has set norms to allow us define what fitness bracket you fall into.

Strength testing is a larger area to assess as this can be determined by the current level of the individual and what their goals are. Again, here at Goldstone, our strength tests include a core strength test to assess the strength and endurance of the core musculature of the deep lying abdominal muscles and lower back, followed by strength endurance tests (press up and

abdominal crunch). Within these three tests there are norms available so you can determine what fitness bracket you fall into. It should be noted however, that these tests can be expanded upon depending on the individuals’ goals and may include maximum upper or lower body strength tests (eg bench press and squat) or other structural balance tests to determine if muscles have the correct strength ratios.

The issue of fitness assessments is one that is often overlooked by individuals starting a new program or even starting exercise for the first time. What we would like to ask is “How do you know you have improved if you don’t know where you were?”

If you wish to discuss your fitness in more detail, why not call out to us at Goldstone Gym and find out how we help people achieve their goals every day.




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