I’ve noticed that the word test has always created stress for me on some level. Although it can be an anxiety producing concept, testing is actually a very valuable tool. In most cases, it is the relationship to tests that needs work. So what is a test, really? “A test is a procedure intended to measure the quality, performance, or reliability of something, especially before it is taken into widespread use or practice.” Pretty useful stuff… and so approaching testing with a non-competitive and inquiring mind can result in a lot of learning, insights and growth.
Here is what happened. I have been experiencing some changes & flux in my physical performance & energy levels. I have been looking for answers and after defaulting to the usual culprits of seasonal change, diet and mood I began to realize that I need more tangible information than my perceived “feelings” of this flux. I needed answers and numbers. Now don’t get me wrong here, I am very organic and give great value to “how things feel”. I don’t precisely measure when I cook nor when I sequence a yoga class but every now and then, a girl’s gotta pull out the measuring tape and the templates and get some realio trulio quantifiable measures.
As Robert South once said “If there be any truer measure of a man than by what he does, it must be by what he gives. “ So I was about to give myself a fitness test. But someone beat me to it and I arrived to a fitness class on a weekday night and the instructor had a 10 exercise fitness test all ready for us to take. We were paired up as teams doing each exercise once for time and cheering on the other and marking the results. Rows, push ups, plank, high knees, sit ups you name it.
At the end of it all, I finished with an impressive 6 minute plank but I definitely got an ass whooping in a few of those exercises. Whoa. In the end, I was pretty pooped but also energized, informed and most of all, I had NUMBERS. I knew what exercises and parts of my body felt strong and where I lacked, speed agility and strength. I had a foundation and something to work from. Felt good.
Later that night I got curious about fitness testing and I did some more research. Turns out that measuring and establishing a base to assess yourself from can shed more light on what may be going on in your body. Again, knowledge is power and insights into your body, performance and energy levels are hugely important. These factors have such impact on your productivity, health and your quality of life. Also, testing can highlight strengths and weaknesses and uncover natural talents and blind spots you didn’t know you had, Results may even provide incentive toward setting new goals or to keep more accurate monitoring of progress. Yes, progress. If there are two words to retain from this little article they are: testing and progress.
You can Google fitness tests to get a plethora of examples and links. Or ask your trainer or gym staff. You could even make your own and do it with a friend. Or connect with me and I can give you some leads.
Let us all remember that It is not the tests results that matter. What matters is testing to log in the data and then tracking the progress. That is what will lead to transformation, which is the ultimate result.