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How do you measure your fitness level?

I’ve gone through many fitness phases in my life. With each phase I was either in better or worse ‘shape’. I was fit, or I was not.

As a high school student-athlete it was all about performance. Could I last through a game and or event without losing my edge. Could I out perform the person next to me or beat my competitor.

Post high school and in college, I fell down that ladder mostly due to the fact I wasn’t participating in any organized sports. I simply exercised and ‘worked-out’ whenever I had the chance. Which in those days was few and far between. I was ‘in-shape’ by measuring how I looked. Did I have those ‘love-handles’. How did I look in a tank-top?

Over the last 10yrs or so it was simply a hobby. A hobby which I never had time for. My career took so many turns, and hit so many stops that the gym and exercising simply became a topic of conversation, and not an activity. I measure how fit I was by comparing myself to the extreme. If I didn’t weigh 250lbs, and didn’t look over weight, than I figured I was doing OK.

I exercised initially to get BIG. The older I have gotten, my thought process has definitely changed. I now simply want to have a good cardiovascular resistance and of course not be embarrassed to have my shirt off at the beach.

I measure my degree of fitness by what I can or cannot do at the gym. Did I lift that amount of weight last week? Did I run that far or that fast last week?

Well I had an epiphany yesterday while working around the house.

Every year like most home owners, we have to tidy-up the curb appeal of our house. You know, trim the bushes around your house and/or property. Keep the lawn trimmed, and mulch the trimmings of your lawn. Whether that be around your trees, bushes, landscaping, etc.

This is our third year in this house. The first year we did this activity, we simply trimmed the bushes, gave the usual face lift around the perimeter of the house. It took us almost the entire weekend. A good day and a half.

Last year we became a lil more efficient at the duty and I think we finished the job in one day.

Yesterday we did the face lift, trimming, raking, cleaning, a lil weeding and then cut the lawn with our usual trimming, weed whacking, etc . And we completed everything in less than 4 hours!

It was almost a slap in the face! WOW. I could only attribute it to two things. We of course have become more efficient at the task. But secondly our fitness level DEFINTELY  improved and assisted in the overall performance. I of course feel better these days, and my wife has been also exercising more often.

I joking told my wife yesterday that we have finally reaped the benefits of being more fit, and our exercising habits have finally paid off!Party

So how do measure your fitness?

Core Comment Update:

I wanted to thank Derek Semmler over on The Man Page of Sparkplugging for generously including me in The Manival 8th Edition!



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11 Responses

  1. I measure my fitness by how many donuts I can lift.

    Seriously, right now I’m probably in the worst shape of my life. Desk jobs will do that to you. There was a time, about 15 years ago, when I was walking and jogging regularly, and the memory of that level of fitness (how it feels as well as how it looks) is sort of the standard that I measure myself by. Not very scientific, but good enough to let me know I have a lot of improvements to make.

  2. @ Jerry It’s good to have a starting point. I would suggest staring small. Anything is better than nothing right?? Best of luck.

  3. Really great article… I admire your outlook and the ephiphany was great…

  4. great post! i’ve responded (and linked) to it for my post today.

  5. @GEMMERZZ Thanks for the comment and the LINK. I enjoyed your post.

  6. […] Over at To Be Strong, Strong One shares a new look on the relationship between aging and fitness with “How Do You Measure Your Fitness Level?“ […]

  7. At the moment my measurements of fitness are pretty basic and split into muscle fitness and cardiovascular fitness. For muscle fitness, I look at how much I can lift at the gym for each exercise when doing 3 sets of 8 reps properly e.g. what is the maximum weight can I do 3 sets of 8 reps of flat bench dumbbell chest presses for?

    For cardiovascular fitness running is the big one. I measure how far I can run in 30 minutes on a treadmill using 8km as my benchmark. Probably, not the most scientific measures available but they work for me 🙂

  8. @Tom I think science gets thrown out the window once we find our niche.

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