T Nation

Triple Fitness Test


#1

Funny that the question about dbl BW bench was asked. Lately I've been focusing my efforts on an overall "fitness goal" (I know that sounds pretty gay, but oh well). I figured a decent measure of overall fitness could be captured from three tests:
1. Bench Press (raw)
2. Chin Ups
3. One Mile Run

I realize that none of these take flexibility, pure leg strength/power, or major endurance cardio into consideration, but raw strength, strength in relation to BW, and cardiovascular endurance are all accounted for. My current goals for these three are . . .
1. Double BW Bench (raw)
2. 20 Overhand Chins w/ no straps
3. Sub-7 minute 1 mile run

I know that everyone has there own individual goals, and this type of thing may not interest you at all. I was just curious if anyone out there has accomplished anything like this OR if you know of someone who has done it or could do it. I'm very close, but not quite there yet.
C-Dog


#2

Why bench? I would think Deadlifts would be a better marker for overall strength. I'm sure this could be debateable, that's just my opinion.

-T


#3

Thad,
You're probably right and I thought I might hear this quite a bit. I included bench press (versus DL) because it's a lift that tests pure pressing power (esp when raw) and you've got chins for pulling strength. Another good test would possibly be . . .
1. Bench
2. Dead
3. 1-mile run
Pretty much a power-lifting meet with a run in place of the squat.


#4

I see your point. I do like the chin-up idea. I think you need to figure out if you want endurance strength or pure strength. I have nothing against bench press but for a test I even like an overhead press for a pressing movement. I think you'll need more than 3 events. Later, Thad


#5

I understand your thought process. Personally, I never wanted to get so large that I still couldn't run a fast mile. That attitude does not appeal to those more focused on Powerlifting, but to each his own.

Here is a good test of strength and fitness:

  1. Clean and Press-

This gives you elements of the Deadlift as you have to rip the weight off the floor. But it also includes overhead pressing strength. This can be done with your body weight on the bar for reps, or for one rep. It depends on what you are after.

  1. Pull-Ups-

This is another movement which includes many muscles directly and several supporting muscles as well. Also, it's almost immpossible to be in lousy condition and be able to perform 20+ reps.

  1. 1/4 Mile Sprint-

While the one mile run is a great test of fitness it might not be necessary. I have found that I can pretty much tell what a person can run one mile in after I test them in the quarter mile (or 400 meter). Warm-up first, then go one time as fast as possible.

If I had to add one more movement it would be the Barbell Squat. Put your bodyweigt on the bar and see how many reps you can do without stopping. It can get very nasty.

Okay...what do you think?


#6

Have you heard of STREND training/competitions? It's meant to be in line with what the military uses to assess combat fitness. It sounds very similar to your intent/training:

BW Bench for reps
Pullup for reps
BW Military Press for reps
Chin for reps
Dips for reps
3mi. run for time

You get 3 min. for each resistance event and they're all back to back. Some of the results are ungodly. 30 reps for each, and 18 min. in the three mile.


#7

I think Zeb's is pretty good, especially with the bodyweight pressing.

I would say doing a certain amount for reps, such as they do at the NFL combine with 225 lbs. is a pretty good way to measure strength and endurance.

I don't know about the sprint instead of the mile though. That really depends what you are aiming for.


#8

I thought about clean and press but the only problem with that is technique. There is an O lifter at my gym that's 130lbs and our C+P are about the same but I could crush him on everything else(except snatch).


#9

I like any idea of measuring strength, fitness, etc. I would think you might want to include a shorter run (half-mile, 440) for strength to take any endurance aspect out of the equation, though. Thoughts?


#10

Just a few of my thoughts/opinions . . .
For a general, overall fitness test I would shy away from movements that require a great degree of technique (clean and press, etc). I realize that all movements (yes the bench press also) require some degree of technique and that excellent technique can improve performance. Heck, this is even the case with running. But, in general, I think it's best to stick with pretty basic stuff.
Bench = push as hard as you can (power)
Chins = pull your BW as much as you can (strength in relation to BW)
Now, for the run, I must also say that I disagree about the 1/4 mile (1 lap). I ran the 1/4 mile in HS and it's considered a sprint. I think the run should be utilized to measure intermediate cardiovascular fitness, not all-out endurance or explosive sprint speed. In other words, sure you can bench press x pounds and sure you can do y amount of chins, but how's the heart and lungs over a little longer haul?
The STREND competitions (military) seem absolutely brutal! IMO, for a regular joe that doesn't train for something that specific - it just seems like a butt-load of muscular endurance, not to mention extreme cardio conditioning.
I realize that this subject could be debated a thousand different ways. I'm certainly not saying that my views are the only correct ones or even correct at all . . . just my opinions. I really appreciate everyone's input. It's really made me think.


#11

But, did you ever know anyone who could run a 1/4 mile in about :60 who could not run a mile in about 6:00? Someone who can do one quarter for :60 can usually do four in a row at :90. Hence, there is a relationship between how fast you can run the 1/4 and how fast you can run one mile.

I do understand that there are plenty of ways to look at this. And this "test" should reflect exactly the goals of the person who is creating it.