Once you are an experienced lifter, tracking your progress can be difficult. It's no longer so easy to put 5 pounds more on the pole each week, and you're more likely to cycle through your lifts to avoid overuse injuries and stay fresh, which can make it difficult Know if you are really feeling better.
The solution? Test yourself regularly with a variety of markers that are comprehensive enough to give you important feedback. You probably want to build muscle and strength while you are fit and healthy. This means that in the big three more factors have to be considered than just maxima with a repetition.
Sure, if you're a competitive powerlifter, that's your absolute strength. For all others, there are other qualities to measure and see where they pile up from one year to the next.
Which qualities should you test?
It can be divided into absolute and relative categories. The absolute force will be the maximum force that you can apply, such as maximum lift. Relative strength is your strength compared to your size, as you would demonstrate in pull ups or body weight exercises.
How much muscle do you wear in relation to your body weight? This is as easy as a body fat test with calipers, bioelectrical impedance, Bodpod or hydrostatic weighing. Although they all have a different degree of reliability, look for trends. So just use the tool that's available to you the fastest, and stick to it to see how your body composition may change.
Health means the absence of disease and the fact that we know that a relatively lean body reduces the risk of disease is largely covered in the body fat test. Annual blood tests are also a good idea, but they are beyond our scope here.
This is a term that is more open to interpretation. You can think of this as your ability to perform certain physical tasks. Michael Phelps was buoyant, but not victorious in the Tour de France.
Let's think more about conditioning for our purposes. The specific activities that you like to perform can affect the way you test your condition and determine what events are appropriate for you. But I'm a big fan of the 10/10 test (we'll go into details shortly). It's not a sprint, it's not just a stamina event, it's somewhere in the middle, making it a good bet for most people.
The Five Tests
Here are the tests you should give each year (The week of your birthday is a good time to find out if your training is delivering real results or if you have only spent the whole year with it
You can do it all the same day if you want, or just do it all in the same week, keep an eye on your results to make sure you're comparing it to next year.
1 – Bench press: Body weight x Max. Reps
Max reps are great, but if you're gaining weight, even if it's not fat-free mass, If you've gained 20 pounds and are training 10 pounds more than you did when you were lighter, is that going to make you even better? This way you can beat your relative strength r and ensure that any mass you gain (or lose weight) has a positive effect on your performance.
2 – Chin-up: body weight x max reps
Here the strength in proportion to your body weight gains. If you get too fat, your pull ups will drop. When you add muscle, this should not be detrimental to your chin.
In a perfect world, your number of bodyweight pull ups would exceed the number of bodyweight bench presses you could perform. This would help improve shoulder health and provide adequate balance of power. If your pull-ups are lower than your bank values, you should focus more on pulling than on pressing and / or checking your diet and losing weight.
3 – Front Squat: 3RM
No test battery would be complete without a max-strength test. You might argue that this should be a deadlift or a squat, but here's why the front squat is a better option:
Front squats are self-limiting; Either you nail it or you throw the bar away. When it comes to testing your squats and deadlifts, you can still perform fewer than perfect repetitions, which can distort your comparison from one test year to the next. You are looking for a real improvement, not an amount that you can cheat to improve your numbers.
If you are competing on the platform, you must win. If you want to test whether your training was productive, you can take no chances.
Aside from self-restraint, you'll need to do a lot to properly align the squat: ankle mobility and a strong lower body, torso, and torso to hold the tension and get a clean front porter. Many checkboxes are ticked, making this the best lift for a 3-rep maximum power test for the entire body.
4 – Body Fat
This is straightforward – are you slimmer? or fatter? You have your own range in which you feel comfortable, and it will vary slightly at different times of the year, depending on what your specific goals are in different training phases.
That does not mean you can lose sight of the big picture. When your body fat is exhausted and you are exercising less, you must re prioritize your workouts, diet, or lifestyle.
5 – Treadmill: 10/10 Test
That You Should Never Neglect the conditioning, and this test will let you know if this should have more priority. Simply set the treadmill to 16 km / h and a 10% incline. Climb in with the side rails when the speed and incline are reached, and stay there as long as possible.
If you can not last a minute, your conditioning needs to be given a higher priority. You should try to drop between one and two minutes, and if you last more than two minutes (there is a joke somewhere inside), your conditioning is in a good place.
This is not so much about strength standards But it gives you objective feedback on how your training worked. It's about fighting against yourself from one year to the next. At some point in life, it's a win-win not to go backwards.
Write down how to proceed. The results of these tests give you the information you need for further development.
If everything is better from one year to the next, continue. If you can not complete one of these tests because of an injury, that alone can tell you something about your training. There is usually a combination of things that brings this test battery to light, allowing you to focus your energy and efforts on a more productive training year in the future.
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