You may not notice that your weight can fluctuate even a pound overnight. Therefore, the number that you see on a scale is not a nightmarish thing. Gaining a pound is possible overnight as a result of water retention. Otherwise, you have to consume 3,500 more calories to gain a pound in one day, which is not a realistic idea. So your weight is not the ideal means of checking your fitness level. You need to know other indicators to get a better idea of your physical condition. You can have an idea of these indicators from the following:
#1 Recovery Heart Rate Shows Your Cardiovascular Fitness Level
Your recovery heart rate tells you how good your overall cardiovascular fitness level is. To measure it you need to perform an exercise first which may be walking, cycling or running. You need to let your heart rate reaches the target level which is 70-80% of your maximum heart rate level that is 220 minus your age. When you reach the level, you stop and measure your heart rate after one minute of rest. If the beats drop by 15 to 20, you’re in a healthy system. A drop of 12 or less in the heart beat tells you to improve your cardiovascular fitness.
#2 1RM Method for Muscular Strength
Muscular strength tells you what maximum force your muscle or muscle group can exert. The 1RM (One Repetition Maximum) method is a good way to calculate this. Here is a set formula where:
Note: RTF: repetitions to fatigue
Let’s take an example. For a 50 kg lift for 9 repetitions before getting your muscles exhausted, your 1RM becomes 65 kg ((0.033 X 9 X 50) +50). In this case, failing to do 9 repetitions mean your muscular strength is not in good condition. You try to develop your fitness level and measure 1RM periodically.
#3 Push-ups for Muscle Endurance
When you have the ability to do some continuous effort using your muscles without getting them tired, you have good muscle endurance. Push-ups can tell you how good it is for the upper body muscles. You need to try as many as you can at a go. This will gradually help you gain more endurance.
#4 Toe Touching for Flexibility
The range of motion of a joint tells you the flexibility of that joint. The easiest way to find it is to sit on the floor and try touching your toes. If you’re successful in touching them, your flexibility is normal. Otherwise, you have to practice stretching to have more flexibility. Remember to stretch for about 10 to 30 seconds and then relax. Also, remember not to bounce; rather, you should be steady.
#5 Body Composition
This lets you know the amount of body fat you have in your body. You may use water displacement but using a set of skin-fold calliper is a better way to see the results. You should measure just above your hip bone and also to the side of your belly button. Though a 30 to 50 year female may have 15 – 23% measurement, a male of the same age range may have 11 – 17%.
You need to know these measurements before you start your fitness training program. Of course, from then on you will be checking these measurements regularly to see how far you have improved. You’ll know your body fat percentage and compare with the standard.
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