Do you dare match muscles with your neighbors? Last spring morethan 100,000 Americans did in the first nationwide physical-fitness testever conducted.
the test was sponsored by the National FitnessFoundation and promoted by such ardent fitness fans as George Allen,head coach of the Arizona Wranglers and chairman of the President’sCouncil on Physical Fitness and Sports. allen tore his tousers in theOval Office while showing President Reagan the correct way to dopushups. Numerous other Americans, including U.S. senators, governorsand even famous athletes, showed red faces, too, as they attempted thenot0so-simple task of earning gold medals in the National Fitness Test.
The test was designed to give adults aged 18 to 60 and above guidelinesby which to judge their physical abilities. Those who took the test already know how they scored–bronze,silver or gold, but the collected results due this month will giveparticipants a better idea whether they are weaklings, average orsupermen. Few were expected to pan out gold in all categories, whichleaves plenty of room for improvement. You can still take this tesy yourself. All you need is astopwatch, a bar to hang from and a friend or relative to monitor thetesting. Tear out the score sheet opposite and use it to determinewhether you are bronze, silver or gold. The guidelines for performingthe test follow. If you score lower than you’d like continue topractice the exercise daily and add one more push-up, curl or sit-upeach and two more seconds to the arm hang each week.
There’s onlyone prize in the offing. That’s improved physical fitness andbetter health, something that’s worth much more than bronze, silveror gold. Push-Ups (Men ; Women) Equipment: Stopwatch. Procedure: (Men) Participant assumesfront-leaning rest position, hands directly under the shoulders. theshoulders, back, buttocks and legs must be straight from head to heel.Participant begins by bending his elbows and lowering the entire bodyuntil the chest touches examianer’s fist. Examiner’s fist isin an upright position directly under the center of theparticipant’s chest.
Participant returns to starting position witharms completely extended. Procedure: (Women) Participant assumes front-leaning rest position,kness bent, hands placed directly under the shoulders. Shoulders, backand buttocks must be straight from head to knee.
Participant begins bybending her elbows and lowering the entire body until her chest touchesthe floor. Participant returns to starting position with armscompletely extended. The test is terminated when: 1) 1.
0 minute has elapsed; 2) theparticipant stops or pauses. Curl-Ups Equipment: Stopwatch. Procedure: participant lies flat on theback, knees bendt, shoulders touching floor with arms extendedcompletely by the sides, palms dowm. The tips of the fingers shouldline up with the front edge of the designated mark of the floor. Feet,heels 12 incles from the buttocks secured and held to the floor bypartner or tester. In executing the curl-up, the hands stay on thefloor sliding forward to rach the next designated mark (positionedthree inches forward of the first mark). the movement is accomplishedby lifting the head and shoulders off the foor as fas as necessary toextend the fingers the required distance. the test if teminated when: 1) 1.
0 minute has elapsed; 2) theparticipant stops or pauses due to fatigue; 3) improper form is used. Arm Hang Equipment: 8-foot high horizontal bar, stool, stopwatch, clothtape. Procedure: Participant grasps bar with both hands, palms facingout; holds the bar until fatigue or the maximal level for age group isreached. The examiner starts the watch as soon as the participant is inposition and stops the watch when participant releases the bar. Sit & Reach Equipment: Yardstick, adhesive tape. Procedure: The participantmay warm up with a few practice stretches before testing. Participantsits on the floor, legs extended, heels about five inches apart. Heelsmust touch inside edge of tape marker on the floor.
The yardstick isplaced between the legs, so that the 15-inch mark touches the near edgeof the tape-heel line marker. The participant slowly reaches forwardwith both hands as far as possible touching fingertips to the yardstickand holds this position momentarily. The yardstick indicates thedistance reached. The examiner holds the participant’s knees tothe floor during testing.
Three-Minute Step Test Equipment: Bench 12 inches high, stopwatch, metronome set at 96beats per minute (24 steps per minute; four clicks equals onestep–“up, up, down, down”). Procedure: The participant facesthe bench and in cadence with the metronome steps one foot up on thebench (first beat), steps up with the second foot (second beat), stepsdown with one foot (third beat) and steps down with other foot (fourthbeat). Upon completion of three minutes, the participant sits downquickly. The examiner locates the pulse and begins counting within fiveseconds after the completion of the exercise, and counts for 1.0 fullminute.