Do you dare match muscles with your neighbors? Last spring more
than 100,000 Americans did in the first nationwide physical-fitness test
ever conducted. the test was sponsored by the National Fitness
Foundation and promoted by such ardent fitness fans as George Allen,
head coach of the Arizona Wranglers and chairman of the President’s
Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. allen tore his tousers in the
Oval Office while showing President Reagan the correct way to do
pushups. Numerous other Americans, including U.S. senators, governors
and even famous athletes, showed red faces, too, as they attempted the
not0so-simple task of earning gold medals in the National Fitness Test.
The test was designed to give adults aged 18 to 60 and above guidelines
by 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 give
participants a better idea whether they are weaklings, average or
supermen. Few were expected to pan out gold in all categories, which
leaves plenty of room for improvement.
You can still take this tesy yourself. All you need is a
stopwatch, a bar to hang from and a friend or relative to monitor the
testing. Tear out the score sheet opposite and use it to determine
whether you are bronze, silver or gold. The guidelines for performing
the test follow. If you score lower than you’d like continue to
practice the exercise daily and add one more push-up, curl or sit-up
each and two more seconds to the arm hang each week. There’s only
one prize in the offing. That’s improved physical fitness and
better health, something that’s worth much more than bronze, silver
(Men ; Women)
Equipment: Stopwatch. Procedure: (Men) Participant assumes
front-leaning rest position, hands directly under the shoulders. the
shoulders, back, buttocks and legs must be straight from head to heel.
Participant begins by bending his elbows and lowering the entire body
until the chest touches examianer’s fist. Examiner’s fist is
in an upright position directly under the center of the
participant’s chest. Participant returns to starting position with
arms completely extended.
Procedure: (Women) Participant assumes front-leaning rest position,
kness bent, hands placed directly under the shoulders. Shoulders, back
and buttocks must be straight from head to knee. Participant begins by
bending her elbows and lowering the entire body until her chest touches
the floor. Participant returns to starting position with arms
The test is terminated when: 1) 1.0 minute has elapsed; 2) the
participant stops or pauses.
Equipment: Stopwatch. Procedure: participant lies flat on the
back, knees bendt, shoulders touching floor with arms extended
completely by the sides, palms dowm. The tips of the fingers should
line 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 by
partner or tester. In executing the curl-up, the hands stay on the
floor sliding forward to rach the next designated mark (positioned
three inches forward of the first mark). the movement is accomplished
by lifting the head and shoulders off the foor as fas as necessary to
extend the fingers the required distance.
the test if teminated when: 1) 1.0 minute has elapsed; 2) the
participant stops or pauses due to fatigue; 3) improper form is used.
Equipment: 8-foot high horizontal bar, stool, stopwatch, cloth
tape. Procedure: Participant grasps bar with both hands, palms facing
out; holds the bar until fatigue or the maximal level for age group is
reached. The examiner starts the watch as soon as the participant is in
position and stops the watch when participant releases the bar.
Sit & Reach
Equipment: Yardstick, adhesive tape. Procedure: The participant
may warm up with a few practice stretches before testing. Participant
sits on the floor, legs extended, heels about five inches apart. Heels
must touch inside edge of tape marker on the floor. The yardstick is
placed between the legs, so that the 15-inch mark touches the near edge
of the tape-heel line marker. The participant slowly reaches forward
with both hands as far as possible touching fingertips to the yardstick
and holds this position momentarily. The yardstick indicates the
distance reached. The examiner holds the participant’s knees to
the floor during testing.
Three-Minute Step Test
Equipment: Bench 12 inches high, stopwatch, metronome set at 96
beats per minute (24 steps per minute; four clicks equals one
step–“up, up, down, down”). Procedure: The participant faces
the bench and in cadence with the metronome steps one foot up on the
bench (first beat), steps up with the second foot (second beat), steps
down with one foot (third beat) and steps down with other foot (fourth
Upon completion of three minutes, the participant sits down
quickly. The examiner locates the pulse and begins counting within five
seconds after the completion of the exercise, and counts for 1.0 full