In fitness, as with anything else in life, it is important to get results. Lets face it, working out is not the easiest thing to do, however, it is very beneficial, and positive results can be very motivating. One of the best ways to chart results and progress with an exercise program is through a fitness evaluation. What is included in a fitness evaluation?
Fitness evaluations can include a number of different tests to evaluate progress. One test in particular is the resting heart rate. A resting heart rate measurement is an indication of how hard your heart is working to pump out blood while at rest. A resting heart rate between 60-80 beats per minute is considered to be healthy, with 60 bpm being on the more beneficial end of the spectrum. Another good indicator of progress is the bodyfat test. There are many different ways of measuring bodyfat. The gold standard, and most accurate, would be hydrostatic weighing in which the subject is submersed in water. Hydrostatic weighing, however, isn't practical in most settings. Skinfold bodyfat measurements, in which a skinfold caliper is used, tend to be the most effective both in a practical sense and in regards to accuracy. Measurements are taken at the chest, abdomen, and thigh of a male and the tricep, suprailiac and thigh for the woman.
Circumferences are also a good indicator of progress used during assessments. Based on the client's goals, circumferences give an indicator of weight loss and/or muscle gain.
The ebelling submax test is also performed quite often in assessments. This submax test is performed on the treadmil and gives a good indication of aerobic capacity and cardiovascular endurance.