Outside Online Archives

Outside magazine, May 2000 Page: 1 | 2 | 3 | 4

Go ahead, measure your current Parcourse prowess

In grade school, the Presidential Fitness Award rewarded fit kids with a nifty patch and year-long bragging rights. Alas, exercise achievement standards are not so clear-cut for adults, but baseline evaluations are still possible. We've provided some data below as fitness touchstones, loosely grouped by performance category: Olympian (Sydney 2000!), Weekend Warrior (you look good in bike shorts), and Penitent Sloth (your treadmill's a drying rack). "The standards can be used to set goals for yourself and monitor your improvement as your training progresses," says David Nieman, a professor at Appalachian State University and the author of Exercise Testing and Prescription: A Health Related Approach. Think of it as the Outside Parcourse Fitness Award. Sorry, we can't send you a patch, but bragging is strongly encouraged.

AGE OLYMPIAN WEEKEND WARRIOR PENITENT SLOTH

26-35 M: 51-85
F: 58-92
M: 88-102
F: 95-110
M: 104-161
F: 113-171
36-45 M: 49-88
F: 51-96
M: 92-105
F: 100-112
M: 108-163
F: 115-169
46-55 M: 56-93
F: 63-101
M: 95-111
F: 104-118
M: 113-159
F: 120-171
Measure pulse for one minute following three minutes of stepping at 24 steps/minute on a bench 12 inches off the ground. Each step is comprised of a four-count cycle: right foot up, left foot up, right foot down, left foot down. Compare your total beats-per-minute with the pulse-rate numbers above to see where you fall.
 
AGE OLYMPIAN WEEKEND WARRIOR PENITENT SLOTH

20-29 M: >=36
F: >=30
M: 22-35
F: 15-29
M: <=21
F: <=14
30-39 M: >=30
F: >=27
M: 17-29
F: 13-26
M: <=16
F: <=12
40-49 M: >=22
F: >=24
M: 13-21
F: 11-23
M: <=12
F: <=10
Men should follow instructions for push-ups on opposite page. Women's results are based on "knee up" push-ups. Place hands shoulder-width apart, back straight, head up, ankles crossed, knees on floor. Lower chest to the floor. Both groups should repeat to failure. Numbers above are total consecutive number completed.
 
AGE OLYMPIAN WEEKEND WARRIOR PENITENT SLOTH

20-29 M: >=44
F: >=39
M: 35-43
F: 28-38
M: <=34
F: <=27
30-39 M: >=40
F: >=30
M: 31-39
F: 21-29
M: <=30
F: <=20
40-49 M: >=35
F: >=25
M: 26-34
F: 16-24
M: <=25
F: <=15
Perform sit-ups per instructions for crunches on page 156. Do as many as possible in one minute, then compare your results with the numbers above.
 

Mike Grudowski, a former Outside senior editor, is currently a Weekend Warrior striving to become an Olympian.


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