This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia, which closed in 2021.

10 Ways To Measure If You Really Are As Fit As You Think

The catch? You've got to be able to do all 10.

Think you're in pretty good shape? Maybe you go to the gym a few times a week, or you can run five kilometers on the weekend without collapsing into a breathless heap. If so it's safe to say you're not doing too bad.

Though Personal trainer Chris Feather has developed a way to measure your true fitness, by ticking 10 fitness tests off a list. The catch is that to be in really great shape you need to be able to do all 10 -- though not all in a row, thankfully.

"On their own these measures are not groundbreaking, but if you can hit all 10 at any given time I would say you had good state of General Physical Preparedness (GPP)," Feather told The Huffington Post Australia.

And Feather knows his stuff. One of Sydney's most respected trainers, he was a professional Rugby League player for 12 years, playing top level Super League in the UK and Elite Level 1 Rugby in France. Feather founded the infamous 98 Riley Street Gym which is owned by Russell Crowe. He is also a go-to trainer for Crowe's contacts when they are in town.

"You will see that all of the below exercises are simple gym based movements. I'd say this is my forte and I use them as I feel that they are a good all round measure of strength, power, muscle endurance and endurance," Feather said.

Being able to run 10kms outdoors in less than 50 minutes is one measure.
Getty Images/Moment RF
Being able to run 10kms outdoors in less than 50 minutes is one measure.

"They are about moving your own body weight and how efficiently and to what standard you can do that. You don't need to over complicate things when it comes to testing for GPP."

So, what exactly is GPP?

"General Physical Preparedness essentially lays the groundwork for later specific physical preparation -- this is when athletes specifically train for their sport. When working on GPP you are working on general conditioning to improve strength, speed, endurance, flexibility, skill etc."

"GPP is important because without building a solid foundation and a base level of fitness it will make it hard for you to progress to the best of your ability. Often a person will look at where they want to be and train like that person straight away, this can lead to burnout, injury or you may not see the results you hoped for because the higher your GPP, the more likely you are to see results," Feather said.

Remember, all of these combined are the measure of someone who is truly fit. If you're not, don't stress -- make these your end goal. Particularly with the weight moves, if you're not sure always enlist the help of a professional trainer before trying them on your own or testing yourself.

Being able to hold at the top of a push up for 5 minutes is another measure.
Cecilie_Arcurs via Getty Images
Being able to hold at the top of a push up for 5 minutes is another measure.

1. 2000m row in under 7 minutes

"This is a great indicator of cardiovascular fitness as well as endurance and strength, in your lower body, upper body and core. It will also test your mental resolve, as a 2000m row is challenging enough, especially when aiming to finish in 7 minutes," Feather said.

2. 2 x bodyweight deadlifts

A properly executed deadlift is a great indicator of pure strength as it engages everything from your calves to your hand grip. Furthermore, it is an exercise that you can do without a spotter and it's a practical exercise as most people will have to lift something that they had to pick up from the floor at some point in their lifetime."

On a side note, recent research is finding the grip strength may be a good measure of heart health, so that being the case, you should work on improving it.

3. 1.5 x bodyweight back squat

"A well-executed weighted squat produces a level of muscular stimulation and growth that you can't get from a machine. Furthermore, it requires good lower body strength and it works your core and balance -- all of which are important elements for not only your health and fitness now, but for your longevity into older age," Feather said.

4. 75 percent of your bodyweight strict overhead press

"A strict overhead press is mainly an upper body strength exercise. However the fact you are standing and pressing overhead you need to engage your full lower body for stability and balance. The strict overhead press is a full body movement."

5. 1.25 x bodyweight bench press

"I use this because it is a fairly low skill, functional, compound movement. There was a heavy emphasis on this movement while playing footy. I enjoyed it and found a lot of benefit from it which is why ) have it as one of my standards," Feather said.

"I use this movement again because it is compound and functional. I feel this is a true measure of the strength to body weight ratio. You need to be able to move your own engine. There's nothing cool about being able to lat pull down 100kg's if you can't do a pull up."

7. 100 burpees to target in under 7 minutes

"Again, this is about moving your own engine."

8. 50 box jumps in under 3:30 minutes

"This is a full body test of speed and power endurance. How fast can you move your full body repeatedly," Feather said.

9. 10km outdoor run (on a flat surface) in under 50 minutes

"Again, a good test in for cardiovascular endurance."

"This is a good test of isometric core and shoulder strength and stability as well as mental toughness."


Suggest a correction
This article exists as part of the online archive for HuffPost Australia. Certain site features have been disabled. If you have questions or concerns, please check our FAQ or contact