What To Expect During Your Fitness Assessment


A well-planned series of assessments will provide you and your trainer information useful in making decisions for implementing your healthrelated exercise program. We recommend talking to your physician before starting a fitness assessment or beginning an exercise program.

How should I prepare?

There are some things you can do in advance to make certain the data collected is accurate, and that the testing runs smoothly.

  • No eating, consumption of alcohol, caffeine or tobacco for 1.5 hours prior to your appointment
  • Avoid exercise or strenuous activity the day of your appointment
  • Get adequate sleep the night before
  • Wear comfortable loose-fitting clothing to your appointment

Test Order:

Your trainer will run the tests in the following order:

1. Resting Measurements
2. Body Composition
3. Cardiorespiratory Fitness
4. Muscular Fitness
5. Flexibility and Range of Motion

Resting Measurements:

Your trainer will measure your resting heart rate by palpation of the radial pulse (near the inside of the wrist) Your appropriate exercise target heart rate range will be calculated.

Body Composition

In physical fitness, body composition is used to describe the percentages of fat, bone and muscle in human bodies. A hand-held Bio-Impedance device will be used to determine your Lean Body Mass(LBM) and Fat Mass. Your trainer will use these numbers to calculate your ideal body weight range. Your Body Mass Index(BMI) will also be calculated. BMI is a measure of your weight relative to your height. Carrying excess body fat, not muscle, puts you at greater risk for health problems such as heart disease, cancer, diabetes and stroke.


Your trainer will use a measuring tape to measure your waist and your hips. A calculation called Waist-to-Hip Ratio will be made.

Cardiorespiratory Fitness

Cardiovascular health is important because it can help you maintain your proper weight. In addition, cardiovascular fitness can help lower the “bad” cholesterol in your body, LDL, while increasing the level of “good” cholesterol or HDL. Cardiovascular fitness can also lower high blood pressure. A step test will be used to measure the fitness of your heart and lungs. Your trainer will set a metronome for cadence. You will step up and down on a step bench for three (3) minutes. Your heart rate will be taken immediately after the three (3) minutes.

Muscular Fitness

Improving strength and endurance contribute to a higher metabolism and decreased risk of injury as well as toned and firm muscles. This in turn increases your caloric expenditure (burn) both while at work and rest. Muscular endurance helps maintain proper posture all day long. Two (2) tests of muscular strength will be administered by your trainer. Pushups will be done to fatigue. The strength of your abdominals will be tested by a one-minute curl-up test. Your trainer will help you use good form.

Flexibility and Range of Motion

By assessing your flexibility and range of motion your trainer is able to assess muscular imbalances, and range of motion around your joints (knees, hips, shoulders, neck, and spine.).Your trainer will guide you through a series of stretches to assess your flexibility and ROM. A program will be designed to help balance and strengthen your body.

Fitness Testing Definitions

Body Mass Index (BMI) is a height to weight test. There is a significant association between high BMI and cardiovascular disease. The risk of cardiovascular disease increases sharply at a BMI of about 27.8 kg/m2 for
men and 27.3 kg/m2 for women.

Waist-to-Hip Ratio is a circumference test. The test measures the ratio of body fat distributed in the waist and the hip. The test is a valid predictor of chronic disease risk. Men should be at or below .95. Women should be at or below .80. However, standards do vary depending on age for both sexes.

Bioelectrical Impedance is a body composition test measuring fat free mass (FFM) as well as body fat. It is a rapid and non-invasive test.

Sit-and-Reach is a low back and hamstring flexibility test. Lower back pain as well as fitness performance is associated with poor hamstring and low back flexibility. Standards for men and women are dependent on age.

Shoulder Flexibility is test measuring upper body flexibility. Normal shoulder flexibility should range from 0-2 inches in men and women.

Target Heart Rate Range (THRR) is the range of intensity a person should be exercising in order to develop cardiovascular and body composition changes. However, the higher the intensity, the less fat the body uses during the exercise.

Aerobic Step-Test is a test to measure the heart’s cardiorespiratory endurance in a pre-set amount of exercise intensity and time.

Muscle Endurance Testing is composed of two tests, push-ups and situps

Reference(s): American College of Sports Medicine Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Eighth Edition


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