Start with an Assessment


Fitness assessment tests are the first step toward your goal

Welcome to Summer! Well, technically it’s not summer just yet, but Memorial Day kicks off the start of the summer vacation season. The weather starts to break and the warmth of the sun usually means it’s time get outside and get moving! In past articles, I have often emphasized the need to start working out or make a change. This month however, I want to ask where you are. It’s very important to know your starting point (i.e., what you are eating and how much, and your activity and its level) before you take on any challenges, diet/nutrition changes, or even hitting the gym hard.

In the U.S. Army, and of course every other military branch, all members are given a physical fitness assessment test. This is a way to determine your fitness level and act as a guide to areas on which you should focus. There are a number of places you can go to look for fitness assessment tests. You can look at what the military uses or pick something from YouTube. I would strongly recommend performing some sort of assessment before you start any program.

I have spent the last month doing a deep dive into what the average man or woman is capable of doing when it comes to fitness. (For the sake of this article I have limited my research to North America.) I was amazed to find that, on average, a beginner (defined as someone with little to no workout experience) has a very low threshold for what they should be capable of performing. For example, the average adult U.S. male can perform one pull-up, and on average, only perform about 15 consecutive pushups. This doesn’t even take into account cardio, in which the average U.S. male can walk about three miles in an hour. Those numbers decrease for the average adult female. I only mention these numbers as a place to gauge where you are in relation to the average person.

I also want to emphasize the need to conduct your own assessment before you start into a program or hit the gym hard. You don’t want to start out so hard that you overdo it, making yourself sore or hurting yourself. Lactic acid may plague your workout resulting in soreness that could lead you to lose interest in working out. The other problem is pushing too hard too fast that you could hurt yourself. I am speaking from experience here. Recently, I was in the gym and decided to increase the number of reps and sets I was doing while increasing the weight dramatically. The result, I strained myself to the point of hurting my ankle, which had the net effect of not being able to workout. It can become a negative cycle that will cause you to lose interest. 

When it comes to fitness, take an assessment test, come up with a plan and take it slowly. You’ll stay with any fitness regime if you see continuous progress over time! Slow and steady wins!

Come back next month when we will talk about how to initiate a change to you diet!

If you have questions or need a guiding hand, take a moment to write your question and contact me through email at


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