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How do you shape up?

Do you dare match muscles with your neighbors? Last spring more than 100,000 Americans did in the first nationwide physical-fitness test ever conducted. the test was sponsored by the National Fitness Foundation and promoted by such ardent fitness fans as George Allen, head coach of the Arizona Wranglers and chairman of the President's Council on Physical Fitness and Sports. allen tore his tousers in the Oval Office while showing President Reagan the correct way to do pushups. Numerous other Americans, including U.S. senators, governors and even famous athletes, showed red faces, too, as they attempted the not0so-simple task of earning gold medals in the National Fitness Test. The test was designed to give adults aged 18 to 60 and above guidelines by which to judge their physical abilities.

Those who took the test already know how they scored--bronze, silver or gold, but the collected results due this month will give participants a better idea whether they are weaklings, average or supermen. Few were expected to pan out gold in all categories, which leaves plenty of room for improvement.

You can still take this tesy yourself. All you need is a stopwatch, a bar to hang from and a friend or relative to monitor the testing. Tear out the score sheet opposite and use it to determine whether you are bronze, silver or gold. The guidelines for performing the test follow. If you score lower than you'd like continue to practice the exercise daily and add one more push-up, curl or sit-up each and two more seconds to the arm hang each week. There's only one prize in the offing. That's improved physical fitness and better health, something that's worth much more than bronze, silver or gold.


(Men & Women)

Equipment: Stopwatch. Procedure: (Men) Participant assumes front-leaning rest position, hands directly under the shoulders. the shoulders, back, buttocks and legs must be straight from head to heel. Participant begins by bending his elbows and lowering the entire body until the chest touches examianer's fist. Examiner's fist is in an upright position directly under the center of the participant's chest. Participant returns to starting position with arms completely extended.

Procedure: (Women) Participant assumes front-leaning rest position, kness bent, hands placed directly under the shoulders. Shoulders, back and buttocks must be straight from head to knee. Participant begins by bending her elbows and lowering the entire body until her chest touches the floor. Participant returns to starting position with arms completely extended.

The test is terminated when: 1) 1.0 minute has elapsed; 2) the participant stops or pauses.


Equipment: Stopwatch. Procedure: participant lies flat on the back, knees bendt, shoulders touching floor with arms extended completely by the sides, palms dowm. The tips of the fingers should line up with the front edge of the designated mark of the floor. Feet, heels 12 incles from the buttocks secured and held to the floor by partner or tester. In executing the curl-up, the hands stay on the floor sliding forward to rach the next designated mark (positioned three inches forward of the first mark). the movement is accomplished by lifting the head and shoulders off the foor as fas as necessary to extend the fingers the required distance.

the test if teminated when: 1) 1.0 minute has elapsed; 2) the participant stops or pauses due to fatigue; 3) improper form is used.

Arm Hang

Equipment: 8-foot high horizontal bar, stool, stopwatch, cloth tape. Procedure: Participant grasps bar with both hands, palms facing out; holds the bar until fatigue or the maximal level for age group is reached. The examiner starts the watch as soon as the participant is in position and stops the watch when participant releases the bar.

Sit & Reach

Equipment: Yardstick, adhesive tape. Procedure: The participant may warm up with a few practice stretches before testing. Participant sits on the floor, legs extended, heels about five inches apart. Heels must touch inside edge of tape marker on the floor. The yardstick is placed between the legs, so that the 15-inch mark touches the near edge of the tape-heel line marker. The participant slowly reaches forward with both hands as far as possible touching fingertips to the yardstick and holds this position momentarily. The yardstick indicates the distance reached. The examiner holds the participant's knees to the floor during testing.

Three-Minute Step Test

Equipment: Bench 12 inches high, stopwatch, metronome set at 96 beats per minute (24 steps per minute; four clicks equals one step--"up, up, down, down"). Procedure: The participant faces the bench and in cadence with the metronome steps one foot up on the bench (first beat), steps up with the second foot (second beat), steps down with one foot (third beat) and steps down with other foot (fourth beat).

Upon completion of three minutes, the participant sits down quickly. The examiner locates the pulse and begins counting within five seconds after the completion of the exercise, and counts for 1.0 full minute.
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Copyright 1984 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:physical condition standards
Publication:Saturday Evening Post
Date:Oct 1, 1984
Previous Article:Dan Peters and Casey Jones.
Next Article:The lady who thought she was crazy.

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