The President’s Fitness Challenge Adult Fitness Test


I remember it as if it were yesterday. My awkward adolescent body dangling from a pullup bar and all my friends and classmates gathered around watching. In my heart, I dared to hope, but alas, hope wasn’t enough. I grunted and scowled, but didn’t budge an inch. The PE teacher yelled “Next!” and it was time for the next victim.

How far we have come since those halcyon days of public embarrassment and shame. Now, the Presidential Fitness Test for kids (newly dubbed “The President’s Challenge”) is focused on building healthy lifestyle habits and self-esteem, but don’t you worry, there is still a way for you to exercise your childhood demons.

Taking into account aerobic fitness, muscular strength, flexibility, and body composition, The President’s Challenge Adult Fitness Test is designed to give you a good picture of your overall health. And, while there are no medals for being the best, you still get bragging rights for having an awesome score.


Aerobic Fitness: How fit are your heart and lungs?

To determine your level of aerobic fitness you have your choice of either a one mile walk (which requires that you record your pulse at the end) or a 1.5 mile run. The time it takes you to complete the allotted distance is your score for this event.


Muscular Strength: Are you strong enough?

Muscular strength is tested using the YMCA half sit-up (a crunch where you reach your hands towards your heels instead of holding your head) and the standard push-up for males and the modified (ie. kneeling) push up for females. Both exercises are scored based on the maximum number of repetitions you can complete in one minute.


Flexibility: Can you go with the flow?

The flexibility assessment is the “sit and reach” test. If you don’t have access to a specialized sit and reach box, you can use a standard yardstick instead. Sit on the floor with your shoes off and position the yardstick so that the mark for “0” is facing you and the mark for “14” is equal with your heels. Slowly reaching with both hands, see how far you can reach. The number of inches where your hands end up is your score.


Body Composition: How much junk is in your trunk?

Body Composition is evaluated using the Body Mass Index (BMI). While BMI can be useful for determining disease-risk in some individuals, it should be taken with a grain of salt. For example, a muscular individual who weighs 200lbs and is 6 feet tall will have the same BMI as a flabby individual who has the same height and weight. To calculate your BMI, you just need to know your height and weight.


Calculating Your Score:

Once you have completed the challenge, go to the website AdultFitnessTest.org to find out your score!

For more information about the exercises as well as ways to improve your score, visit AdultFitnessTest.org/Resources/Testbooklet.pdf


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About Tony Fed

Tony is the host of the Paleo Magazine Radio podcast, author of "Paleo Grilling: A Modern Caveman's Guide to Cooking with Fire", and Cofounder of Powerful PT, an innovative information resource for Fitness Professionals. He has appeared on numerous local and national television and radio broadcasts and regularly hosts healthy cooking workshops and informational lectures. He is also a full-time Personal Trainer and Wellness Consultant who lives in Jacksonville Florida with his wife Jamie.
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