As promised, the Fit Bottomed Girls are here to deliver Part One of our two-part series on the President’s Fitness Challenge. This week’s victim: Erin.
I headed out to my friendly neighborhood track recently to do the cardio portion of the President’s Fitness Challenge. Because the instructions said, “Alert! Do not take this test unless you’ve been running for 20 minutes continuously three or more times a week,” and because I despise running, I decided to do the 1-mile walk rather than the 1.5-mile run. Besides, who was I to disobey president’s orders?
So I got my walk on, and I must say I power-walked like a madwoman. As people jogged by me, I wiggled my butt like an Olympic athlete who medals in speed walking. As the laps ticked by, and my legs started burning, I started thinking it would be a relief for certain muscle groups if I could just break into a run. At my blistering pace, my lap times were nearly identical, ranging from 3.18 to 3.5 minutes.
Because I had recently discovered that my watch was broken, I was forced to use my cell phone as my stopwatch. It worked fine until I had to take my pulse for 10 seconds. Because my cell phone light times out after 7 seconds, it took me about 30 seconds before I finally got my heart rate. I took this into account when inputting my score.
I knew the push-up test would be my weakest event, so I forced myself to excel at the half sit-ups. And although my pug wanted to dig up the strips of tape that ensure the accuracy of the sit-ups, I managed to complete a whopping 74 half sit-ups in a minute.
I’m no Gladiator. So, luckily for me, women are able to do modified push-ups for the test. Otherwise I would have failed miserably. I did surpass my own expectations, managing to eke out 30 push-ups. I tried to make it 31, but my little arms collapsed underneath me.
Sit and Reach
While I don’t display Gumby-like flexibility daily, I thought I’d do better at this test than I did. After taping down my measuring tape and sitting and stretching three times, I was only able to hit 20 inches on the third reach. And it was painful.
After completing the test, I entered my data online and got my results.
Cardio: My butt wiggling and arm pumping were worth it, as my 13:14 time and 120-130 heart rate (margin of error due to cell phone snafu) put me in the 95th percentile. I think I’ll try to repeat this test in a few months—running and with a real stopwatch—out of curiosity.
Muscular Strength: While I rocked in ab strength—74 sit-ups put me in the 100th percentile—I need to work on the upper bod. My 30 modified push-ups only got me in the 60th percentile.
Flexibility: Though I know I really need to improve on this, my 20 inches apparently still got me in the 70th percentile. There are people less flexible on this test? Surprising.
Body Composition: I won’t reveal specifics of my body mass index, but that combined with my waist circumference scored me a “Normal.” Thanks, Prez!
Overall Score: 81st percentile. Nice work,Erin, nice work.
This test is a great way to get a baseline for your abilities. You find out your strengths and weaknesses, and it gives you a couple of areas to improve on. Plus, I will say that doing push-ups to fatigue is probably a good way to build strength in a hurry. I think I’ll wait a couple of days to push up again, though. I’m still recovering.
Tune in next Monday for Jenn’s fitness test. And don’t forget to do it yourself. Let us know what you thought! —Erin