An important part of your training is making sure you track your performance and strength progress. This guide is very detailed as I have tried to cover every aspect, however it is completely up to you on how intensely you follow this part. Don’t be intimidated, it is actually a lot more straight forward when put into action and is good for you to have a deep understanding of this area.
For testing Performance and Strength I have laid out below exactly how to test, what exercises to test and how often you should do so. I have also attached a printable chart with all of this information included where you can work from to record your results.
TACTICAL PERFORMANCE TESTING & TRACKING
For Progress, make sure you perform the following tests to establish where your starting point and current fitness level is at. Use a stopwatch for these exercises and preferably find someone to count your repetitions. You will want to record and document your results for each of the exercises so that you remember exactly what your results were. That way next testing day you can strive to smash these first results.
Tactical Performance Tests:
1) Pull-ups (max strict)
2) Push-ups (max in 2 minutes)
3) Sit-ups (max in 2 minutes)
4) 1.5 Mile (2.4km) run time
5) 500m Swim
These exercises are the standard of what is required in most physical fitness tests, so it's also great practice for those testing days.
How to test / Preparation
How you do your testing is important, as you want to test the same way every time so their isn’t unseen variables. I recommend breaking the endurance testing up from the bodyweight strength testing as if they were seperate, so you go into each test with enough energy to perform at your best!
Ideally you will perform the bodyweight strength testing in the morning. The order should be Pull-ups, push-ups then Sit-ups. Because Pull-ups require the greatest amount of energy I recommend performing them first when you are fresh.
Your endurance activities should be performed in the afternoon once you have had enough rest from the morning tests. I advise you to perform the run first then allow 10-15 minutes before you start the swim.
Make sure you are well hydrated and have enough energy before you begin. I recommend drinking 600ml – 1L of water along with having a small meal 2 hours before your test consisting of lean protein and fast acting carbohydrates. A couple of examples are;
• 150-200g Greek Yoghurt, 50-75g of Mixed berries
• An omelet (4 egg whites and 2 whole eggs), 1-2 slices of Toast with Jam or Honey spread.
Keep sipping water up until the tests and throughout, and make sure you rehydrate after you finish. You may not feel like you are sweating while in the pool, but you can lose a lot of water while swimming.
How Often Should I Perform This Test?
You will Re-test Every 8 weeks. The day prior must be a complete rest and recovery day.
Ideally you will perform these tests on the weekend and feel free to drop a cardio session so you will have the complete day before empty.
MAX STRENGTH TESTING & TRACKING
The main reason we will be testing this is to track your strength progress over the course of the training so you’re getting feedback that what you’re doing is working. Secondly you need to know your strength so you can correctly choose the right weight on your strength sets.
Max strength tests
1) Bench press (1RM)
2) Squat (1RM)
3) Deadlift (1RM)
Warm up sets
Before you test your max strength, you will need to undertake a proper warm-up. This should include light aerobic activity and some dynamic stretching. To work up to your 1 Rep Max, you will do the following.
1) Perform a light warm up set or two of 10-12 reps using around 40% of your predicted one rep max
2) Move up to 60% and hit 5-7 reps.
3) Add more weight to the bar so you’re at around 70% and perform 3-4 reps.
4) Go to 80% and get 2 reps.
5) Go to 90% and get 1 rep.
Attempt your 1 rep max
Put enough weight on the bar to take you to 100% of your predicted one rep max. If you’re feeling good and confident, you can add extra but if you felt shaky during your warm-up sets go slightly lighter. Attempt your one rep max.
How often will I test?
You will Re-test Every 8 weeks. The day prior must be a complete rest and recovery day. Ideally you will perform these tests on the weekend and feel free to drop a cardio session so you will have the complete day before empty.