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I'm a total geek for numbers and statistics. Over the course of my fitness and weight loss journey I've collected numerous physical fitness assessments. I am constantly setting goals and designing workouts around achieving a good level of overall functional fitness in as many areas as possible. Functional fitness is all about being able to perform (and excel at) a wide variety of physical activities, from playing sports to going on adventures. I want to be strong, fast, flexible, and have good endurance, all in as balanced a way as possible.

Can any of you recommend some metrics and provide references with objective standards to assess one's results? Ideally I would like a percentile score, such as doing X means you are more fit than Y% of people your age/gender.

To give you a sense for what I mean, Men's Fitness & Health provides tables for 5 physical fitness metrics: Push-ups, sit-ups, bench press, running, and vertical jump. Using their tables I know, for example, that I'm very good at push-ups, a decent runner, and horrible jumper, so I design my workouts around improving vertical jump. When it comes to strength, I try to achieve balance by comparing myself to the tables on exrx.net. I also look at my body fat percentage, and I design my diet around getting to a goal of 10-12% (considered optimal for males).

I would appreciate more similar tables to assess as wide a definition of fitness as possible.

  • Hrm. Any particular cohort? For example, there are many different tests for the elderly (AAHPERD, Fullerton chiefly among them), but the standards and tests are different for various age/sex groups. – JohnP Sep 9 '15 at 21:45
  • I'm most interested in the adult male cohort. I know that some of these tables are only available for people in their 20s, and there is at best some sort of assumed degradation over time. I'm not interested in assessing whether someone elderly is still functional, I'm talking about putting yourself on a scale from out-of-shape noob to elite athlete. – Tal Fishman Sep 9 '15 at 21:57
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    I feel like this is a bit undirected. What do you use currently? What does functional fitness mean to you? – Dave Liepmann Sep 10 '15 at 10:38
  • I edited to clarify that functional fitness means ability to excel at a wide variety of sports and physical activities. Currently I look at my percentile score for push-ups, bench press, 1.5 mile run, pull-ups, vertical jump, and body fat %. I wish I could also find tables for 100m-200m sprint, max plank time (or some other core exercise), squats. – Tal Fishman Sep 10 '15 at 14:35
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Start by having a read of: "101 Evaluation Tests", this should give you an idea of what tests are out there, as well as offering a few tables to rate your self. But I'd suggest you look at the YMCA battery, as well as estimating your current VO2max value, and comparing the value with any of the cohort specific tables out there. Alternatively the Army / Navy fitness assessment batteries will offer an idea of your current fitness classification, from a few simple tests.

There are numerous Apps that will help rate your fitness level, against one or more of the test batteries, estimate your: VO2max, BMI, Somatotype....., a personal favourite is: BioMetrIcs,

Related: (How) Can I use pulse as a fitness measure?

  • I was already indirectly tracking VO2max by looking at running. The running test is itself one of the ways to evaluate VO2max. I think that's not a bad measure of endurance, but it's just 1 measure, so far from complete. – Tal Fishman Sep 10 '15 at 16:01
  • The YMCA test battery also includes strength and flexibility tests, have a read. – arober11 Sep 10 '15 at 16:03

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