Id like to know whats a simple way of testing fitness. The army seems to prefer push-ups, pull-ups, 2 mile run. But I wonder what happens to testing flexibility or respiratory capacity or peak force. Wouldnt these also be meaningful tests of fitness?
Depending on your definition of “simple”, there are many evaluation protocols that can be used to measure a specific aspect of an individual's “fitness”. These consist of:
- Cardiorespiratory efficiency (resting and exercise).
- Muscular strength and endurance.
- Muscle and joint flexibility.
- Body composition.
to name a few. The answer will depend on what it is you're trying to test. For example, the following lists some tests and what they evaluate.
YMCA Sub-maximal Bicycle test – evaluates physical work capacity and estimates maximal oxygen uptake.
Rockport Fitness Walking test – assess cardiovascular fitness.
Bench press test – tests the endurance and strength of the chest and shoulders.
Trunk Flexion/Sit and reach test – measures flexibility of the lower back and hamstrings.
Bioelectrical impedence – measures body composition and body fat.
The above are only a sample of the tests that are available. Testing for 'fitness' means different things to different people. There's no one test that provides a complete picture of an individual's level of fitness. So, as was stated, you'll need to identify what it is you'd like to test, and, select an appropriate testing protocol.