Fitness

Common Ways to Measure Athletic Ability

The kinds of athletes out there are as varied as the sports they play. So how can you compare them or tell if they are making progress?

Despite the varied physical demands placed on different athletes, there are standard methods used to measure athletic ability. Here are some common ones.

Mile Time

This one is a classic, yet is still fairly reliable as an all-around fitness gauge. The mile distance is ideal because it is short enough that you do not have to train for long distances to be able to run it. However, it is long enough that almost anyone will be tired and gasping for breath by the time they cross the finish line. It is also a good balance because you need good acceleration, speed and endurance to be successful.

Bench Press

This is a common measure for gauging upper body strength. Be sure to always do it with a spotter. It is a measure of 1 Rep Max.

VO2 Max

This measurement of athletic ability is a little more scientific. It is used to see how much oxygen you can absorb in a minute. This is important because oxygen is used to metabolize energy in the muscle cells during exercise.

Vertical Jump

This measure of athletic ability tests your plyometric strength, particularly in your legs. It is, simply, how high above the ground you can launch yourself. This gauges explosive force and power of your legs.

40 Yard Dash

This is the most common test used to measure acceleration and power.

P-M’s: Per-minute’s

This is a general term used to describe any activity that has to be done as many times as possible in a minute. Common P-M’s include push-ups, sit-ups, crunches, and up-downs. Alternatively, you can see how far you can run or swim in a minute.

References

http://nats.us/cm-combines/cm-grading-system.html

http://www.irc.atr.jp/~noma/papers/Paper/VSMM2001.pdf

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