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These Eight Simple Tests Provide a True Gauge of Your Fitness Level – Men’s Health UK

May 4th, 2023

If you've had a break from training and want to see where your fitness levels are, or if you've been grafting hard and want a better measure of your progress than how long you can pound along on the treadmill, we have a fitness test for you.

The essential body movements exam will pit you against eight basic tests of fitness, including an 'old man test' for balance and a good old fashioned beep test to gauge cardiovascular capacity.

According to the test's designers, Hudson and Brandon White, aka the Buff Dudes, this is a test that anyone should be capable of passing. 'These are things everyone, no matter the age, whether youre 5 or 95, you should be able to accomplish.' said Hudson White.

'They're not easy, as you can tell we're sweating, we're out of breath, but they're a lot of fun and we highly encourage everyone to get out there and do these movements, learn them, perfect them,' Brandon White added.


Set a timer, put on your socks and shoes while balancing.

The Buff Dudes recommend: 'Balancing on one foot, put on your sock and shoe and tie it without your foot touching the floor. Repeat the process for the other side.


See how far you can go completing the bear crawl with a water bottle on your back.

The Buff Dudes recommend: 'Bear crawl 20 yards (60 feet) while balancing a shaker bottle on your back. Fill it 90% with water to create imbalance. If the shaker bottle falls off, you're done. Keep your knees off the floor and your back straight.'


Set a timer, hold onto a pull up bar for as long as you can.

The Buff Dudes recommend: 'This is an endurance [test] not just strength'


If it is possible for you to jump, choose a platform to jump onto safely that is suitable for your fitness levels. If it is not possible for you to jump do not complete this part of the test.

The Buff Dudes recommend: 'Get a nice little squat; you don't want a deep squat. Use your arms to get that momentum, and swing them up so you can jump nice and high.'


Complete the trap bar deadlift safely and correctly to see how heavy you can lift.

The Buff Dudes recommend: 'Never start too heavy, just get the form, which is always more important. Brace yourself, have everything really tight and stable. Explode up'


Complete a fireman's carry with your partner for as long and far as possible. If you don't have a partner, you can complete this test as an atlas stone shoulder carry.

The Buff Dudes recommend: 'Another basic movement we recommend everyone should be able to do is a carry. It's essential for many other things, just like the other tests we've been performing today.'


With a timer, complete the beep test to gauge your cardiovascular fitness.

The Buff Dudes recommend: 'Running is another essential body movement everyone (barring injuries or a disability) should be able to do. Run 20 yards one way, run 20 yards the next, we're basically going to do it until we can't anymore. Every single time we hear a beep, we're going to keep running. It starts at eight seconds and it gets shorter and shorter.'


Complete 50 bodyweight squats.

The Buff Dudes recommend: 'Learning how to squat is going to be extremely important for your daily activities and your health. Get yourself in a comfortable position, toes pointing slightly outwards. Push your hips back, squat down with a flat back. Keep that nice flat back even if you have to do a shorter rage of motion.'

Kate is a fitness writer for Mens Health UK where she contributes regular workouts, training tips and nutrition guides. She has a post graduate diploma in Sports Performance Nutrition and before joining Mens Health she was a nutritionist, fitness writer and personal trainer with over 5k hours coaching on the gym floor. Kate has a keen interest in volunteering for animal shelters and when she isnt lifting weights in her garden, she can be found walking her rescue dog.

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These Eight Simple Tests Provide a True Gauge of Your Fitness Level - Men's Health UK

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