Fitness Friday:  How many push-ups can you do?

This shows part of the print-out sheet for the President's Fitness Challenge. Record your stats over time - hopefully you will see improvement! SOURCE IMAGES
October 26, 2012

Remember back in high school when you were the push-up champ? Or maybe you were a sit-up or V-sit champ during those Presidential Fitness campaigns that gym teachers always ran...

How many push-ups can you do?

I remember struggling to keep up with stronger classmates as we did as many push-ups as we could in a minute.

While I could handle the push-ups, the V-sit and the the pull-down bar, often I would struggle in other areas. I expect I would still struggle in those same areas.

Try The President's Adult Fitness Test on for size. Make it a challenge for the whole family.

The fitness test is broken down into categories. First is the aerobic measure, which tells you to write down your heart rate after a 1 mile walk or 1.5 mile run.

The second is muscular strength and endurance, where you will meet your old friends the sit-up and the push-up. The third is a flexibility test and the final is a look at your body composition.


Here's an excerpt from the website:

"The adage "use it or lose it" says it all. For example, not using your muscles results in a loss of strength and function. Please refer to the FITT box for more information. A FITT box is provided with each test item to help you improve.

You can improve your fitness with additional exercise that includes changes to the frequency, intensity, time, and type of each exercise. Remember the FITT principle:

F (Frequency) How many times you do an exercise each week or month. (For example, I walk 7 days a week; I lift weights 3 times a week.)

I (Intensity) How strenuous or heavy the exercise is in terms of weight lifted, speed of movement or effort exerted. (For example, I walk at 3.5 miles per hour; I lift weights that are 70% of the maximum I can lift.)

T (Time) How long you do the exercise per session. (For example, I walk for 30 minutes; I lift the weight 10 times with a 1-minute rest at the end, and repeat that twice.)

T (Type) What kind of exercise you do (for example, biking vs. walking, or lifting weights vs. doing push-ups)."


Get right down to it. Take turns with your partner or family member. Have the other person record the number of sit-ups or push-ups that you can do in one minute. Record the numbers on the print-out sheet. Then practice for a week and do the test again to see how you have improved.

After the muscle test, try the flexibility test. This is similar to the gym class test. The sit-and-reach aims to test the hamstring muscle group. Record your best measurement.

The website also includes a page to determine your BMI or Body Mass Index. This is an important number to keep track of over time. I have never liked mine - and I feel most people wish theirs was better too.

I prefer to look at waist circumference. This is can be a better way to show improvement. Since many health issues are directly related to the fat we store around our middles, it can be a good way to show how healthy you are.

Write the circumference down on the print-out sheet as well. Then after a few weeks of exercising and eating right, measure again.

Please make sure you are healthy enough to take the fitness challenge. On the main page of the website there is a link to a questionnaire. Take this first if you are at all unsure about doing the fitness tests.

For more information, go to the website -


Have a great weekend droolers!

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    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."