The Push-Up Test

Well, it was a big weekend at my house. We finally had my son’s baby dedication, considering he’s almost not a baby anymore at 7½ months old. It’s kind of sad to think he’ll be a toddler in just a few short months. I almost feel like a baby itch is coming on, but what am I . . . crazy?

Anyways, we had some family here for the weekend; my parents, aunt, and cousins, as well as my father in-law. So, our house was full and loud which was really nice! I always dreamed of a big family with lots of kids. My husband and I wanted at least four, but then we actually had kids plus I got diabetes. So I think we’ve settled on two, but in my heart I secretly still hope for more. (Don’t tell my husband, he’ll freak out!)

As you can imagine, we ate and ate and ate some more over the weekend. I don’t think I have consumed so much food in my life! It was like a 24-hour smorgasbord––seriously. In fact, everyone has left and my refrigerator is still jammed packed with food; we can barely close the door. I won’t have to cook or grocery shop for a least a week, which is wonderful for me.

Unfortunately, I know Monday’s going to be a rough one. I only made it to the gym twice last week, and I already feel so out of shape. Plus, my trainer knew about our big shindig this weekend, and I’m sure I will pay for every last morsel that entered my mouth.

Have you ever actually tried to gauge how in or out of shape you really are? Like sometimes I’ll say to myself, when I can run this many miles in this many minutes then I’ll know I’m in shape. Or more commonly I say, when the scale hits 120 I’ll know I’m finally in shape. (Too bad that’s still a ways off!)

But what do you think about push-ups? Did you ever think they could actually help you determine what shape you’re in? Not me. In fact, when I read the article entitled An Enduring Measure of Fitness: The Simple Push-Up posted by The New York Times; I cringed a little, because if there’s any exercise I hate to do its push-ups.

Here’s what the article says: “The push-up is the ultimate barometer of fitness. It tests the whole body, engaging muscle groups in the arms, chest, abdomen, hips and legs. It requires the body to be taut like a plank with toes and palms on the floor. The act of lifting and lowering one’s entire weight is taxing even for the very fit.” (I think that’s an understatement.)

Anyone remember the “fitness pioneer” Jack LaLanne? According to the article he broke the world’s record by doing 1,000 push-ups in only 23 minutes. Wow! Can you imagine that? Incredible! He stated “It takes strength to do them, and it takes endurance to do a lot of them. It’s a good indication of what kind of physical condition you’re in.”
And guess what? Push-ups aren’t just for the young, they’re for the older generation as well. The article says, “The ability to do them more than once and with proper form is an important indicator of the capacity to withstand the rigors of aging.” Hey maybe push-ups are just the ticket we need to reach the Fountain of Youth. Wouldn’t that be great?

So now comes the fun part. Drop and give me 20! Did I just detect a little sarcasm in your voice as you spouted, “Yeah, right”? Don’t worry; I said the same thing. But really, here comes the ever-dreaded Push-Up Test. Seriously, this week it’s an interactive blog so get down and see how many push-ups you can do and then score yourself on one of the tables below that I found in The Washington Post.

Men: Full Body Push-ups

Age:

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60+

Superior

62

52

40

39

28

Excellent

47

39

30

35

23

Good

37

30

24

19

18

Fair

29

24

18

13

10

Poor

22

17

11

9

6

Very Poor

13

9

5

3

2

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women: Modified Push-ups

Age:

20-29

30-39

40-49

50-59

60+

Superior

45

39

33

28

20

Excellent

36

31

24

21

15

Good

30

24

18

17

12

Fair

23

19

13

12

5

Poor

7

11

6

6

2

Very Poor

9

4

1

0

0

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women: Full Push-ups

Age:

20-29

30-39

40-49

Superior

42

39

20

Excellent

28

23

15

Good

21

15

13

Fair

15

11

9

Poor

10

8

6

Very Poor

3

1

0

How’d you do? Not so great? Better than you thought? I actually did 26 full push-ups, and for my age that put me in the “good” category. Don’t hate me; remember I work out with a trainer, and if I couldn’t do at least that I think there’d be something wrong.

My husband just took the test and scored “fair.” He sighed and said “Hey, I’m out of practice.” I think that just about says it all!