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Why measure your fitness?!

When taking on a fitness challenge and measuring one’s fitness, it is important to know where you’re going and what success looks like. For some people this is an easy calculation, for example a seasoned runner will know the time it has taken them in the past to run a distance (5k, 10k, marathon).

Without assessing, there can be no progressing. I love this sentiment because it’s true no matter what level of fitness you are currently at. I have lots of personal training clients and Primal athletes who have told me once they found they had made their first bit of progress, they wish they had more data to look at, once they start feeling better, healthier, and fitter, and started recognising that they have made improvements, they wish they had more to look back on and measure against.

For this and many other reasons, I get my clients to stay on top of their testing and that’s also why I created the Primal Games, for competitors to measure their current functional fitness levels, over different genres of fitness, that have industry standards, most importantly they are measurable against their own improvements. This can also be re-assessed, as the Primal Games is set to be repeated biannually. There is also some healthy competition thrown in and prizes to be won.

Everyone has their own strengths and areas they could improve on, which is why The Primal Games has 5 event stations that measure lots of different genres, meaning you can score well on 1 station and not so well on another, the aim is to see where you can improve and score as many points as you can over the 5 event stations.

Event station 1 is the Bleep Test.

A great cardiovascular test which adds in an element of agility and can be measured against industry standards, from 1st responders to members of elite special forces groups, as well as yourself and your peers.

Event station 2 is Muscular Endurance. An all-bodyweight workout lasting no more than 10 minutes, starting with easy movements and reps, building up minute by minute, giving you chance to push yourself till your muscles give out while testing your mental strength to keep going, with each rep you do getting you more points.

Event station 3 is the Isometric Strength.

Contraction of the muscles without movement (in a static position) assesses your grit and determination as well as your muscles physical endurance. Our 3 stations (hang, wall squat and high plank) will test your whole body and is a great measurement of overall health.

Event station 4 is the Strong-Human station.

Test your pure strength over our short course of pulling, carrying and lifting. Carry Army jerry cans 50m, drag a casualty 25m and lift our 5 Atlas bags over a 4ft wall. A great station for those who may not be as cardio driven.

Event station 5 is Run the Gauntlet. This station will be different every Primal Games and this station will give you the chance to really see what you have left in the tank and how competitive you are at the end of the Games (extra points available). Compete or just complete, this station will be a favourite amongst the Primal athletes.

To be a Primal Athlete, is to take on new challenges, learn new movements and be constantly striving for progress over a whole range of different functional fitness methods. Here are some other ways you can measure your progress to become a Primal Athlete and work on your functional fitness..

1. The obvious thing you could measure is your weight, however, we think that taking photos or clothing size is a healthier and happier way than standing on the sad step.

2. Hold a weight for time

3. Run distance over time

4. Max Burpees in 5 minutes

5. Lifting max weight or reps over a movement.

6. Monitoring heart rate

No matter how you assess your health and fitness, the main thing is, by measuring with lots of different methods you will get to see progress and see your improvements, which in turn will help you stay motivated and keep you accountable to your training. It can be very hard sometimes and its normal to feel a little nervous when taking on any assessments. However, if you are working hard and you want to see the benefits of your hard work, then you should assess your progress and make goals from the results. The truth is you can make improvements without measuring your progress but, it feels so much better when you can see the improvements.

Want to assess your current fitness, add a little competition to your current functional fitness regime, help build your fitness up for the games or can’t make the live Primal Games, sign up to the Virtual Primal Games and set your starting point and get added to the Virtual Primal Games leader board, (this can also be used as evidence for your Primal Games T-shirt if you fail to make the Primal Games, Ts&Cs apply, see the virtual challenge in the link).

At the point of assessing, it is important to be rational, logical and honest with what you expect. To be rational, logical and honest is to know how hard you’ve trained and how that equates to the last time you took on the challenge, for example; if the weather conditions or terrain were better last time, don’t be so hard on yourself if you fall short, Ask yourself, do you really want this and can it be done under the circumstances or is your target just a wish. I encourage my athletes to always set 3 outcomes.

1. The best outcome… getting a PB.

2. An acceptable outcome… this is probably the most honest and is based on current training levels and is not quite as high as the 1st.

3. The worst outcome… based again on honesty and rational calculations what will be a bad day in the office, that you will do your best to avoid.

Sometimes the 3rd outcome can still have a positive if it re-motivates you to get back on the program.

No matter where you are in your fitness journey, all you can give on the day is your very best, so do what you can and don’t stop till its finished. Take the data from the new assessment and apply it to making improvements over your next training period.

For more information check out the Primal Games and Virtual version of the Primal Games on our website and start progressing your full Human potential to become the best version of yourself.

Let us know on our social media platforms how you measure your progress…. And check out our posts on our social media of what’s to come.

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