Guys, try to complete the first level of the Conditioning Gauntlet for men.

I don’t care if how much a person can bench press, or if they know what Zottman curls are and I don’t use the scale to measure a person’s fitness level.  I don’t think weight loss is an indication of improvement in a client’s fitness level.  Performance and capability rules the day and is what matters when measuring the success of a fitness program.

Over 20 years as a personal trainer and coach I have developed a “Conditioning Gauntlet” that I use with my clients and kids on my team, and I have guidelines for both men and women.  If you read my article about the women’s level 1, the Gauntlet is split into 2 sections.  The first section consists of pull-ups, push-ups, sit-ups, 60-yard shuttle runs and the broad jump and the second section consists of the split jerk, squat, military press, dead lift and snatch.

There are no body building exercises – did I mention that Zottman curls don’t matter? – and, as a matter of fact, there aren’t any weight lifting exercises.

There are 2 levels for each section that reflect difficulty and conditioning level.

Here’s level 1 of the Conditioning Gauntlet for men.

  • Pull-ups – 1 set of 9 repetitions
  • Push-ups – 1 set of 55 repetitions
  • Sit-ups – 1 set of 50 repetitions
  • Broad jump – 8 feet (best of 3 jumps)
  • 60-yard shuttle runs – complete 8 in 12 seconds (or under) each taking 48 seconds rest in between shuttles

Being able to perform any one of these tasks means you’re probably in pretty good shape, especially the shuttle runs.  However, anyone, of any age, who can complete these tasks consecutively, is in very good shape. Allow plenty of time to warm up, do a set of each “event” and give yourself no more than 3-minutes in between exercises before running the Gauntlet.

Do yourself a favor; don’t try to complete this test until you have worked on these events.  The shuttle runs are extremely difficult – even for people in pretty good cardiovascular shape – and unless you’ve taken time and worked up to the 8 shuttles, don’t try this.

Level 1 of the Conditioning Gauntlet for men provides an accurate measure of your fitness level and anyone who can complete this test is in very good shape, no matter how much you weigh.


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