Wednesday, April 7, 2010

How Strong Are You?


Have you ever wondered how strong you are? I mean if you work out regularly and lift heavy, would you like to know if you are really strong or just think you are strong. How do you know if your heavy lifting is really heavy and enough? You can't just compare yourself to the gym rat next to you, because you don't know his genetic make up and how long he has been training for. So how do you measure strength?

Well one way would be to join a competition such as a Strong Man Competition. But lets face it, most of us are not full time athletes and don't intend to become one, so this is out of the question.

Another method is to use a scientific methodology in the gym which will tell you what your strength deficit is... which means, how much strength your body can physically produce vs how much strength you currently have. This is the best way to discover how strong or how heavy you are lifting and whether you are strong strong or just think you are strong. This is covered in the Fitness Science manual, so due to copyright reasons, i can't go into full details of it. This is the correct method to use to measure strength and not the stupid machine they had everyone pull in the Biggest Loser Asia.

But for this post, i am going to share a quick lay man table with you and if you compare yourself with the exercises you are doing below, it will give you a rough indication of how strong you really are. So its you against.... well you.

This technique is simple. There are 3 basic exercises (which almost everyone will be doing), and all you have to ask yourself is, am i doing enough or am i close to the recommendation. In short, you should be able to perform up to 8 reps of the exercises below. If you fall short, then you are not very strong. If you are lifting heavier than the recommended weight and still completing 8 reps, then you are mighty strong.

So here is how you gauge yourself.

When you are lifting, the amount of weight you should have for each exercise is as below:
  • Standing Barbell Curls - half your body weight for 8 reps
  • Bench Press your body weight for 8 reps
  • Squat 1.5 times your body weight for 8 reps

Now i am sure if you are a serious fitness junkie or gym rat, you will definitely be doing the exercises mentioned above already. it would be part of your routine. So the question to ask yourself is, are you doing the recommended amount of weight and reps. If yes, then that's great, you would be considered strong. If you are not, don't feel bad. now you have a goal to work towards, so keep at it and i am sure you will get there.

So how strong are you. Me? Well, I can do half my body weight curls and my body weight bench press. But my legs, still short of the goal above due to a leg injury i had many years ago, but i am working towards it. Hopefully i get to reach it soon. When i do, i will let you guys know.

Anyway, do share your thoughts as well as your own strength test results for the exercises above. Look forward to hearing your comments.




11 comments:

Aizan Suhaira said...

I'm curious Rajan. Would a different measurement be used if you're only lifting dumbbells or does the same rule apply. Because I can't imagine myself squatting with a 30kg db in each hand.

It's been a long time since I've done any workouts with barbells...

Lexis Excellence said...
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Lexis Excellence said...
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Anba said...

A very simple way of testing your strentgh... now atleast i know what to aim for...

Rajan said...

Aizan: i was going to recommend pretending to join a gym and get a free 7 day pass. This way you can you can do barbell squats and find out how strong you are.

Lexis: Dude... you are one light weight american. My weight is about 180. Are you sure you are only 150??? That's pretty light man.

Anba: Yes, thats the whole purpose of this scale... easy to use and shows you what to aim for. glad you like it.

Jon said...

Does this apply to older people? For example a 70 yr old?

Rajan said...

Jon: this is test of strength to find out how strong you are regardless of your age. But of course at age 70 no one expects you to be that strong. if you can reach it, great, if you fall short nothing to be ashamed of.

ian yusof said...

cool, I am strong. :)

I should aim to be stronger ....

Lexis Excellence said...
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Rajan said...

Ian: That's good man. BTW, i met Syukran over the weekend. really cool guy.

Kasey: 50 one arm pushups? wow, i can barely just pass 50 normal push ups...

BTW, check it out. i added your blog to my list of favourites. Hope it helps to generate some traffic.

Kasey Brown Fitness said...

Yep start spreading the news.

Daily Muscle is gonna have kittens when he sees it.