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Upper Body Strength

Push ups Test

Muscular strength is important at all ages. Lack of upper body strength can lead to various age related diseases such as sarcopenia and osteoporosis which can lead to health issues.

Muscle bulk also helps burn fat. If you have come to the gym to reduce your weight, then you need to add muscle first. Exercising on a treadmill for 30 minutes helps to increase your metabolic rate, but the exercise itself only burns the same amount of calories as consumed in a small packet of crisps.

However, muscle burns calories 24/7 as it is living tissue that needs energy, even when not being used. The more muscle you have, the more energy you need (even when you’re asleep).

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There are many ways to measure upper body muscle strength and each has their advantages. For practical reasons, FitQuest calculates your upper body strength from the push up test.

Getting the best push up results

It’s all about technique. To obtain consistent results, you should perform the test with your back straight and with no bending of the hips or knees. You should start with your arms straight in the ready position. When FitQuest tells you to start the test, lower your body as far as possible without touching the floor.

The results are based on several parameters, including how many press ups you can perform in 15 seconds and the effort made (work done) to make the press ups based on your weight, applied force and speed.

We also measure how long it takes you to make each complete press up. We then can see how much you slow down over the test period, so we can then calculate your fatigue rate.

What affects my upper body strength results?

Don’t start the test prematurely. Wait until FitQuest says "GO" otherwise you may not get any result at all. If you slow down or stop before FitQuest tells you to stop, your test results will be severely penalised, so make sure you keep going as fast as possible throughout the whole of the test period. Better to make one too many press ups rather than do one too little.

How do I improve my upper body strength?

There are many muscles in the upper body and FitQuest measures only some of them. Don’t just concentrate on building muscle strength, but also work on muscle endurance as well. The best way to improve your score is to practice push ups as often as possible. The test is not looking for how many push ups you can do in total, but how many you can do in 15 seconds, therefore it is speed that counts. If you can’t do any push ups, then you can try practicing push ups from the knees instead of from your toes.

Ask your PT

Ask your personal trainer for advice and guidance which exercises are most suitable for you and, as always, don’t be afraid to tell them what exercises you don’t like doing. They will definitely want you to enjoy your experience.

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