Imagine, for a moment, you’re about to parachute out of an airplane.
You look out the door and realize how far you’re about to jump. You’re probably thinking
- Shit, that’s a long way down
- I hope my chute works
- What the heck I’m doing? I’m out
However, I want you to admire the view from 10, 000 feet. Things that are huge with your feet on the ground are so small and insignificant from way up high. Isn’t the view great?
I want you to take this same mindset when it comes to health and fitness.
When getting in shape or improving what you have, there’s a plethora information on losing fat, building muscle and what you should put into your mouth. And this is big business.
According to Marketdata Enterprises, Inc a leading independent market research company, the U.S. weight loss market alone is worth $66 billion dollars. That’s why when you enter this world, you’ll see the good, the bad and the ugly.
This could entail choosing between the red (keto) or blue (intermittent fasting) pill or chasing the rabbit (kettlebells, dumbbells, barbells etc.) down the rabbit hole. Fitness can be complicated the further you go down the hole; however, you can stay at the surface where it’s simple and still get great results.
Life is difficult enough without exercise being complex and that’s why it’s better to keep it simple. But how do you cut through all the B.S, the Google searches and bro science to find out what you really need?
This is where Dan John steps in with 1234 Assessment, featured in his book ‘Can you go.’
Sorry, you’re going to have to work a tad to find out what you need to look for from 10,000 feet.
Assessment 1- Stand on one foot (10-20 seconds)
Instructions – Stand next to a wall and have a stopwatch handy. Take one foot off the ground and balance and record your time for both sides. Dan suggests if it’s less than 10 seconds (on either side) you may have an underlying medical condition and a check up is recommended.
It wouldn’t kill you to visit your doctor occasionally anyway.
Assessment 2 Weight, Body fat percentage, height and waistline
B.F % –
Instructions – Your weight and height are self-explanatory. Get a measuring tape and measure your waist at belly button height and your waist at the widest part of your glutes. If you don’t have access to a body fat measurement device, your local gym should have one. If not, it’s no big deal.
Assessment 3 Three unusual questions
- How many pillows does it take you to get comfortable at night? –
- Do you eat colorful vegetables? –
- Do you exercise 30 min per day? –
Instructions – Answer them and I’ll explain later.
Assessment 4 Physical
1. Push up plank for 2 min –
2. To the floor and back up (5 points for each. – 1 point for the use of hand/knee)
Getting down from standing –
Getting up from the ground –
Instructions – You remember the plank, right? If not, watch the video below for a quick refresher.
Try and hold this position for 2 minutes and good luck. Try to go to your happy place during this test.
The second test involves getting down and up from the ground without using your hands and knees. Anytime a hand or knee touches the ground you’ll lose a point from 5 and then you’ll total your score out of 10. Don’t over think this one, just do it.
What these tests tell you
Test 1 If you balanced 20 seconds on both feet, your balance is good. If not, you’ll plug some simple balance exercises into your exercise routine like ones in the video below.
Test 2 This test is telling you (if haven’t figured it out already) whether fat loss is your focus. Take you waist measurement and divide it by your hip measurement and check the chart below.
Health risk Women Men
Low 0.80 or lower 0.95 or lower
Moderate 0.81– 0.85 0.96 –1.0
High 0.86 or higher 1.0 or higher
If you’re in the high category, fat loss and working on your glutes is your thing. However, there’s more. To find your ideal waist measurement, halve your height in inches. For example, I’m 74 inches tall, so 37-inch waistline or below is ideal.
Keeping your waist measurement half your height will help keep you above the ground longer.
Test three The more pillows it takes you to get comfortable at night suggests (according to Dan) a lack of mobility. If you’re using two or more pillows, working on your mobility is recommended.
Do you eat your vegetables? Be honest, we all need to eat more vegetables (unless you’re a vegetarian) and the more colors you have on your plate, the better for your health and waistline.
Movement is the key for your health and wellness. Do you move for 30 minutes a day? If not adding more and sitting on your butt less is key. How hard is it to put on a pair of shoes and go for a stroll?
Test four If you can hold a push up plank for 2 minutes, you’re strong and strength is not the thing holding you back. I’ve only had 3 people pass this test because it’s hard.
If you’re unable to hold it for at least 1 minute, working on your strength is paramount.
The get up and down is a test for your overall mobility. If you scored 7 or below and use more than two pillows to get to sleep, incorporating mobility exercises into your routine is crucial.
The ability to get up from the ground is a underrated skill because if can’t, you’re in real trouble.
Putting this all together
Credit- Dan John
Match your test results to the Venn diagram above, which tells you what you need.
If you’re a one it’s because you passed all the tests except the pillow and get up and down test (which is rare) and working on your ankle, hip and shoulder mobility is your thing.
A two is working on the above and fat loss. Inefficient exercises like KB swings, Goblet squats and loaded carries combined with cutting back on sugar, eating more colorful vegetables and drinking more water is something you’re going to fall in love with. Or not. 😊
A three is working on fat loss described above.
A four (which is a lot of women) is combining fat loss with some good old-fashioned strength training. You’ll have a steady diet of squats, picking up heavy things from the ground and pushing heavy things overhead.
A five means you passed every test except the push up plank test and strength training. This means you and the barbell are becoming best buddies.
A six ( which is a lot of men) involves getting stronger and staying mobile.
If you’re a seven, you need mobility, fat loss and strength training, otherwise known as the hamburger with the lot.
With all the noise, hype and BS in the health and fitness world, it’s hard to figure out what you really need. However, after performing these four simple tests you’ll know exactly what need.
There’s nothing stopping you now. Go ahead and jump.
If you need help putting this into action, contact me so we can work together.