A: Having worked at a lot of top gyms I feel uniquely qualified to answer this question. Gyms, and probably some other people, use fitness assessments to figure out your general condition and how hard they can push you before your heart craps out. A fitness assessment should be the first step of any exercise program. It not only helps a fitness instructor to design an exercise program for you, but it also weeds out the people who aren’t committed to actually getting into better shape. I decided after my first, and only, assessment that I would be much better as an instructor than an actual participant. As a matter of fact, just thinking about those initial deep knee bends has me short of breath. Hold on a second while I sit back for a bit and collect myself.
It will be different depending on where you go, but they all test for the same things. They test your general condition, your endurance, your strength, your agility, and as I said earlier, your commitment. You want to work on your endurance before stepping into the gym for that assessment. From personal experience I can tell you that it is pretty embarrassing to pass out halfway through your first set of ten pushups from being out of breath. Of course, I was far more sedentary back then. Now that my living arrangement has changed my physical activity has almost doubled. Especially on the days when my mom’s nurse is off and I have to run her beer upstairs and empty her bedpan.
Speaking of which, I should probably call the store and see if Chad can drop off another case of beer and a dozen doughnuts on his way home. Anyway, go take that fitness assessment and if you survive you will know if getting fit is something you can handle. Whew. All this writing has worn me out! Send more fitness questions and I’ll answer one or two of them after I take a nap.