Howdy Everybody! Welcome to Cave Magazine!
I am excited to be the source of health, fitness, and nutrition information for all of you readers on this amazing site! Having said that, I have a great idea for this first major article.
Let’s figure out where you stack up. In order to properly determine your goals, it’s probably a good idea to find out where you stand. So I figured we could go over some baseline health and performance measures for both men and women for elite, above average, average, and failing.
Definitely a more important measure than body weight, body fat percentage tells us the true makeup of your mass. If you’ve never had it checked before, it’s definitely something you should look into. Here are some guidelines for where you stand…
MEN – Elite – 5-10%…always have a 6-pack, ready for a magazine cover this is usually reserved for professionals and elite athletes…
Above Average – 11-15%…This will definitely give you a flat stomach, maybe a couple abs showing. Definitely puts you in the ‘athletic category’
Average – 16-25%…You are always in the mindset that you are alright, but could be a little more focused…a little extra insulation on the stomach.
Failing – 25%-infinity…You are soft all over and probably get out of breath climbing stairs. Health issues are on the way. Do something.
WOMEN – Elite – 15-20%…May or may not have a full six-pack but definitely a flat stomach, and the envy of all your friends.
Above Average – 21-25%…You are not in the elite range, but you stay in good shape. You fit into most of the outfits you want, and probably get a lot of attention from the boys.
Average – 25%-35%…Depending on body type, this range can look a variety of ways. You probably want to make a change in some way though.
Failing – 36%-infinity…Again, looks aren’t even the most important part here. You need to take control of your health.
Pushups are a staple in physical development at all ages, all around the world. There are a lot of details that go into a proper pushup that I won’t go into depth about right now, but just understand that you need to be able to do multiple quality pushups if you wan to consider yourself a physically capable individual.
MEN – Elite – 35+ pushups. I know what you’re thinking…doesn’t sound that hard. There is a pretty good chance that you don’t know what a good pushup looks like.
Above Average – 20-34 pushups. This is still pretty good and it probably relates to a bodyweight bench press. You could still get stronger if you want to be a champ.
Average – 10-19 pushups. Not quite good enough. Everyone should be in the double digits, but this doesn’t qualify as fit.
Failing – 0-9 pushups. If a grown man can’t do double-digit pushups, then he better be able to crunch some serious numbers on the calculator.
Here’s a demonstration of a proper pushup.
WOMEN – Elite – 10 or more. This is extremely impressive and more rare than you think.
Above Average – 2-9. Full-length pushups are difficult for women, who tend to be weaker in the upper-body. With a little focus, you can crush it.
Average – 1 Full-length pushup. Hard to do on your first try. Pretty good just to get here.
Failing – Barely one pushup from your knees. If you struggle not to kiss the floor involuntarily, then you need some help. Get on a program.
PULLUPS/CHINUPS…Pushups are important, but pullups are truly the best measure of upper body strength. It is also strongly related to body composition, so the more fat you are carrying, the harder it is to get over that bar. Most people think of them as chinups, but pullups refer to all the grips and is really the better name. Wide-grip is hardest, neutral-grip is easiest.
MEN – Elite – 15 or more. Most people in the gym feel like you can do these forever. Next step is a muscle up. Are you ready?
Above Average – 7-14. This is pretty impressive and proves you probably have a decent sized back.
Average – 1-6. You probably think you are decent at them. Really, you are still pretty far away from being a champion.
Failing – Can’t do 1. Seriously dude?! If you can’t lift your body over the bar, then you are either too fat, or too weak. Maybe both.
WOMEN – Elite – 1. These can be brutally hard. If you can do a full pullup, you are a rock star. Especially if you aren’t an elite athlete.
Above Average – A good struggle. If you can do a few with the aid of a medium or light band, you are in a good place. Elite status is right around the corner.
Average – You aren’t really ready to try some pullups, but you have learned how to start using your back. Try doing a band-assisted pullup and see what happens.
Failing – If you can’t keep yourself from dropping like a sack of potatoes when lowering yourself from the bar then you need to get to work.
SQUATS…These are probably the most common lower body exercise so they make for a good baseline. I’m gonna throw a wrinkle in here though, and focus on a FULL squat. That is what some people call ass to grass.
MEN – Elite – 2x body weight. You can do a full squat for double body weight. This makes you strong. Not powerlifting champion strong, but the functionality of an elite athlete strong. Not everyone wants to throw on a suit and go for 700lbs. We’ll take 3 or 4 plates to the floor any day.
Above Average – 225. You can look the part doing a squat and not making other people cringe. Now you just need to start building some tree trunk legs so you can actually load up.
Average – You can do it but it looks horrible. You try to go full and I respect it. Problem is you collapse from the waist up and your knees knock together. You need a professional to put you over the top and get comfortable in this position.
Failing – 0. You may load the bar up a little bit now and again but you stay in the quarter rep range. You need to work on your mobility to be able to actually squat your bodyweight to the ground. It’s important to keep your hips from turning 80 when you are 40.
WOMEN – Elite - 1x bodyweight+. If you can do a full squat with your body weight as the load, then you know what it feels like to work hard. Pat on the back.
Above Average – 45-135lbs. If you have done full squats with a bar on your back, and loaded it anywhere up to a plate, then you are doing pretty well for yourself. The squat rack itself can be intimidating.
Average – Full squats, small weights. If you use the pre-loaded bars under 50lbs or hold dumbells in your hands, then you need to step-up your game. Try to put an olympic bar on your back and see what happens.
Failing – 0. If you can’t do a full-squat, you need to do some mobility work and start to improve your body composition.
DEADLIFTS…the king of exercises. Should be the staple of everyone’s routines but is very intimidating. You should hit your biggest numbers on this lift. Get someone to teach you how to do this properly so you don’t get hurt.
Men – Elite – 405lbs+. When you get the technique down, your numbers should fly up. The big boys all push well over 4 plates.
Above Average – 225-315lbs. Anything over 2 plates with good form is good enough to consider yourself fit. If strength isn’t a goal, this is an impressive place to be.
Average – 135lbs. Just being able to do a proper deadlift with the bar and a plate is average. Can you do it right? Have you ever seen yourself?
Failing – I want to poke my eyes out when I see you lift. If your back rounds at any point in the lift (except maybe a max effort for your PR once in a while) then you need to stop, walk away, and ask for help.
Women – Elite – 185lbs+. Sounds crazy, but there are women who do this and they don’t look like conan the barbarian. When you can focus and get everything working together, you can accomplish a lot.
Above Average -Bodyweight +. This lift should be a little bit higher than your squat. If you can do at least a plate, you are ahead of most people.
Average – Proper form with any weight. This is an extremely beneficial exercise but can hurt if done poorly. If you know the difference between right and wrong, that is a good start.
Failing – See the men’s comment. If I see the letter C in your back, go home. Rethink your strategy.
That’s a pretty decent primer for where you stack up. Sorry if this was a little long, but sometimes you just need to know.
Remember, It’s About Getting Better!