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Are You Fit as a Fifth Grader?

Are You Fit as a Fifth Grader?

Jeff Foxworthy hosts a show called, "Are you smarter than a fifth grader?" The idea behind it is that a contestant earns incrementally more money by answering trivia questions. The questions are things generally taught in elementary school.

The reason it's more difficult than it sounds, is because the questions are about things rarely used in adult life. In reality, it's a test to see how much information the players remember since they left the fifth grade. Watching the show, it's easy to feel superior to the contestants because you, the viewer, aren't under the same pressures. You aren't the one standing on a bright stage, with a live audience and thousands of dollars at stake.

It got me thinking. It's one thing to see how much information we remember, but I'm curious how much fitness we retain. So I decided to put together a little test for you.

Using the President's Challenge, I have five exercises that I want you to perform, while timing yourself. I'll tell you how to do them and you record your results. At the end of this article, I list the numbers needed for a fifth grader to qualify for the Presidential Physical Fitness Award. My challenge to you is simple.

Are you as fit as a fifth grader (should be)?

Curl-ups Test 1 - Curl-ups. Lie down on a mat with your knees flexed and feet flat on the floor. Have a partner hold your feet down. Take your arms and cross them over your chest, while placing your hands on opposite shoulders. Start by raising your trunk, curling your body up until your elbows touch your thighs. Finish by returning to the starting position when your shoulder blades touch the floor.

Bouncing up off the floor does not count. Move down and back up in a controlled manner. Time yourself and see how many curl-ups you can do in one minute.

Partial Curl-ups Test 1 Alternate - Partial Curl-ups. Lie down on a mat with your knees flexed and feet flat on the floor. Do NOT have anyone hold your feet. Instead, a partner should be behind your head with their hands cupped under your head. Extend your arms forward, rest your hands on your legs and point your fingers toward your knees. Start by raising your trunk and curling your body up. Slide your hands up your legs until your fingertips touch your knees. Finish by returning to the starting position and let your head touch your partner's hands.

Partial curl-ups are done to a rhythmic beat like clapping, drums or a metronome. One complete partial curl-up should be done every three seconds. See how many you can do until you can't keep up with the rhythm or you've reached the target number for the test.

Shuttle Run Test 2 - Shuttle Run. Mark off two parallel lines 30 feet apart. Place two cans or blocks of wood behind one of the lines and start behind the opposite line. When the timer begins, run-up to the cans, pick one up and run it back to the starting line. Place the can down on the ground BEHIND the starting line but do NOT throw it. Then go back, pick up the remaining can and run back across the starting line in the shortest time possible.

Endurance Run/Walk Test 3 - Endurance Run/Walk. This test is as simple as it sounds. Run a mile in the shortest time possible. If you can't run the entire distance, it's acceptable to mix in walking with running. Be sure to warm-up adequately before you start. Track the time in minutes and seconds.

V-sit Reach Test 4 - V-sit Reach. Mark a straight line two feet long on the floor. This is your baseline. Now beginning from the middle of that straight line, draw a second line extending out two feet and marked off in half-inches. Take off your shoes, sit down on the floor and put the soles of your feet behind the baseline. Keep your heels 8-12 inches apart and straighten your legs.

Start with a partner holding your legs flat by pressing down on the knees. Place one hand on top of the other, palms down on the measuring line. Then slowly reach forward as far as possible, keeping your fingers on the measuring line.

After three practice reaches, hold the fourth reach for three seconds and record the distance. This test is best done after the endurance run/walk because your body is warmed up.

Pull-ups Test 5 - Pull-ups. Get into position by grabbing onto a horizontal bar. The grip doesn't matter, you can use either an overhand or underhand grip. The bar should be high enough so that when you hang with your arms fully extended, your feet don't touch the floor. You may need to use a small stool to get into position. Start the exercise by raising your body until your chin is above the bar, then lower yourself back down to a full-hang position. Do not kick your legs or swing your body. Record only the completed pull-ups.

GOALS - If you want to qualify for the Presidential Physical Fitness Award (and be in the shape a fifth grader or 11-year old should be), you must score at or above the 85th percentile on all five activities. Here's what that means for each of the tests.

  • Curl-ups - Boys must complete 47 to 68 and girls 42 to 67.

  • Partial curl-ups - Boys must do 43 to 58 and girls 43 to 54.

  • Shuttle run - Boys should complete it in 7 to 10 seconds and girls in 7.1 to 10.5 seconds.

  • Endurance run/walk - Boys need to finish in under 7:32 minutes and girls in under 9:02 minutes.

  • V-sit reach - Boys should be able to reach 4 to 14.5 inches and girls 6.5 to 15 inches.

  • Pull-ups - Boys must do 6 to 25 pull-ups and girls 3 to 24.

If your results come up short, maybe you should consider calling WeBeFit personal trainers for a free consultation.

Looking for the original President's Challenge? CLICK HERE for the website.

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CAUTION: Check with your doctor before
beginning any diet or exercise program.