Illustration by Lars Leetaru
Do you still have nightmares about doing pull-ups in gym class? You may have forgotten the name of the Presidential Youth Fitness Program or the certificates you earned, but we bet you haven’t forgotten the moves. Did you know there’s an adult version? And if you pass the challenges, you can submit your results online and order an embroidered emblem, a certificate, or a digital badge for social media. (Sweet revenge on those jocks from elementary school who now look sort of dumpy on Facebook!)
The President’s Challenge uses many factors to grade actual tests. But the chart below gives general standards for 30-somethings. Check adultfitnesstest.org for detailed exercise instructions.
Body Mass Index
Your body mass index is calculated by dividing your weight in kilograms by your height in meters squared. You can find numerous free BMI calculators online.
Healthy: Male 18.6-24.9; Female 17.8-24.9
Needs improvement: Male 25; Female 25
Needs improvement—health risk: Male 29; Female 30
Body fat percentage
This measures the amount of fat you have in proportion to your weight. Many modern scales supply this number along with weight.
Healthy: Male 7%-22.2%; Female 16.5%-31.3%
Needs improvement: Male 22.3%; Female 31.4%
Needs improvement—health risk: Male 35.1%; Female 38.6%
Healthy: Male 14:00; Female 14:30
Needs improvement: Male 16:30; Female 17:00
Needs improvement—health risk: Male 18:00; Female 18:30
Healthy: Male 11:00; Female 13:00
Needs improvement: Male 12:30; Female 15:00
Needs improvement—health risk: Male 14:00; Female 17:30
Lie on a flat surface with knees up and feet on the floor. Your feet should not be held or anchored. Hold for a second, then lie back down. Do as many as you can in one minute.
Healthy: Male 42; Female 33
Needs improvement: Male 36; Female 27
Needs improvement—health risk: Male 31; Female 21
Do as many as you can in one minute. Women’s standards use bent-knee push-ups.
Healthy: Male 36; Female 29
Needs improvement: Male 27; Female 21
Needs improvement—health risk: Male 19; Female 14
Sit and reach
This test measures how many inches you can reach past your toes from a seated position, using a box or table.
Healthy: Male 4; Female 6
Needs improvement: Male 3; Female 4
Needs improvement—health risk: Male 1; Female 2
Did you know? Georgia was the first state in the nation to fully adopt the updated Presidential Youth Fitness Program. More on that here.
This article originally appeared in our 2015 Health issue