What’s Your Fitness Age?: Physical Literacy

Click to play video 'What’s Your Fitness Age?: Episode two' What’s Your Fitness Age?: Episode two
WATCH ABOVE: In the second of a four-part series, Mike Arsenault, Ross Hull, Jennifer Valentyne and Liem Vu learn about physical literacy – May 2, 2019

Our first episode was all about getting a baseline health assessment and testing our mobility. In this episode, we turn things up a notch by testing our physical literacy.

Our expert and overall competition designer Adrian Lightowler (head strength coach from the University of Toronto) dives into why the tests shown in this episode help discover your fitness age:

READ MORE: What’s your fitness age?

“I chose two squat exercises, a lunge, a pulling exercise (row with shoulder taps) and two pushing exercises (one-arm plank and handstand) to complement the 10RM deadlift and inverted row that we are doing for the strength test (to be covered in the next episode). This way we cover the five fundamental movement patterns that allow us to get things done in exercise and life. Those patterns are: squatting, hinging (e.g. deadlifts), pushing, pulling and lunging.

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All the movements that we do will be some version and combination of these patterns. Sometimes we have an uneven load like when we open a door or pull on a rope and that is why some of the exercises like the one-arm plank and one-arm row try to replicate that demand to resist twisting and bending through your core.

Some of the challenges (squat jumps, handstand and lateral lunges) were time-based where there was no given speed to do the work, you just had to get the job done. This replicates tasks we have to do in our lives like shoveling snow, going for a run with the dog, dancing at a club or portaging. The single-leg squat, one-arm plank and one-arm row exercises were reps based and are more of a strength challenge. In life, these might look like carrying something heavy up the stairs, picking up your kids, or pushing a car out of the snow.”

Each physical literacy component was scored as pass or fail. Six passes equals a fitness age of 25, five equals 35, four equals 45, three equals 55 and less than two equals 65.

If you’re watching at home and want to try testing your own physical literacy, you can follow the scoring graphic above for this episode.

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In this video, Adrian Lightlowler and University of Toronto women’s hockey player Kiyono Cox explain and show how to complete each physical literacy task.

Click to play video 'What’s Your Fitness Age?: Physical literacy demo' What’s Your Fitness Age?: Physical literacy demo
What’s Your Fitness Age?: Physical literacy demo – May 2, 2019

Be sure to check every Friday for future episodes and exercise demos.