Muscular Endurance Assessment

1 Minute Push-up Test


  • Men should use the standard “military style” push-up position with only the hands and the toes touching the floor in the starting position.
  • Women have the additional option of using the “bent knee” position.
  • To do this, kneel on the floor, hands on either side of the chest and keep your back straight.
  • Lower the chest down towards the floor, always to the same level each time, either till your elbows are at right angles or your chest touches the assessor’s fist (positioned on the ground, in line with the middle of the chest).
  • Do as many push-ups as possible in one minute.
  • Count the total number of push-ups performed.
  • Use the chart below to find out how you rate.

1 Minute Push Up Test (adapted from Golding, et al. (1986). The Y’s way to physical fitness (3rd ed.) )

Male Normative Data

Excellent> 56> 47> 41> 34> 31> 30
Above average35-4630-3925-3321-2818-2417-23
Below average11-1810-168-126-105-83-5
Very Poor< 4< 4< 2000

Female Normative Data

Excellent> 35> 36> 37> 31> 25> 23
Above Average21-2723-2922-3018-2415-2013-18
Below average6-107-115-94-73-62-4
Very Poor0-10-10000

1 Minute Sit-up Test

Abdominal muscle strength and endurance is important for core stability and back support. This sit up test measures the strength and endurance of the abdominal’s and hip-flexor muscles.


  • Starting Position: Lie on a carpeted or cushioned floor with your knees bent at approximately right angles, with feet flat on the ground. Your hands should be resting at your sides.
  • Squeeze your stomach, push your back flat and raise high enough for your hands to slide along the floor to touch the tape or mark 8cm in front of the hands.
  • Don’t pull with you neck or head and keep your lower back on the floor
  • Then return to the starting position.

1 Minute Sit Up Test (adapted from Golding, et al. (1986). The Y’s way to physical fitness (3rd ed.) )

Male Normative Data

Age 18-2526-3536-4546-5556-6565+
Above average39-4335-3930-3425-2821-2419-21
Below Average31-3429-3023-2618-2113-1611-14
Very Poor<25<22<17<13<9<7

Female Normative Data

Above average33-3629-3223-2618-2113-1714-16
Below Average25-2821-2415-1810-137-95-10
Very Poor<18<13<7<5<3<2

2 Minute Wall-Squat Test


Wall Squat
  • After a brief warm-up of active muscle contraction, as well as light stretching, the participant assumes a squat position against a wall.
  • This is back flat against the wall, with feet shoulder width apart, and far enough out in front to allow for a 90 bend in the hips and the knees.
  • Once the position is assumed, begin timing.
  • The amount of time from start, to when the muscles fail, and the participant can no longer hold the required position, is the score.
  • If the participant reaches 2 minutes, the test may be stopped, with the score being a maximum.

2 Minute Wall Squat Normative Data (Arnot and Gains, 1984)

GenderExcellentAbove AverageAverageBelow AveragePoor
Male>102 secs102 – 76 secs75 – 58 secs57 – 30 secs<30 secs
Female>60 secs60 – 46 secs45 – 36 secs35 – 20 secs<20 secs

10RM/6RM Testing

10RM, or ten rep maximum, is exactly as the name suggests. It is the maximum weight which can be lifted repeatedly, 10 consecutive times before resting. Similarly, a 6RM is the most that can be lifted 6 times.


  • When performing these tests, the participant should warm up with a few sets of the same exercise. In other words, if testing the bench press, the participant should warm up on bench press.
  • A generally accepted procedure is to do between 3 and 5 warm up sets, at increasing resistance, to ready the body for the attempts at the test.
  • The participant should then select a weight which is believed to be as close as possible to the max weight, in order to attempt it for the test.
  • If successful, a heavier weight may be attempted, if the participant feels he/she is capable.
  • The next attempt should only be done after sufficient rest, allowing for neural recovery, as well as energy system restoration (typically a minimum of 5 minutes).
  • No more than 5 attempts should be allowed, as this will lead to exhaustion, and therefore a false reading.
  • If 5 attempts are reached, then the 5th attempt is taken as the successful score.

Also worth noting, is that when testing younger participants (below 16 years, for example) the 6RM is used instead of a 1RM. This is to protect joints and bones which are not physiologically ready for maximal exertions.