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4 metrics to test if you are a true athlete [Article, Video]

Posted by Pascal Landshoeft

Jun 13, 2017 10:00:00 AM

Portrait of cheerful shirtless athlete flexing muscles while standing in gym.jpeg

4 metrics to test if you are an true athlete

To be an athlete you must have goals and be competitive. Being competitive does not necessarily mean to win at any cost, but to be ambitious and have clear reference points you work towards with your training. This shall help to establish some of the reference points.

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Standing long jump 

The standing long jump is used to measure explosiveness and drive from the hips. It is also a good indicator of how well the existing power you have is being translated into movement. For the standing long jump, you get your feet parallel and then jump as far as you can from where you started. Where you land is the distance which will be considered.

  • 8.5 feet very good result
  • 8 feet good result
  • Under 8 feet room for improvement



Squat and Deadlift

Good indicators for lower body strength are the squat and the deadlift. For both exercises, you can train with programs like the Smolov routine, Jim Wendler 531, Stronglifts 5x5 and others. Usually, it is easier to achieve a higher result with the deadlift than with the squat but this varies between individuals. The biggest recorded squats and deadlifts to date are above 1000 pounds and are impressive feats of strength. For you good landmarks to reach would be:

  • 2.5 times bodyweight: Very good result
  • 2 times bodyweight: Good result
  • Less than two times body weight: Room for improvement

Box Jumps

The box jump is a further proof of your prowess as an athlete. How far you can catapult your own weight into the air just by sheer muscle, ligaments and willpower is a test as old as sports itself to show how strong you are. One of the more modern variations of this is the box jump. With your feet parallel before the box, you try to jump as high as you possibly can onto a box. When you do this make sure the box is flush against a wall or secured to the ground. As the box usually come in 20 inches 24 inch, 30, 36 and 40-inch height you might also want to make use of plates to cover the increments between those or if you only happen to have one box. For this exercise the higher you can go the better.

Overhead Press

The overhead press is also an old test of strength which has been done for centuries. It has been done with stones, trees and basically anything that young men can foolishly pick up from the ground and get over their heads to show that they are stronger than their peer. In strongman competitions, you will find categories like atlas stone lifts and the Austrian oak at the Arnold strongman classic. Olympic weightlifting has the snatch and the clean and jerk in its program. While these are all forms of bringing a certain amount of weight over your head for this instance we will look at the strict overhead press with no drive from the legs with a barbell, one of the easiest variations of the lift. Here are your reference points for this discipline:

  • Bodyweight: Very Good
  • 90% of bodyweight: Good
  • Less than 90% of bodyweight: Room for improvement


Whatever you do in terms of strength training, have a goal. These numbers are a guidance and the first reference should be to become the strongest guy in your local gym. Observe the others around you and work on getting better as them. As soon as you have achieved this turn your beady to other records around and try to break those. This keeps things a lot more entertaining and streamlined.


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Topics: Lift stronger