Yes, you may hit the gym regularly. And you may think you are strong but are you really?
How can you tell if you are actually strong? Well, the following tests of strength will reveal whether you are as strong as you think you are.
#1: Deadlift 2x Your Bodyweight
Our first test of strength is for you to perform a single deadlift with strict form with a weight that is 2-times your bodyweight.
Strict form means that once the bar is loaded you should bring the bar as close to your knees as possible.
You should then bend at your hips and knees, grabbing the bar with an overhand grip just wider than shoulder-width.
Your back will have a natural arch, and this is fine. Pull your torso back and up, squeezing your glutes and thrusting your hips forward as you stand with the barbell.
When reversing the movement while you lower the bar, you should aim to keep the barbell close to your body.
#2: Squat 2x Your Bodyweight
Unsurprisingly, our second test is the squat, which is another must-do exercise that all gym-goers will regularly perform.
If you are not able to perform a single squat using 2-times your bodyweight perhaps you are not as strong as you think.
To perform a squat correctly you should stand with your bar on your upper back. You should have your feet shoulder-width apart.
As you squat down you should push your knees slightly to the side while moving your hips back.
If possible you should aim to squat low enough so that your hips are lower than your knees.
To return to the starting position you should seat back up with your knees still out, with your chest up.
Once at the top of the squat you should lock both your hips and knees.
#3: 3 Minute Push-Up Test
How many push-ups can you perform in 3 minutes?
You will need to use strict form while performing these push-ups. If performed correctly you should reach around 100.
To perform a push-up you should position your hands shoulder-width apart, sometimes slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
When lowering yourself to the ground you should bend your elbows. Your elbows should be at a 45-degree angle to your body before returning to the starting position.
#4: Weighted Pull-Ups
When I say pull-ups I mean proper pull-ups, not those ones you would perform in a Crossfit class.
You may only be able to perform just the one pull-up to start but with practice, you will be able to start adding weight to the exercise too.
A good gauge of strength would be able to perform a single pull-up with an extra 90 pounds (40 kg) added to your bodyweight.
Pull-ups should be performed from a dead hang. You should pull up through your lats until your chin clears the bar.
#5: Hold A Plank For Over 3 Minutes
The plank is quite a difficult core exercise that most will struggle to last more than 30 seconds.
If you are able to hold this position for 3 or more minutes then I applaud you.
You can perform a plank by placing your forearms on the floor with your elbows aligned below your shoulders.
Your elbows will be parallel to your body at about shoulder width. The aim is to hold this position for as long as possible, in this case, 3 minutes.
If having flat palms hurts you then they can be clasped together.
#6: One-Arm Push-Ups
Having a big 1 rep maximum on the bench press is mightily impressive, but what will really impress people is the ability to knock out 10 one-arm push-ups.
This move will work your chest, triceps and core incredibly hard.
To perform one-arm push-ups you should assume a standard push-up position with your hands on the floor shoulder-width apart, with your body prone and hands apart.
Place one arm behind your back and slightly bend your supporting arm. It should not be locked when in the “up” position.
Next, lower your body towards the ground making sure to control the movement as best you can. The movement should be slow and deliberate.
To maintain better balance you may want to turn your torso slightly away from your supporting arm.
Once your chin is a fist’s width above the floor you can push back up for a single repetition.
#7: Strict Overhead Press 0.75x Bodyweight For 3 Reps
This will be a difficult task to achieve but is attainable with time.
An overhead press will work your shoulders, triceps, upper back and abdominal muscles. As you are pushing the bar overhead it will also challenge the smaller stabiliser muscles of your core.
To perform an overhead press you will need to approach the barbell in a power rack and grip the bar with your hands slightly wider than shoulder-width apart.
Using a firm grip, dip under the bar so that it rests on your front deltoids. Your legs should be a little narrower than shoulder-distance apart, while your elbows should be pointing forward.
You should squeeze your glutes and engage your core ready to lift.
Take a deep breath and push the barbell upwards using as straight a line as possible. You should try and keep the weight as close to your body as possible without hitting your chin.
As you reach full extension your body should be directly below the bar, with your head looking forward.
On the way down you should release your breath while controlling the weight to the starting position.
#8: 12 Dips With Good Form
Bodyweight dips are a great way to work your chest, triceps and the front of your shoulders. Doing 12 in a row with good form is also a good test of strength that many will struggle with.
When performing a dip it is ok to go past a 90-degree elbow angle. Many will believe that this will cause elbow damage and chronic pain, but in actuality, a full range of motion will be better for you.
How did you get on? Are you able to complete any of the above tasks?
If not then maybe you are not as strong as you thought you were.
This is not to say you are not as weak as the average Joe on the street, but with a little extra work in the gym, you will soon be able to show off these feats of strength to your mates.