It’s Benchmark Monday, baby!
Every Monday at RxFIT, we repeat one of our core benchmarks. With 12 workouts making up our benchmark test, we are able to observe, measure, and then repeat these once a quarter — or four times a year.
I often hear athletes say the reason we do this is so you can see your improvement. Other times I hear that we use your workout data to measure the effectiveness of our current programming. While both of those are true, that’s not why we do a benchmark test every Monday. It goes well beyond the traditional view of exercise science.
We test and retest 12 benchmark workouts every quarter to measure your health.
Fitness = Health
Our view on and purpose for programming benchmarks every quarter stems from our belief that fitness is synonymous with health. Our belief is that the fitter you are, the healthier you become. For example, you don’t worry about olympians being diagnosed with obesity, heart failure, or diabetes.
The sad truth is that only 12% of adults live free of high blood pressure, high cholesterol, or diabetes. C’mon people! Who wants to pop pills and have regular check-ups with a white coat for the rest of their life?
My older brother is one of those doctors… Trust me, you don’t want to see him regularly — if ever.
But that’s exactly what will happen to nine out of ten people in your family. Chronic disease is going to limit their older years and chain them to the doctor’s office. It will rob them of their hard-earned retirement money by forcing them to spend it all on medications and surgeries. And that’s not even the saddest part.
Seven out of those nine members in your family are going to die from this. Their premature death is going to be caused by a preventable disease.
Chronic diseases can’t be prevented by vaccines or cured by medication. They also just don’t disappear. Chronic diseases are self-inflicted.
The problem? Sedentarism and excessive consumption of refined carbohydrates. The research here is irrefutable.
Here is a short list of chronic diseases (because I know you’re just “dying” to know): metabolic syndrome, obesity, insulin resistance, pre-diabetes, type II diabetes, non-alcoholic fatty liver disease, coronary heart disease, hypertension, stroke, and many cancers.
The current healthcare system demands that you to go into the doctor’s office somewhat regularly and have your biometrics tested. The wrong score on these tests will predict or manifest one or more of the chronic diseases listed above. The most helpful of these tests are: HDL, triglyceride count, glycated hemoglobin (A1c), blood pressure, body fat percentage, bone density, and muscle mass.
Knowing your health biometrics are extremely helpful. For example, a rising blood pressure over time would predict hypertension while a high A1c reading would manifest diabetes. But these biometrics are but dependent variables. Knowing the value alone is meaningless.
The independent variables, those you can actually control in an experiment, are your behavioral choices. In regards to your health, the independent variables would include what you did for your workout and what you ate for breakfast. And research has shown that healthy exercise and eating habits don’t just prevent chronic disease, but they can also reverse it.
The solution? Hire a fitness doctor.
The Fitness Doctor
If fitness is synonymous with health, which we believe it is, then you can replace biometric testing done in doctor’s offices with benchmark workouts performed in gyms. Hear me out on this.
If you can deadlift twice your bodyweight, you don’t have low bone density or muscle mass. If you can perform 30 pull-ups in one set, you don’t need to worry about your body fat. If you can run a mile in under 6:00, you don’t have issues with high blood pressure.
Imagine then if we organized a balanced set of 12 workouts that we tested regularly.
The workouts would need to include short-, medium-, and long-time domains in order to predict the contents and flow of blood in the body. The workouts would also need to test your relative strength compared to your own bodyweight along with your absolute strength by lifting external loads (these would predict the elements of body composition: body fat percentage, bone density, and muscle mass). And we would of course want the workouts to induce a different stimulus on the heart and brain through multiple modalities — something that included cardio, calisthenics, weight training, and everything in between.
If we, in theory, organized a test like this, then we could place your scores for the workouts on a continuum ranging from unhealthy to healthy. As long as we prescribed a solution after the testing, that would make us fitness doctors.
So that’s what we did.
Sick – Well – Fit
In the pursuit of staying away from chronic disease, you need to place a hedge between you and sickness. That hedge is wellness. Fitness therefore is “super wellness,” and provides you insurance from expensive medication, decrepitude, and premature death.
I attached below the twelve benchmarks we use at RxFIT — along with the benchmark data that could predict your health.
This is extremely exciting and something first of its kind.
Our vision at RxFIT is a world where individuals reach their goals because they know exactly what to do and how to do it. Imagine a comprehensive scan of your health without ever showing up to the doctor. Through the use of technology and data-analytics, we can stop treating disease through biometric testing and instead, start optimizing health through fitness testing.
Fitness therefore, would become the variable that determines our medicine, insurance, and quality of life.
Benchmark Table Explained
The color gray represents the name of the workout, while the colors white, blue, and black represent the scores of someone who is sick, well, and fit (respectively). The first number represents the target for females, followed by the males (i.e. 135/225 means 135 lbs for females and 225 lbs for males).
This table can be viewed as aggressive, but that is on purpose. The numbers in black represent elite fitness — I’m talking about Olympians here. My pet peeve when reading academic studies is the unnecessary attempt to make the unhealthy feel good about themselves. I’m not going to do that. My goal is to make you healthy — and then by being healthy, you will feel good about yourself.
So if you find yourself with at least six scores in the blue, you’re actually crushing life in comparison to the rest of the world. But you can still be a lot healthier. The black scores should motivate you to sleep, eat, train, think, and connect even better.
I also recognize that many will see the workouts titled “Filthy Fifty” and “Fight Gone Bad” on the table and not know what that all entails. If you are one of those people, conduct a simple search on Google and you will find these workouts explained.
The observation, measurement, and then repetition of these core workouts give us (as a coaching staff) an idea on where the health of our members is. Then, in our regular one-on-one conversations with you, we can then prescribe solutions.
Sleeping more, eating healthier, consistently working out, not making excuses, and doing all of this with close friends are pieces of our prescription. Medications do nothing but slow down disease, so we prescribe habits that will finally reverse it. Habits that will help you do more pull-ups, run faster, and squat heavier loads.
We used to make magnets of these so you could stick it on your fridge — I have a few left. Email me if you would like one.
Join us. Schedule a session with one of our “fitness doctors” here. Even if you don’t live in Utah County, schedule a call with one of our coaches. It’s free.
Second, if you feel inspired to create this world where individuals reach their goals because they know exactly what to do and how to do it, hit reply to this email. I want to hear from you. Let’s do it together.
Oh. And finally — don’t skip Benchmark Monday!