Is your training moving you closer to your goals or are you just killing time in the gym?
You see, 92% of the guys out there snag an average routine from offline or from a magazine to get into average shape. Guys like you follow the same plan for months before realizing it’s not getting them the results they want.
The truth is they either get injured OR discouraged from seeing no results and stop lifting.
It’s a painful pattern especially since lifting isn’t hard. Getting fit gives you three key things; strength, muscles, and makes you harder to kill.
Pass all 8 of these tests and you’ll know you’ve become one big strong badass.
Can You Bench Enough?
It seems the first question a novice asks is the same old, “how much do you bench”.
It’s about the same as giving someone a passing “how are you”.
While most guys go through the motion of the bench press in hopes of gaining monstrous strength and looking ripped, few achieve those goals.
So, let’s separate those boys from us men.
If you can bench press your bodyweight you’ve officially passed a tremendous milestone, which makes it our first badass test.
Not there yet? No problem! This usually comes down to two sticking points; either your technique or distractions.
For your technique, you want to place your wrists above your elbows to stack the joints on top of each other. This means you’ll have to widen up your grip a bit
For distractions, you want to quit killing your muscles with all that extra nonsense in your routine. That means if you bench, incline bench, do chest flys, and other chest exercises you won’t be developing that badass bench pressing strength.
Stay focused and you’ll knock this one out of the park.
But the truth is that the bench press isn’t that special…
..how much do you front squat? Clean?
I think you get it, for big compound lifts you know you’re a badass when you can rep out ATLEAST your bodyweight.
Join the Double Bodyweight Deadlift Club.
The deadlift checks out your ability to produce tension, grip strength, and fire your ‘go’ muscles that are used in everything from mind-blowing sex to walking up stairs.
You don’t need a 505 pound deadlift, but pulling double your bodyweight means you’re ready for whatever lift has to throw at you. It could be that you avoid pain carrying the groceries into the house or you may save a friend’s life by picking him off the floor and taking him to the emergency room.
The best part is getting a better deadlifting just requires you be strong. So, work your grip with pullups, work your hips with kettlebells, and work your tension with high rep squats. This guarantees a flexible training approach that avoids boredom or burnout.
The 2-Minute Plank Meltdown.
Let’s be honest. It feels challenging to push or lift a heavy weight, but once it’s lifted you’re done, right?
Unfortunately, we can’t label you as a badass without proof of some endurance. Here, the test of endurance is all about your core strength.
We’re talking functionality, posture, strength, endurance, and the mental toughness to sweat out a two minute plank.
If you can squat or deadlift big numbers this will be a walk in the park for you because all three moves require abdominal tension.
And by tension we aren’t talking about floating in this position like a hippie, we mean actively flexing with the lats, glutes, and core engaged so you’re actively working here.
Look Ma- No Hands!
Remember those commercials?
“I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”
Here’s a crazy fact: the average man in the United States is too weak to do a single pushup. This means when they fall down they cannot get up.
Can you imagine struggling to crazy to a phone because you’ve fallen and don’t have the strength to get back up?
This test doesn’t focus on the push up. If you’re reading this you are NOT the average guy. I challenge you to take getting up off the floor to the next level and lift yourself up using only your feet.
That’s right, from laying down to standing without using your hands.
The easiest way is to sit up, get your legs underneath you, and get into a lunge position and step up.
If you want to get fancier you can teach yourself to kip up like Bruce Lee!
Balance On One Foot For 10 Seconds
More men fail this test than you’d believe.
Balancing is a sign of coordination. It’s where your strength meets your mobility. If you can’t balance on one foot for 10 seconds you’re infinitely more likely to have muscle imbalances, hip problems, and will likely fall down in the near future.
Plus, you can’t use the ultimate defense from the Karate Kid!
By focusing on balance your lifts WILL go up too. Better balance allows you to not fight the weights as much because you’re properly grounded in the lift and naturally in better alignment.
Do yourself a favor and invest 20 seconds on this one.
Too easy? You can step this test up by closing your eyes and shaking your head while you balance.
The Death Grip Test
How healthy are your shoulders?
Apparently, we’ve evolved from climbers. Whether it was snagging fruit from a tree or scaling a cliff to run from a lion, you and I were meant to climb.
However, men who hang from branches, or even pull up bars, are a rare sight. You can even see it in the “forward head” posture that most guys have because they completely skip hanging movements and have poor posture, weak shoulders, and lead mediocre lives.
But not you.
You’re a badass, right?
That’s why we’re going to hang. This test has several stages:
First, you just want to actively hang for 30 seconds. By actively hanging I’m talking about shoulder blades drawn back and down, like you’re trying to pinch a dollar between your scapula, and a slight bend in the elbows.
Next, after 30 seconds, do a pullup.
If that’s all you can do, it’s a start. Otherwise, you can repeat the cycle of 30 second hang and one pull up for 9 more times and see how far you get.
If you can do that you’re probably set for ninja warrior with strong healthy shoulders with a killer grip.
What is the point of having a big squat or deadlift if you can’t use it for anything?
The long jump teaches you to use all that strength quickly and powerfully. Meaning you can sprint faster, jump farther, and kick harder.
With the long jump it’s mostly about dialing in your form to get proper distance and being strong. The key is to not bend your knees too much.
Simply throw your arms back as you go down to a quarter squat (this preloads your leg muscles like a stretched rubber band) then fling your arms forward as you explode from your hips- just like a power clean.
Hips, knees, ankles all extending as your arms reach out and you soar.
Cardio For The Modern Badass
If the deadlift and the plank had a baby it would be the Farmer’s Walk.
Sure, you can lift weights all you like BUT can you walk with them? Try this test and you’ll find out. Take a deep breath and pick up half your bodyweight in each hand and go for a walk, the farther the better.
Just do yourself a favor and end your walk near the weight racks- you’re welcome in advance.
If you ace this, not only can you hold onto a decent amount of weight but you’re proving you can walk and stabilize the weight without falling and getting hurt. Your forearms will burn, your lungs will beg for more air, and you’ll want to take a break- don’t you’ve got this.
At the end of the day there are many different reasons to train. If you’re looking to be stronger, harder to kill, and be useful in a crisis to friends and family these are the test you need to pass.
I challenge you to try at least one tomorrow and see how you stack up.