We meet so many wonderful people every day at Thrive Fitness Hout Bay and we are amazed every time that there is no real clear definition of fit.  One cannot say that certain body shapes, age, gender or even race are fitter than another.  Fitness comes in different shapes and forms and of course levels.

But, there is one clear truth about “fit” and that is that everyone should know what their specific fit looks like.


What do we mean?

Everyone has their own definition of fit – what they deem an acceptable level of fitness for themselves.

Think on this … if you approached a bodybuilder who has entered many competitions, his definition of fit would be quite different to that of the person who takes part in social tennis three times a week.  They are both fit, for sure!  But, what’s important is that they’re the fit that they want to be.

We are very big on NOT compartmentalising people at Thrive Fitness.  (Wow – that was a big word!)  We don’t like boxes or at least we don’t box people.  We leave that up to each individual.

Having said that, one must start somewhere, and that means knowing what level of fitness you’re at when you decide to start on a fitness journey.

So, here are a few ways to find out what your definition of fit is and what your benchmark should be:


What’s your thing?

Do you want to be fit enough to complete endurance activities?

Or, is your focus on functional fitness?

When you partake in exercise do you like to feel the sweat running down your face or are you more of a low-key, sprinkling-of-perspiration/yoga type of person?

Is your idea of exertion stretching until you feel longer or when you can hardly breathe?


Know where you’re at in your fitness journey

No matter what your thing is in terms of fitness, it’s important to know where your body is at this present moment in time.

And, there are a few ways of testing that.


Resting Heart Rate

Be sure to test what that is  – simply stand still and place your index and middle finger on your neck next to your windpipe.  You can also place your fingers on your wrist between the tendon and bone over your radial artery (palm side up below your thumb).  When you have found your pulse, time out 10 seconds and count the number of beats you feel.  Multiply the number by 6 and this will give your heart rate per minute.

The average healthy resting heart rate is between 60 and 100 beats per minute.

If this is too complicated for you (and we do get that it can be for a beginner) you could just cheat and use technology to your advantage with apps like Instant Heart Rate from Azumio, which will give you an indication of your heart rate and stress levels based on your pulse.  Or, simply pop in and ask one of our personal trainers to help you out.

In fact, why don’t you pop in and try out one of our many exercise classes? – AND!  Your first class is FREE! (Nada! Zilch! Nothing!)

Onward …


Aerobic Heart Rate




Simply, after you have completed at least 10 minutes of aerobic exercise i.e. running, cycling or a brisk walk will do, then take your heart rate again as above. While we don’t box people, your age does need to be considered when it comes to heart rate measuring.

Here is a table to help you:

Age Target Heart Rate (beats per minute) Maximum Heart Rate (beats per minute)
25 98-146 195
35 93-138 185
45 88-131 175
55 83-123 165
65 78-116 155


Muscular and Strength Tests


The Pushup Test




The pushup is a great way of knowing what your muscular and strength ability is. And, when we say pushup, you can do a classic pushup (just toes and hands touching the floor) or an ‘on the knees” pushup (dependent on your strength level). And, you will see why we give you the choices very soon.

The idea is to complete as many pushups as you can  – yes people! Until you can’t do anymore!

And, here is a chart to help you to see where your strength level is:

Age Women – Number of pushups Men – Number of pushups
25 20 28
35 19 21
45 14 16
55 10 12
65 10 11


The Sit-up Test




A strong core is so important in everything we do – sitting, standing up, leaning down, walking, breathing, pretty much everything we do.

So, to perform the sit-up test, assume the preferred position – pictures below.

This time, do as many sit-ups as you can in one minute.

Another table to measure yourself by:

Age Women – Number of sit-ups Men – Number of sit-ups
25 39 45
35 30 40
45 25 35
55 21 30
65 12 24


We must say though, that while these tables use age and gender, we do understand that no one can be boxed, and many will be way below the averages here and many will be above. And, that’s okay too.

Now that you know where you’re at, you can work towards what fitness level you feel comfortable with.

And, of course, Thrive Fitness Hout Bay is here to motivate and help you through every step of your amazing fitness journey.

Be sure to watch out for our other blogs where we will bring you all forms of health tips which will spur you on to greatness, goodness and your best self!

And, if you need some extra motivation, please follow Thrive Fitness on our social platforms.

This Hout Bay gym wants to see you thrive!



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