Weekly Workout Schedule Template: Assessment Time!

running track

Welcome back to the weekly workout schedule template, everyone!

Before we begin, I once again have to start out by apologizing for how this article is late in coming. Once again, the family medical issues came up this past weekend. My sister-in-law was pregnant and delivered her baby at 28 weeks.

Everyone is doing very well, thank God, but we had gone to visit her and the baby over the weekend and I never got the chance to sit down and write.

However, I am thankful that I can now sit down and write this next installment and get back to helping you achieve some fantastic exercise results!

You may have noticed that this week’s subtitle does not have “Week 11” after it. That is because we are taking a slight break from the normal schedule and using this week as a barometer for how far we have come! While this week’s schedule may not seem too intense, by no means would I recommend skipping it! We’ll get into why in just a second.

If this is your first week joining us and you are looking for a new workout program, I would highly recommend going back to Week 1 by CLICKING HERE so you can start from the beginning! If you happened to miss Week 10, feel free to CLICK HERE and go back and finish up the Stability Program!

Now, why in the world are we doing an assessment week?

Assessments – The Key To Tracking Your Progressassess scrabble

Way back in Week 1, the cardio portion of this template began with a walking assessment that was highlighted in the article on how to walk for exercise (CLICK HERE for that full rundown). Back then, the purpose was to give us a baseline to work with.

After going through 10 weeks of training, we are now going to go through another set of assessments. The purpose of the first assessment is to show us our progression when compared to our baseline. The second and third will give us new baselines as we move into longer bouts of running as well as our Functional Movement training program.

Following this section, I will break down each assessment into easy to follow instructions in order to get you on your way. My hope is that by the time you are finished with them, you will have seen progress in your fitness journey and have the knowledge you need to take on the next steps.

Remember that in order for you to see dramatic results when comparing your assessments against each other, consistency over the previous 10 weeks is key. Don’t be disappointed if the numbers you get aren’t mind blowing if you weren’t able to consistently stick with the program. There’s no problem with that, but it is important to go into this with realistic expectations.

Hopefully, you will be pleasantly surprised with what you find!

Let’s take a look at the first assessment, with which you are familiar: The Walk Test.

Assessment #1 – Hello Walk Test, My Old Friendman walking on road

Once again, we are going to be doing the walk test that we did all the way back on our first cardio day in Week 1. If you need a reminder of how to go about completing this assessment, keep reading as I will re-post the information from that week! The easy to follow steps are below:

Perform a 1-mile assessment walk at your local track. This is also extensively explained in my article on how to walk for exercise. If you have a few minutes to read it, that would be beneficial. If you don’t have the time right now, I will give the short version in a few steps:

  1. Go to a local running track
  2. Walk one warm-up lap at your own pace around the innermost lane.
  3. After the warm-up lap, start a timer and complete four more laps around the innermost lane, walking as quickly as you possibly can.
  4. As soon as you finish, record (whether in your phone or in a notebook) the date, the time it took you to complete the four laps, as well as your heart rate.
    1. For taking your heart rate, you can either do so manually (learn how HERE) or use a fitness watch with a heart rate monitor (check out this review for a great low-cost option!)

After doing the walk test, compare your time and numbers to the first time you did it and see if there is improvement. Hopefully there is!

Assessment #2 – The 1.5 Mile Jog Testwoman running on track

At this point, if you have been following the program, you will be doing 27 cumulative minutes of jogging as opposed to 3 minutes of walking. In that 27 minutes, it is a good bet that you are traveling close to, if not more than, 1.5 miles. Therefore, it is time to put your jogging to the test.

Since this is the first time you will be performing a jogging test, it’s important to know that this is to give a baseline. There are some things to remember when doing it, and the steps are similar to the walk test.

1.5 Mile Jogging Test Steps:

  1. Go to your local running track.
  2. Briskly walk two warm-up laps around the innermost lane.
  3. After the warm-up laps, start your timer and complete six laps around the innermost lane, being sure to complete them as quickly as possible.
  4. Once you finish all six laps, immediately go to the side and sit down. Manually (or with a fitness tracker) take your heart rate. Record the date, your heart rate, and the time it took you to complete the 1.5 miles.

After completing this test and recording the data, it might be a good idea to walk another lap around the track to gradually bring your heart rate down.

Now that we have our two cardio assessments out of the way, it’s time to get the baselines for our Functional Movement program!

Assessment #3 – Functional Movement Testspush ups

Before we get into the different tests required by this assessment, it would be a good idea to go over what functional movements are.

Functional movements are the day to day movements you make and are split into five different categories:

  1. Pushing
  2. Pulling
  3. Bending and Lifting
  4. Single Leg
  5. Rotational

For the purpose of this assessment, it would be good to use a baseline exercise associated with each type of movement. Additionally, each exercise will be performed for the maximum amount of repetitions possible (also known as “to failure”, but since I don’t like the word failure, let’s not use it!).

You will also notice that some categories have different stages. For example, push-ups have four different progressions, each more difficult than the next. I would recommend starting at the first stage. If you perform more than the necessary amount of repetitions, take a 2-minute break, and attempt the next stage. If you reach the end, great! If you don’t, then you know where you are at and how close you are to where you want to be.

Therefore, let’s take a look at the exercise you will be performing for each of the five functional movements:

  1. Push:
    1. The easiest way to assess the pushing motion is with the basic push-up. Now, I understand that not everyone can do the standard pus-up. That’s where your customization comes in. Depending on your level of strength, you can do various forms of push-ups for this assessment. One thing to keep in mind: For a proper form push-up, you want your arms to stay close to your side throughout the movement, not going out perpendicular to your body and you want to make sure your head is not drooping. Keep everything nice and strong.
      1. Wall Push-ups: For the wall push-up, simply stand far enough away from the wall that your arms are fully extended, a little more than shoulder width apart. Keeping your shoulders back and your arms tucked close to your side, inhale has your bring yourself toward the wall and exhale as you push away from it. Complete as many repetitions as possible. If you can do more than 30 repetitions, then you can move to the next level of push-up:
      2. Chair Push-ups: Using a sturdy chair (perhaps placed against a wall) that won’t move while you are performing the push-ups, place your hands a little wider than shoulder width apart. Keep your shoulders back and arms tucked close to your side, inhale while lowering yourself down to the chair. Exhale, push back up and repeat for as many repetitions as possible. If you can complete more than 30 repetitions, move to:
      3. Knee Push-ups: Begin by getting on your hands and knees, hands slighter wider than shoulder width apart. You can either cross your ankles or not (I prefer to). Make sure your knees are not directly beneath your hips. The farther stretched out they are, the more challenging the push up will be. Keep your shoulders back and arms tucked close to your side. Inhale as you lower yourself to the floor and exhale as you push yourself back up. Repeat for as many repetitions as possible. If you can do more than 30, move to the next form:
      4. Standard Push-ups: Begin by taking a full plank position, feet together and hands slightly wider than shoulder width apart. Lower yourself down as you inhale, being sure to keep your shoulders back and your arms tucked close to your side. Exhale and push back up to the starting position. Complete as many repetitions as possible.
  2. Pull:
    1. You may be wondering what other bodyweight exercise can you do to assess pulling other than a pull-up (or chin-up). I also get that it might be difficult because not everyone has the necessary equipment at home to perform such a move (i.e. a pull-up bar). If you do, that’s great! For me personally, I don’t have the equipment in my house and have to go to my local park fitness circuit in order to find the necessary bars. That’s great if it’s a nice day, but what if it’s not or it’s the middle of winter?
    2. As a note, you want to keep the time between repetitions short because we are looking to exhaust the muscle. Additionally, keep your shoulders back and head up. Let’s take a look at the moves!
      1. Short Arm Drag: Lying on the floor, prop your upper body up on your forearms. Reach both forearms slightly in front of you, exhale, and drag the rest of your body until your hands are even with your head. Repeat the motion for as many repetitions as you can. If you run out of room, simply turn around and go in the opposite direction, or after each rep, return to your original spot on the floor. If you can do more than 30 repetitions, move to:
      2. Long Arm Drag: The premise is the exact same as the short arm drag, except that you fully extend your arms in front of you, exhale, and pull your body until your hands are even with your head. Repeat for as many repetitions as possible. If you can do more than 30, we are then getting into using equipment:
      3. Inverted Rows: At a local park with fitness equipment, find a bar that is about hip height. Place yourself under it so that you are in hanging from in a lying down position. Exhale while pulling yourself up to the bar and inhale while you slowly lower yourself down. If you have the means to do this at home (you can get creative with two chairs and a broom handle) you can do that we well. Repeat for as many repetitions as possible. If you can do more than 30, you may be ready for
      4. Standard Chin Up: Find a pull up bar (either at a park or if you have your own). Wrap your hands around it, around shoulder width apart so that your palms are facing you. Hang from it, exhale, and then pull yourself up so that your chin raises slightly over the bar. Inhale and lower yourself down in complete control over the movement. Repeat for as many repetitions as possible. If you can do more than 30, move to:
      5. Standard Pull Up: This is the same idea as the chin up, except your hands are slightly wider than shoulder width apart and your grip sees the backs of your hands facing you. Hang, exhale, and pull yourself up until your chin is slightly over the bar. Inhale and lower yourself in a controlled manner. Repeat for as many repetitions as possible.
  3. Bend and Lift:
    1. The only exercise we are going to worry about at this point in time when assessing our bending and lifting strength is the standard squat.
      1. Standard Squat: Standing with feet slightly wider than shoulder width apart, first hinge at the hip. When performing a squat, you want to make sure your butt moves first, and then your knees bend for proper form. After hinging your hips, bend at the knees and sit into the squat, keeping your heels on the floor, and go as low as you can. Try to keep your knees from moving past your toes and keep a straight back. Inhale as you sit down and exhale as you push back up to the starting position. Perform as many repetitions as possible.
  4. Single Leg:
    1. Single leg movements can be anything from walking to going up a flight of stairs. Therefore, the best way to assess the strength of your single leg movements is the standard lunge.
      1. Standard Lunge: Begin by standing with feet about shoulder width apart. You can choose at this point whether you want to alternate legs with each repetition or isolate one leg and then the other. Just make sure that whichever you choose, you try to keep the repetitions even for both legs. Inhale and step forward slightly longer than a normal step. Bend at the forward knee to perform a lunge. If you forward knee goes slightly past your toes, this is OK. Make sure to keep the rear knee from hitting the floor. Exhale while pushing off of the forward leg to come back to the original position. Repeat for as many repetitions as possible.
  5. Rotational:
    1. There are many rotational moves that are done with weights, however, since we are interested in bodyweight for this assessment, I’m going to bring in an exercise you are familiar with from Week 10 of our stability training program as it can also work as a functional movement: The Windshield Wiper:
        • Windshield Wipers:Make sure you have plenty of room to your right and left. Lie flat on your back with both arms stretched out to the side. Lift the legs until they are perpendicular to the floor and pull your belly button into your spine. Gently lower your legs, as you inhale, to one side until they almost touch the ground, being careful to keep your shoulders as glued to the floor as possible. You want the movement to be in the hips, not the upper body. Exhale and raise them back up to center before repeating on the other side. Complete as many repetitions as possible, making sure to do the same amount for each side.

Now that we know what assessments we will be doing, let’s see how our week takes shape.

Your Assessment Week Schedule:

  • Monday: Perform the 1-mile walking test.
  • Tuesday: OFF
  • Wednesday: Perform the 1.5-mile jogging test.
  • Thursday: OFF
  • Friday: Perform the Functional Movement Tests.
  • Saturday: OFF
  • Sunday: OFF

Wrap Up

Assessments are a necessary tool to use during our weekly workout schedule template because they give us a baseline with which to work and show us if and how well we are progressing in our programs.

I hope that you don’t skip the assessments, but really take them seriously. They really are extremely helpful as you move along your fitness journey!

If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to leave them below and I’ll be happy to answer! Additionally, please let me know your progressions! Success stories are always welcome here!

Have a great week, everyone!