So you think you are fit? Take the ultimate challenge

So you think you are fit? Take the ultimate challenge

Just how fit are you?

You may be able to pump out those push-ups, rattle out those squat thrusts and stay in a plank position until gym closing time. You might be the talk of the changing room and the person used as the example by the instructor.

You can be justifiably proud – but how fit are you compared to the best?

Test yourself out with these four classic measures of fitness:


Royal Marines aged under 30 have to maintain the ability to do 50 tough sit-ups throughout their service.

The time limit is two minutes, and a full sit-up is required with elbows to knees and then shoulders back to the ground.

Try to match this target at the speed in that video – it isn’t easy!


This classic upper-body exercise can be attempted by anyone, but it takes a lot of work to make it look easy.

The Marines also use this one, with all personnel having to be able to do five repetitions from a straight-arm ‘hang’. That’s in the same session as the sit-ups and followed by a cardio workout, by the way.


The old-school rowing machine provides a simple but serious workout. Take note of the rowing machine top tips, and then set yourself up for the 2000 metre challenge.

Seven minutes is a good target. Six minutes can take you towards the world rowing machine record for your age.


For real no-holds-barred effort, the combination move known as the burpee is the way to silence any doubters. Squat, squat-thrust, press-up, jump up. Now repeat.

A good benchmark is your time to do 100 burpees – you might want someone to count for you and cheer you on. If you can even achieve 100 reps of this move in one session, you can give yourself a big pat on the back.

If you can do it under 10 minutes, you are heading for the elite. It seems that the world record time is under four minutes, and anything under six is in the superhero category.

So how did you do on these fitness tests? Let us know if we have any record holders reading this!

The Author

Jessica Ambrose

Jessica is a fitness writer who loves long distance running, yoga, strength training and healthy eating.


Mike D.
28 June 2016

Mike D.

I can do all these except the sit ups. But then I never practice basic sit ups anymore, so I guess I'm out of practice and definitely wouldn't get in the marines!

craig t.
26 June 2016

craig t.

Doing 100 burpees is a great way to get fit and I've never heard of it before. I have just done mine in 8 minutes 3 seconds. I am very pleased and will definitely do some more next week.

Phillip H.
25 June 2016

Phillip H.

they sound extremely difficult to me!! I take off my hat to you, Peter!

Peter W.
25 June 2016

Peter W.

I'm pretty fit. These don't sound too bad but believe me they are HARD. A straight arm hang pull up is intense. And doing 50 sit ups in 2 mins isn't easy either. 10 mins 45 sec for the 100 burpees.

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