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I believe that many people waste their time in the gym for a variety of reasons. The most common of these is a lack of clear goals. Most people enter the gym with a goal of “getting in shape”. As far as goal setting goes that is pretty hazy.

A good goal is very specific and measurable. The problem for many is that they see a goal that might be “lose 5kg”, which as a goal is easy to measure, but don’t understand what might be some bench marks to help that become achievable. One of my friends, fat loss guru Josh Hillis, says that when women can do five pull ups they are usually in rock star physical shape – the kind of shape that you see on stars when they’re in big budget action movies. I know for myself that at certain levels of strength and performance I feel like i can run through walls.

But just having goals on its own often can lead to further confusion. It’s no good if I have a set of standards for the gym to help fat loss goals, but my personal goal is an ultra marathon. So even having a standard may not fix the problem of wasting workouts.

Our goals at Read Performance Training are simple – we are trying to create athletic, durable humans, who are capable of accomplishing a wide variety of physical tasks. To accomplish this what is needed is a broad base of physical qualities that covers everything from strength to endurance to strength endurance. Along the way we probably want to avoid injury too, which means that we need some kind of standard to ensure that the body is working correctly. The gold standard for this is the FMS.

Because people operate at all levels of physical skills when they come in the door, we need to know quickly where they are at physically, so that we can train them at the right intensity right from the start.

Baseline – FMS score of 14, no asymmetries. If a 14 is not achieved then priority must be given to achieving a solid foundation for hard training. Whether that takes a week or a few months that still must be priority. And yes, for current clients this means that some of you may not be eligible for group training in the near future but will instead need one-on-one training to rectify these issues as quickly as possible.

The standards below are written with male standards first, followed by female standards. There is some age adjustment for certain standards because it just makes sense. For instance, the male Journeyman standard for the 5min snatch test is 100 reps with a 24kg bell, and for over 50s it will be a 20kg bell. These standards appear in brackets after each test where applicable.

Recruit

  • FMS score – minimum 14, no asymmetries.
  • Deadlift – body weight for 5 reps, both male and female.
  • Squat – double kettlebell front squat. Males, 2x16kg. Females 2 x 12kg. 5 reps.
  • Pull ups – 5 sets of 30 second flexed hangs on pull up bars done with strict 60 second rest between sets, both male and female.
  • Push ups – Males, 3 sets of 20. Females, 3 sets of 10.
  • Run – 5km in 30mins.
  • Row – 1000m. Males, under 4mins. Females, under 4.30mins.

Journeyman

  • FMS score – minimum 14, no asymmetries.
  • Deadlift – Males, 1.5x bw for 3 reps. Females, 1.25x bw for 3 reps.
  • Squat – BW for 5 reps, both male and female.
  • Pull ups – Males, 10 pull ups. Females, 5 chin ups. (8/3 for over 50).
  • Press – Males, 2 x 24kg kettlebells for 5 reps. Females, 2 x 12kg kettlebells for 5 reps. (20kg/ 12kg for over 50).
  • Clean and Jerk/ Long Cycle – Males, 2 x 24kg kettlebells, 25 reps/ 5mins. Females, 2 x 16kg kettlebells, 25reps/ 5mins.
  • Snatch – 100 reps/ 5mins. Males, 24kg kettlebell. Females, 16kg kettlebell. (20kg/ 12kg for over 50).
  • Run – 5km, 25mins.
  • Row – 2000m. Males under 8mins. Females under 9.15mins.
  • Stamina – RPT Century. Under 10mins.

Veteran

  • FMS score – minimum 14, no asymmetries.
  • Deadlift – Males, 2xbw. Females, 1.5xbw. 1 rep.
  • Squat – Males, 1.5xbw for 5 reps. Females, 1.25xbw for 5 reps.
  • Pull ups – Males, 24kg, 5 reps. Females, 8kg, 5 reps.
  • Press – Males, 2 x 32kg kettlebells, 5 reps. Females, 2 x 16kg kettlebells, 5 reps.
  • Clean and Jerk/ Long Cycle – Males, 2 x 32kg kettlebells, 25 reps/ 5mins. Females, 2 x 20kg kettlebells 25 reps/ 5mins.
  • Run – 10km under 45mins.
  • Snatch – RPT Snatch Test. Under 5mins.
  • Row – 2000m. Male, under 7.15. Females, under 8mins.
  • Stamina – Murph. Under 1 hour 20mins. Males, 10kg. Females, 6kg.

Many people chase just one aspect of performance, ultimately making them unbalanced as both an athlete and a human. If you have a double bodyweight deadlift but can’t run around the block without fear of a heart attack you are unbalanced. If you can run all day but can’t touch your toes you are similarly unbalanced. Addressing all the components of these standards will make you better all round than chasing just one facet. Figure out where you are and address your weaknesses to overcome your inadequacies. This makes planning and future training easy and straight forward, although for many once you start to measure yourself against a firm standard you will see how much hard work is ahead of you. If you’re like many and have an FMS screen under 14 you have even more as you first need to address your movement quality issues.

One thought on “Standards

  1. Hi. Thanks for posting this, these standards are great.

    I have a question about the long cycle standards. Are they tested as one set, or can the bells be set down as in the rkc snatch test?

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