Are you feeling stuck in a workout rut? Or not seeing the pounds shed as fast as you would like? A full fitness and wellness assessment may be your answer for pinpointing ways to reach your goals. If you have plans for self improvement, it is helpful to know what you are starting with.

A series of tests, lifestyle questions, measurements and movements are part of an advanced technique to help individuals get in shape the healthy way. Foxnews.com literally ran the gamut to show how to achieve optimal fitness safely, intelligently and effectively with comprehensive knowledge of how the body functions.

NYC’s Equinox’s Tier 4 personal training program is a preventive care program that first analyzes your current state of being compared to goals you would like to achieve, and from there creates a manageable plan for self improvement.

Metabolic Rate

First step, a metabolic testing assessment.  “The resting metabolic rate is going to give us an indication of how many calories your body uses at rest for all the functions in your body, to work right,” Rick Garrigan, T4 Coach and EFTI Master Instructor told Foxnews.com.

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Garrigan points out that you want your metabolic rate as high as possible while in a fasting state. This indicates a fast metabolism.  Some things that will slow your metabolism down are “skipping meals, going too long, causing your blood glucose to fluctuate.” Garrigan said.

Other numbers crunched included blood pressure and resting heart rate.

Personal Profile Questions

The next step in creating a personal profile involved a series of questions about my family’s health history, stress levels, any orthopedic injuries, exercise history, daily nutrition, lifestyle and fitness goals.

Questions included:

“How many cups of coffee do you drink a day?”
“Does your family have a history of cancer?”
“Have you had an reoccurring injuries?”
“Are you currently taking any medications?”
“Any late night snacks?”

These questions are important because “this gives me an in depth look at where you are now, any possible medical conditions that could come up in the future as we approach you from a preventative care standpoint” Garrigan said.

Garrigan points out that as a personal trainer they aim to develop an open relationship to help with the entire management process of your health,  “keeping open lines of communication with your doctors as well.”

Body Composition

Next up, it was time to get measured and pinched. Body composition refers to the proportions of body weight in terms of lean body mass and body fat. Garrigan says it is essential to have some body fat, but excess levels pose serious risks.

Height, weight, and head to toe measurements were taken, “to give us a baseline to see where you are before you start the program  and say if you put on any muscle, how the body changes.”

Functional Movements

A functional movement screen includes 7 full body motions like a deep squat, in-line lunge, and a hurdle step. Observing how these moves are performed can help indicate any injuries, and “gives an idea of any asymmetries, any differences in your body.”

Cardiovascular Fitness Test

The same breathing mask used to gather resting metabolic rates went back on for the cardiovascular test.  A  heart rate monitor was also put on and it was time to run.

The aerobic fitness test gages the ability of the heart, lungs, and circulatory system to supply oxygen and nutrients to working muscles effectively. Garrigan points out that this is generally considered to be the most important fitness component.

The results award your Maximum oxygen consumption (Max VO2) level—which is a measurement of the maximum rate your body can consume and process oxygen during exercise. The higher, the better your cardio fitness.

The results of a comprehensive wellness exam indicate any potential health risk factors, yields a non-scientific “body age,” and creates a personalized plan with tips for meeting your goals. Often, these assessments are continued at various times throughout training to make sure you are on track to meet your objectives.

The end goal of this preventative care program is “to establish healthier patterns to give you a better quality of life,” Garrigan said.

Ask your doctor or fitness center if they offer full wellness exams. Become a member of Equinox’s T4 program by signing up here