Physical fitness isn't just about lifting. It's about how strong you are relative to your body weight, said Martin Rooney, author of "Ultimate Warrior Workouts." That's why he has his athletes-in-training do body-weight tests. If they struggle, they need to either gain strength or lose weight. Test yourself the same way with his push-up challenge.
Do as many push-ups as you can in three minutes.
1. Rest whenever you want, but keep the clock running the whole time.
2. For a rep to count, you must maintain perfect form: elbows locked at the top, chest two inches above the floor at the bottom, hips not sagging and knees not touching the floor.
3. Pace yourself however you'd like, but it's best not to rush, Rooney said. Take a 15-second break once you slow down after your first burst. Then take longer breaks as you become more tired, he said. Never push yourself to total fatigue.
Tire out too quickly?
How you did:
Below average: < 55 push-ups
Average: 55-74 push-ups
Good: 75-99 push-ups
Excellent: 100-110 push-ups
Extraordinary: 111 or more
Problems to look for
If you can't do 15 push-ups with perfect form ... Your chest and triceps are weak. Strengthen them by doing regular high-rep (12-15) sets of the bench press and triceps pushdown. Also try push-ups in a power rack on a barbell so you can set your body at an incline, making the push-up easier. As you improve, lower the barbell until you're doing regular push-ups.
If your hips sag during push-ups ... Your core is weak. Solution: planks and side planks. These exercises build stability and endurance in your core and mimic the movement needed to succeed at push-ups. They're also great ab workouts.
Related video: Stew Smith Pushups Demo
How to boost your score
Add push-ups to your routine twice a week for the next four weeks, Rooney said. Follow this push-up protocol, trying to complete each rep as quickly as possible. Then take five days off from push-ups and retest yourself.
Are you performing your exercises correctly? Use this guide to perfect your form, prevent injury and pack on size faster.
More from Men's Health:
40 Small Changes for Bigger Muscles
Related video: Increase Your Pushups and Pullups Quickly
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