How do you know if your fitness program is working?

Most people just show up and “work out”, following a routine from on the internet or just doing what the instructor in their class says. As long as you get your “sweat on”, you feel like you’re doing something.

What’s the bigger plan? Are you improving anything besides the weight on your scale? What about getting stronger? Learning how to do a pull up? Running faster?

At Hale, we believe a good fitness program should improve the way you look, feel, and perform.

We measure performance by looking at ten areas of fitness:  endurancestrengthstaminaflexibility, coordinationagilitybalanceaccuracypower, and speed.

If you improve on all of these areas, you’re going to PERFORM better in life (and the field), FEEL better, and LOOK like an athlete.

We created our Athlete Levels document to give you specific targets to shoot for across a wide variety of fitness disciplines that cover each of the 10 components.

Only a constantly varied fitness program that is based on functional movements and executed at a high intensity will give you the tools you need to improve in all ten areas over time. 

The Athlete Levels guide will give you tools for goal setting and finding your strengths and weaknesses.


It includes tests on things like:

  • cardiovascular (1 mile time, burpees in a minute, 500m row)
  • gymnastics (pull ups, push ups, handstands)
  • weightlifting (max deadlift, press, olympic lifts)
  • combined workouts (“Fran”, “Murph”, “Helen”)

Most importantly, it will help answer the question, “How fit are you?”

This document is version 6.0 of the original, which was created at our London gym back in 2010. It is based on extensive research and discussion, and represents what we believe to be a fair assessment of athletic ability.

Our standards are high and are designed to force you to improve beyond your current capacity.

The Athlete Levels are:

Beginner – A well rounded basic athlete. If you have a general fitness or sports background, you will be able to do most of these on day 1. If you have big holes in your fitness or are otherwise de-conditioned, you can achieve these levels in 3-6 months of training 3-5 days per week.

Intermediate – Fitter then 90% of the population. Our goal is to make this the standard for a healthy adult. The intermediate athlete represents someone who has a well-rounded program and stays consistent over time with it. For most, it will take 6-12 months after achieving Beginner level to get here.

Advanced – The 1%. Advanced athletes have put a lot of time and effort into improving themselves every day. You are likely training 4-6 days per week with focus and purpose, and you take time to address your weaknesses. This can take months or years to achieve after reaching Intermediate. The timeline is based on your focus and effort.

Expert – A lifetime pursuit. Fitness has gone beyond a specific goal, and become a daily practice of 1% improvements. The “experts” at Hale have forged solid habits that put them in a position to get better every time they come into the gym. Expert is more of a mindset than a goal.

These levels are intended as a guide for evaluating your fitness and setting intelligent goals. This is not intended to be a picture of the end-all of fitness, but rather a measuring stick to determine your strengths and weaknesses.

Don’t beat yourself up if you are not at the level you desire or where you think you should be. A strong commitment, good diet, and consistent, focused training will get you there soon enough!


Progress Check-In

Remember, what gets measured gets managed. If you want to get better, you have to know exactly where you are first.

You can use these as a guideline for your training and testing any way that suits you. In practice, we do this in three ways:

  • Testing days (or weeks) – The coach picks 7-15 skills and 1-3 workouts to test where each athlete stands. The goal is to pass 85% of the skills/workouts before moving on.
  • The athlete attacks every skill in a particular level over the course of two weeks and attempts to pass 85% of them before moving on to the next one.
  • Individual skills are tested throughout the year in the daily workout, and the athlete keeps track of where they stand on the worksheet below.

Use any or all of these methods to see where you stand!

The program at Hale is designed to prepare you to achieve these levels provided you show up consistently, work hard, follow a good nutrition plan, and rest properly.

Where do you stand?

If you want to move up to the next level, book a free intro using the button below and find out how!

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Jay Williams, Founder

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