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Spring Fitness Assessment

Fri, Jun  12, 2009 - By  Garrott Kuzzy

For many skiers, one of the signs that it’s time to start training again is the first fitness assessment of the year. Most skiers have taken time off during April to relax, hit the beach or the slopes, and get the mind off of racing and simply recharge. That time came to an abrupt end this week for the CXC athletes during the first training camp of the year, where the first day was spent doing our annual Spring Fitness Assessment.

Also known as the Medals Test, the assessment gives us a baseline on how our current fitness compares to previous years. The Medals Test is very similar to the old “Presidential Physical Fitness Test” that John F. Kennedy started back in the 1950’s, slightly modified to test attributes considered important for cross country skiers. I’m not sure where the Medals Test originated, but the teams I’ve been on at the high school, college, and elite level have all done some variation of the Medals Test.

Medals Test, used to baseline fitmess


Typically, the test is done three times per year: once in May, once in July, and once in October. While it may not be a perfect test, it is a test that’s fairly common across the country and seems to have a decent correlation to ski performance. Want to see how many push-ups you can do compared to Birkie Champion Matt Liebsch? How about how many pull-ups Gus Kaeding can do, which helped power him past Bjorn Daehlie at the end of the Classic Birkie? Kick off your spring training, take the test and find out!

Medals Test
1. 3000m run on track (7.5 laps)
2. Pull-ups
3. Sit-ups
4. Push-ups
5. Dips (on bar)
6. Box jumps

For strength exercises (2-5), do each exercise for 1 minute, take 1 minute rest, and then do another set for 1 minute. For Box Jumps (6), use a sturdy box that’s 18” tall for men or 14” tall for women, jump laterally back-and-fourth from one side, up onto the box, and down on the other side, counting each time you touch the box as one rep. Do as many of these as you can in 90 seconds.

Check out the chart above, to see how you compare!

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