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“Struggling in front of my classmates wasn’t something I looked forward to.” Fitness writer Danielle Friedman on whether the Presidential Fitness Tests might have backfired for some people.

Discussion  4 comments

Jason KottkeMOD

The second-ever episode of the now-popular Maintenance Phase podcast was about the Presidential Physical Fitness Test.

Everyone's test was a little different, depending on where you went to school and when, but during the 80s in northern Wisconsin, our test consisted of the 40-yard dash, the mile, pull-ups, sit-ups, the standing broad jump, and the shuttle run. I was ok at the 40-yard dash, mile, and broad jump and excelled at the shuttle run and sit-ups (60 sit-ups in 60 seconds if I remember right), but in my combined 12 years of elementary, middle, and high school, I never once did a single pull-up. Reagan must have been very disappointed in me. (I have since done pull-ups, but not many of them. 🤷‍♂️)

Caroline G.

My hamstrings hurt just thinking about that stupid sit and reach test.

Jared Crookston

I was so so bad at that one

Reply in this thread

Meg Hourihan

At my school the girls had the flexed-arm hang instead of pull-ups, and I had really good upper body strength so I remember hanging for a very very long time, and as my face became redder from the exertion all the kids started laughing and making fun of me. Eventually I dropped down to the ground because I was so embarrassed, with a lot of arm hang left in me. Still irks me to this day!

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