Fitness Assessment


Fitness Assessment for Functional Movement

Our comprehensive system that finds faults in movement patterns that weaken performance and create risk of injury. The Sand & Steel Fitness Assessment analyzes: Biomechanics & Muscle Function, Cellular Energy Generation, Fitness Capacity, Mobility and Flexibility, and Proper Execution of Functional Exercise Patterns.

Get the information you need to prevent injury, get stronger, and maximize your potential.

Fitness Assessment

Fitness Assessment

A Vital Tool to Promote Safe and Effective Programming

Before we can think about writing a program for you, we need a fitness assessment.  While you may have met other personal trainers who are inclined to skip the assessment, this is a mistake.  In the early days of Sand & Steel, we tried skipping the fitness assessment a few times, but we always built a sub-optimal workout plan when we did.  Clients that completed our Fitness Assessment had far fewer injuries and much better progress overall.  For this reason, we decided as a company that every client gets a Fitness Assessment.  Through our fitness assessment, we are able to provide our clients with: Consistency in Results, Optimization of the Speed of Fitness Improvements, and Safety in all Exercises and Programming.

Fitness Assessment
Our Fitness Assessment Form.

A Comprehensive Fitness Assessment

Our Fitness Assessment provides us with vital information to help us scale your workout plan so that it is safe and effective for you.  Our Fitness Assessment tests your fitness in the following areas:

  • Biomechanics and Muscle Function
  • Cellular Energy Generation Efficiency
  • Fitness Capacity
  • Mobility and Flexibility
  • Functional Exercise Patterns

If you are a fitness nerd like Paul, feel free to check out more details on these elements here.

Hurdle Step Test Reveals how your Hips are Functioning
The Hurdle Step Test Reveals how your Hips are Functioning

A Fitness Assessment that Scales to You

We have one exercise test: The Sand & Steel Fitness Assessment.  One assessment to test active military and police officers, competitive athletes, teenagers, and men and women in their 70s and 80s.  Our assessment is dynamically scaled by our coaches to provide you with reliable and relevant results.  In this way, it’s equally challenging to complete for everyone.  Each Sand & Steel Assessment generally involves 8-12 exercises depending on the client.  Each exercise informs the personal trainer of which exercise to perform next and what difficulty.

We generally repeat these assessments once every two months to determine your progress on the selected exercises.  Retesting allows us to build you new workouts as you overcome previous limitations and challenges.

In addition to our Fitness Assessment, we also offer the FMS, YBT, and 3DMAPS movement screens.

Functional Movement Screen (FMS)

The FMS is a ranking and grading system that documents movement patterns that are key to normal function.  Used by countless physical therapist and personal trainer, the FMS readily identifies functional limitations and asymmetries. These are issues that can reduce the effects of functional training and physical conditioning and distort body awareness.  It provides a scoring system for providing early warning of specific movement problems as well as tracking progress. This scoring system links the most beneficial corrective exercises to restore mechanically sound movement patterns.

Y Balance Test (YBT) – Powerful Physical Therapy Screen

The YBT provides a risk profile for participating in certain activities (soccer, running, CrossFit, etc.) by measuring closed chain movement dynamics in your hips and shoulders (in essence is your hip and shoulder movement sufficient and is it even.)  The test is highly useful for providing concrete measurements for determining the effectiveness of corrective exercises techniques and/or Muscle Activation sessions.

3 Dimensional Movement Analysis and Performance System (3DMAPS)

3DMAPS was designed by renown physical therapist Gary Gray of the Gray Institute as a screening tool to determine asymmetries across the 6 planes of motions.  Utilizing gravity and ground reaction forces, we use this physical therapy screen to quickly evaluation positions of strength and positions of weaknesses.  We’ll then sort the results of the test into one cohesive program to improve locomotion, prevent injury, and maximize mobility.

Our Fitness Assessment tests your fitness in the following areas:

Biomechanics and Muscle Function

  • Muscle asymmetries can occur between antagonistic muscles like triceps and biceps. If the ratio of the strength of the muscles is imbalanced – muscle injury becomes imminent. Muscle asymmetries also occur between left and right sides of the body.  For example, if someone’s left glute muscles aren’t firing properly, then they can develop an injury in the right knee.
  • Neuromuscular disorganization refers to the inability of the brain to cause muscular contraction. Common causes of this include injuries and lack of use.  When the brain cannot properly contract the muscles the body needs, it contracts muscles that proximal to the bones that need to move.  Contracting the wrong muscles causes increased joint stress and wear on tendons leading to injury.  The screen tests for common areas that people have trouble with, Glutes, hips, shoulder muscles, back muscles, and muscles in the hands and feet.  If we find a lack of coordination or communication between your brain and the target muscles, we include specially designed exercises to help you start rebuilding your neuropathways.
  • Compensations from existing injuries.  Injuries are part of life, but did you know that existing muscle weaknesses can cause new injuries?  Muscle weaknesses don’t cause you pain.  You often don’t even know you have them, until pop, you pull a hamstring.  Or your knees hurt after doing squats.  You might think you just have bad knees, but chances are it’s weak glutes causing your pain.
  • Body Awareness.  Think your form on the kettle swing is perfect?  Is your back flat on a deadlift?  Body Awareness is knowing where your feet, hips, back, and head are during an exercise.  It’s understanding what full range of motion.  Yes you can go deeper, nope that’s still not parallel, etc. can cost gains in the gym and potential injury down the road if not corrected.

Cellular Energy Generation Efficiency

  • Peak Anaerobic Threshold relates to the maximal force you can exerts on major lifts like squats, deadlifts, and benchpress. Since we utilize compound exercises when testing strength, you’ll be getting a complete workout while you are being tested in the screen.
  • Lactic Acid Threshold relates to your ability to withstand the change in pH balance in your body under bouts of sustained activity. This particular energy system, the glycolytic pathway, play a key role in weight loss and athletic performance.  Like most areas of fitness it can be improved through training.  So we test it, and build you workouts that make it better.
  • Peak Aerobic Power is your ability to perform an exercise while maintaining requisite levels of oxygen in your muscles for a period longer than 2 minutes. We test the aerobic system with movements like the Assault bike and the Jacobs ladder.  The Aerobic energy system is your fat-burning haven – so you’ll see this energy system tested and utilized in many of our XT60 workouts.

Fitness Capacity

  • Willpower: some people have hire thresholds for lactic burn.  Some people can push harder when they are out of breath.  For people who like to push very hard, we build simpler exercises into the program, so they don’t get injured.  For other people who are willing to take things a little slower, we can build more complex patterns in earlier, because you take the time to learn.
  • Adaption Speed: some clients learn faster.  They under cues better.  They remember and can execute complex patterns faster.  The better you are at learning new techniques, the more new techniques we teach you.
  • Recovery Speed: recovery measures how much rest time your need after going to full tilt on a sled push, assault bike, Jacob’s ladder.  Recovery speed in a measurement of conditioning, and is also linked to respiratory health and willpower.
  • Respiratory Health: Conditions such as emphysema, high body fat, asthma, etc. can affect how much oxygen you can breathe-in per minute.  If you are a lower oxygen client, we’ll take that into account so that you’ll be finish your workouts successfully.

Mobility and Flexibility

  • Range of motion across key exercises: joints have a normal range of motion.  Measuring this range of motion is called goniometry.
  • Strength through the complete range of motion of a joint: It’s easy to be strong at mid range, but sports and life takes into the limits of our range all the time.  If you aren’t strong at the end of your range, you can easily get injured if the load is too high.
  • Proper firing of synergistic and antagonistic muscles in response to an exercise.  If your hamstrings are too weak, they won’t slow down your tibia when you are running (which uses quads.)  If your TFL is too weak, your knee won’t be stabilized when you are running and you’ll develop tight IT Bands.  Strength and endurance balances in muscles is key.
  • Balance. Improving balance is a key part of our training methodology.  Improving total body strength aids in improving balance.  We measure your balance during our fitness assessment with our overhead Surge hold.

The Results Come From YouFunctional Exercise Patterns

Foundations of Movement:

  • Squat:
  • Lunge:
  • Hinge:
  • Push:
  • Pull:
  • Spinal and Abdominal Flexion/Extension/Rotation/Resist Rotation,
  • Arm and Leg Internal and External Rotation

M|WOD Movements and Positions:

  • Overhead: Flexion and External Rotation
  • Front Rack: Flexion and External Rotation
  • Hang: Internal Rotation
  • Press: Extension and Internal Rotation

Functional Movements Screen and Y-Balance

  • Active Straight Leg Raise Mobility
  • Shoulder Mobility
  • Rotary Stability
  • Trunk Stability Push-up
  • Inline Lunge
  • Hurdle Step
  • Deep Squat
  • Upper Quadrant Y-Balance
  • Lower Quadrant Y-Balance

We use this list of poses to assess what kind of yoga style and programming is best for you.  Our list of poses has easy poses to very challenging poses.  We select poses of appropriate difficulty for each of the eight main pose types.

  1. Standing Balance
  2. Heart Opener / Backbend
  3. Hip Open
  4. Arm Balance
  5. Inversions
  6. Seated Pose
  7. Twist
  8. Fold

Naturally, we won’t select poses that you aren’t ready to try.

Yoga Beginner - Uttasana With Block - Forward FoldWarm-up

  1. Phalakasana – Plank
  2. Urdhva Hastasana – Standing Back Bend
  3. Uttanasana with Heel Lock – Forward Fold with Heel Lock
  4. Chaturanga Dandasana – Hover Pose
  5. Chandrasana – Crescent Pose
  6. Virabhadrasana A – Warrior I
  7. Vasisthasana – Side Plank

Sun Saluations

  1. 3X Surya Namaskara B – Sun Saluation B
  2. Balasana – Ball Pose
  3. 3X Surya Namaskara E – Sun Saluation E
  4. Uttihita Balasana – Child’s Pose

Yoga Iyengar- Standing Bow Pose - Dancer - Natarajasana

Standing Balance

  1. Virabhadrasana B – Warrior II
  2. Utthita Parsvakonasana Dwi Pada – Extended Side Angle Stretch
  3. Urdhva Prasarita Eka Padasana – Standing Split Pose
  4. Ardha Chandrasana – Half Moon
  5. Virabhadrasana C – Warrior III
  6. Malasana – Garland Pose
  7. Utthita Trikonasana – Extended Triangle
  8. Parivrtta Trikonasana – Revolved Triangle
  9. Prasarita Padottanasana – Split Leg Fold
  10. Dandayamana Janushirasana – Standing Head to Knee
  11. Dandayamana Dhanurasana – Natarajasana – Dancer Pose
  12. Garudasana – Eagle Pose
  13. Utkata Konasana – Goddess Squat
  14. Uktanasana – Awkward Pose
  15. Parivrtta Uktanasana – Revolved Awkward
  16. Tall Toe Stand

Yoga Revolved HeadStand PoseArm Balance & Inversions

  1. Salamba Sarvangasana – Shoulder Stance
  2. Bakasana – Crow
  3. Sirsasana – Headstand
  4. Vrksasana – Handstand

Seated Poses

  1. Dandasana – Staff Pose
  2. Paschimottanasana – Seated Forward Bench
  3. Janu Sirsasana – One Leg Head to Knee
  4. Marichyasana A & C – Marchi’s Fold and Twist
  5. Salabhasana (Bikram) Locust Pose
  6. Yoga Bikram - Rabbit Pose Sasangasana

  7. Setu Bandha Sarvangasana – Bridge Pose
  8. Supta Parivartanasana – Laying Revolved Twist
  9. Adho Mukha Mandukasana – Frog Pose
  10. Pavanamuktasana Pasasana – Wind Removing Pose
  11. Virasana – Hero Pose
  12. Upavistha Konasana – Seated Split Leg Folder
  13. Gomukhasana – Cow Face Pose


  1. Baddha Konasana – Cobbler’s Pose
  2. Viparita Karani – Wall Supported Shoulder Stance
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