There’s fit and there’s Men’s Health fit. Dare to find out where you rank?
Participants run with parachutes stapped to their backs during the Men's Health Training Combine on Saturday at the Gatorade-Chelsea Blue Pitch in Circuit Makati. Dante Peralta

THERE’S fit and there’s Men’s Health Fit.

Beginning at 5 a.m. last Saturday, the entire length of the Gatorade-Chelsea Blue Pitch in Circuit Makati was a beehive of activity for the fit, the fitter and the fittest who answered the challenge of “being a better version of yourself."

The Men's Health Training Combine was an event where participants received pro-athlete fitness evaluation through various fitness tests: Vertical Jump, Medicine Ball Pass, 40-yard Dash, Figure of 8, and Shuttle Run.

“We want to take fitness closer to our readers. Basically the Combine is fitness testing, showcasing a functional workout that will help them. We test speed, agility, power and endurance – basic fitness tenets that the workouts here address,” explained Wayne Tulio, Men’s Health section editor.

Men and women ran with parachutes strapped to their backs, pulled harnesses weighed by sandbags and chased shadows in the morning light.

“Basically balanced ang fitness mo – hindi ka lang malakas magbuhat, may endurance ka rin, you can do power moves and you can also move very well. This is our idea, a holistic approach to fitness,” Tulio explained.

For example, based on benchmarks set by fitness experts, the average time for a man to finish a 40-yard dash is between 6 to 6.8 seconds. Men’s Health Fit sets the bar at 5.0 seconds or faster.

MH experts had four components that tested each participant: for power, there was a medicine ball toss to test the upper body. For lower body, a vertical jump. Endurance was addressed by the speed shuttle run test. The figure 8 drill measured agility via footwork. Finally for speed there was the 40-yard dash.

Experts also measured body fat to determine body composition coupled with height and weight.

After each participant was assessed and graded, they received a score card with the tallied test results. The information helps identify strengths and what needs to be improved and developed with specialized workouts.

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For the fitness testing, MH Philippines worked with professors and lecturers from the University of the Philippines Sports Sciences Coaches. For the workout component, the magazine partnered with Focus Athletics which specializes in athletic and functional training.

“Incidentally they are valuable resources that we use for the magazine and who we consult for our articles,” Tulio added.

There was a good mix of participants for the first-time event.

“We had a bunch of weekend warriors. There was also a bunch of pro athletes that included Nic Belasco, Shawn Weinstein and brothers Ryan and Taylor Wetherell from the PBA D-League. We also have some celebrities - the guys from Juan Direction and some cover guys from Men’s Health,” the MH editor said.

Commercial model Martin John Reyes, who used to play basketball for De La Salle, said the Combine was a good way to find out how fit and healthy one is.  

“We wanted to show that staying fit doesn’t mean you have to lift the heaviest weights or to be the fastest. There are things you can aspire for via a more holistic approach. It’s more about addressing your weakness to bring about a fitter person overall - not the strongest or the fastest but balanced. So the biggest takeaway is when you go to the gym you know what to address or focus on,” Tulio said.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @rhoelfernandez