Redoing the sports plan – Part 1: Metrics

This post series is based on the podcast series by Andrew Huberman and Andy Galpin (see podcast notes). Here I map out the nine different types of exercise adaptations that can be used to transform the functional capacities and aesthetics of our body, and the benefits each adaptation has for our health.

This post lays the groundwork for forthcoming entries in which I will delve into particular fitness programs to commence improving these adaptations.

The Nine Adaptations

The different adaptations work together to form a complete picture. Someone who’s only doing endurance will be able to run a marathon but will keep losing strength as they age. Someone who can squat a lot will nevertheless lose heart function as they age. Endurance and strength, thus, need to be combined.

Do the standard measures for each category at least once a year, do them more often if you’re weak in that area or improving it actively.


  • Learning to move more efficiently
  • For instance, swimming more effectively, swinging a golf club
  • Test: do a push/pull for upper/lower body (four exercises), 3-10 reps (front and side view)
    • Watch for symmetry & stability


  • Moving at a higher velocity or with a better rate of acceleration
  • Test: broad jump, from start of toes (standing still) to back of landing (back heel)
    • Standard: body height
    • Info: can swing arms etc, women standard is slightly below body height
    • Alternative: vertical jump (see how high you can jump), 61 centimeters is the goal (females -15%)
  • Results
    • 220 cm broad jump | April 2023


  • Speed multiplied by the force
  • Not measured directly (without tools), part of the above and below


  • The maximum thing you can move (once!)
  • Test: dynamometer (min 40kg, preferably 60kg)
    • The goal is to have no more than 10% variation between hands
    • Alternative: dead-hang, at least 30 seconds, 60 seconds better
      • Current: 48 seconds
  • Test: Leg extension one rep max, at least bodyweight
    • Alternative: squat one rep max (but more technical)
  • Results
    • Leg extension 110kg (max) x5 | April 2023
  • Test: front squat or goblet squat hold, hold weight in front of your chest
    • Hold half your body weight, sit for 45 seconds

Muscle hypertrophy

  • How big is your muscle
  • Test: body compositions scale (DEXA is gold standard)
  • Results
    • 21 (March 2023)
  • Test: other body measures from scale
    • weight, bmi, body fat, muscle mass, muscle quality, bmr, metabolic age, body water

Muscular endurance

  • How many repetitions you can do (usually local to muscle group)
  • Test: pushups, ten minimum, 25 standard (problems under 5)
  • Results
    • xx pushups | May 2023

Anaerobic capacity

  • Maximum heart rate, the total physiological limitation
  • If your VO2 max is below 18 ml p/kg p/m your fitness is so low as to need assistance living
  • Preferably tested in the lab, but free alternatives
  • Test: go to (near) maximum heart rate, then see how much it has recovered in one minute, the goal is 30 beats (lower one minute later)
  • Results
    • 48 VO2 Max (watch) | April 2023

Maximal aerobic capacity

  • The maximum that your body can do with breathing (oxygen)
  • Test: 12-minute run the maximum distance (then get VO2 max – minimum of 35 ml p/kg p/m – from online calculator)
  • Alternative: VO2 monitor on watch
    • Good = 49-56, Superior is 56+
  • Results
    • 48 VO2 Max (watch) | April 2023

Long-duration training

  • Your ability to sustain submaximal work for a long time with no breaks or reduction (cardio)
  • Test: ability to do work for 20 minutes without breaks, intervals, or downtime