Are You Getting Old? Try this Test

Chris Hinshaw, who is one of the best CrossFit coaches in the entire world, brought up the idea of the old man test. It made me curious if I could execute the old man test. I do have a grey stripe in my beard and want to see if I am an old man or still maintaining my youth.

I ran across Henshaw talking about the old man test with Mark Bell. One thing I want to point out about Mark Bell surrounds a Keith Harring quote that goes something like this, “I like to utilize art to affect people and to challenge people and inspire people with art.” That is how I view Mark Bell.

The Rules Of The Test

Rules are simply complex. The old man test rules are as follows: in bare feet, stand on one foot, pick up your sock, put it on, pick up your shoe, put it on, and tie your shoe. The catch is the whole time the foot in the air can’t touch the ground. Once it is done with one foot, it needs to be done with the other foot.


Before doing the test, I felt like my left would be easy and on my right side, I’d fall all over the place. Hinshaw made it look easy. Before I tried it, I watched Chris, another person in the video I watched, struggle to pass the test. And by struggle to pass, I mean fail.

What I noticed is balance is very important in this test. Having hip mobility and balance to perform the test is necessary. Good proprioception in the foot helps as well. I’ve been lifting heavy for so long and never really practicing mobility and stretching, I had the feeling this test was going to leave me exposed.

A Gold Star

Chris Hinshaw says he only gives out gold stars when something that is impossible happens. Maybe I deserve a gold star if I pass this test?


So I tried the test.

old man strength

I took off my socks and shoes. I untied my shoes. I never untie my laces. It is a classic fat person skill I mastered as a thrower. 

On my left leg, the single-leg RDL’s and reflexive strength movements made the test go off without a hitch. Now having a shoe on my right foot made me nervous, especially because I am typically wonky on my right leg. I actually wished I was in my bare feet still.


I think I might have cheated when tying my shoe? I did have my raised leg on my balancing leg but I don’t remember that being mentioned in the rules.


I definitely passed.

Recap

So I did it! I passed the old man test. I think everyone should do this for fun. It helps people make sure they can keep their wits about them as they age. As I age, I like playing memory games and other unique, little tests to stay sharp. Another thing to try is standing up from the ground without using your hands.


Cool stuff.


DANE MILLER

Dane Miller is the owner and founder of Garage Strength Sports Performance. He works with a select handful of clients on building comprehensive programs for fitness and nutrition. Several times a year he leads a workshop for coaches, trainers, and fitness enthusiasts.

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