Health & Sports

Every Man Should Be Able to Save His Own Life: 5 Fitness Benchmarks a Man Must Master

terror in trinidad cover startling true adventure

In 1926, strong man and physical culture enthusiast Earle Liederman wrote a book called Endurance. In it, Liederman makes the case that every man should be physically fit enough to save his own life in an emergency. He sets out five fitness benchmarks that indicate whether a man is up to this task. None require you to be able to bench press 500 pounds or have six pack abs. Rather, the benchmarks focus on having the strength and endurance to run, swim, or pull yourself to safety. If you’re looking for a fitness goal, the five fitness benchmarks Liederman lists are a good place to start.

According to Liederman:

“Every man should be able to save his own life. He should be able to swim far enough, run fast and long enough to save his life in case of emergency and necessity. He also should be able to chin himself a reasonable number of times, as well as to dip a number of times, and he should be able to jump a reasonable height and distance.

A man should be able to:

Watch the Video

Swim at least half a mile or more

vintage 1940s swimming illustration military manual

Run at top speed two hundred yards or more

vintage men sprinting grass field track 1930s 1920s

Jump over obstacles higher than his waist

vintage african american man jumping over hurdle

Pull his body upward by the strength of his arms, until his chin touches his hands, at least fifteen to twenty times

vintage man 1950s pull ups in doorway

Dip between parallel bars or between two chairs at least twenty-five times or more

vintage illustration parallel bar dip gymnast

If he can accomplish these things he need have no fear concerning the safety of his life should he be forced into an emergency from which he alone may be able to save himself.”

Show Comments