How to Begin Physical Therapy

How to Begin Physical Therapy

What You Need To Know Before Starting Physical Therapy With Dr. Bonnette

One of the first things Dr. Bonnette and staff will do is complete a fitness assessment. This will indicate your current health and your fitness status. We will use those results to determine the correct plan for your needs. And, finally, we can use that data to measure your progress!

What is Involved?

First, we will have you fill out a physical activity readiness questionnaire which determines if you need permission from a doctor. Two signs will be checked by a trainer, 1) blood pressure; and 2) heart rate at rest. Blood pressure is the measure of arterial pressure while the heart’s ventricle fills with, and empties blood. The normal recognized pressure is 120/80 mmHg. The heart rate, also called pulse, at rest is the expansion and retraction of arteries after contractions by the heart’s left ventricle. A reading for adults can range from 50 to 80 beats per minute. This will depend on cardiovascular health.

Next, we will measure body composition and girth measurements. These include body mass, aka weight/body fat percentage or the amount of body mass that is composed of adipose tissue. Also, body mass index, or BMI, which measures your mass in kilograms and dividing by your height in square meters.

Depending upon gender, body fat percentage can range from 15 for men and 23 for women. The healthy range for body mass index also depends on gender, with women ranging from 23 to 26 and men from 24 to 27.

Additionally, people tend to focus on girth assessments to determine progress in a typical training program. Gender tends to be consistent and includes chest, neck, shoulders, arms, waist, hips, thigh and even calves.

What is your muscular endurance?

We also want to determine your muscular endurance. This is achieved through bench press for the upper body. The goal is to complete as many reps as possible in a minute. Additional tests for muscular endurance include push-ups and curl-ups. The classification for a good range is 30 to 37 for men in their twenties, and 11 to 18 for men older than 60 years of age. For women, the normal classification in their twenties is 24 to 30 and for older women over 60, the range is 6 to 12.

We will also measure cardiorespiratory system or VO2. This is the use of oxygen by the muscles during exercise. We can measure this with treadmill and cycling tests.Field tests can also be used, including a one-mile run, one-mile walk, and the three-minute step test.

Lastly, we will measure flexibility. Flexibility is the range of motion around the joints. We use the most standard test called the “sit and reach” test which evaluates flexibility in the low back and hips. We can also test other joints in your shoulder, ankle, hip and spine, depending upon your condition.


To schedule your fitness assessment, contact Bonnette Physical Therapy at 817-862-9665 in White Settlement or 817-885-0668 in Fort Worth.