Fitness Testing

Of the many benefits of fitness testing, the most important is to establish the strengths and weaknesses of each athlete and compare those results to other athletes. You probably have some idea of how fit your athletes are. But knowing the specifics can help you set realistic fitness goals, monitor progress and maintain motivation. Gauge your teams fitness levels by doing these three classic exercise tests.

Bleep Test

Description: This test involves continuous running between two lines 20m apart in time to recorded beeps. For this reason the test if also often called the 'beep' or 'bleep' test. The time between recorded beeps decrease each minute (level). There are several versions of the test, but one commonly used version has an initial running velocity of 8.5 km/hr, which increases by 0.5 km/hr each minute.

Scoring: The athletes score is the level and number of shuttles reached before they were unable to keep up with the tape recording. This score can be converted to a VO2max equivalent score using this calculator.

Equipment required: Flat, non-slip surface, marking cones, 20m measuring tape, pre-recorded audio tape, tape recorder, recording sheets.

Sprint Test

Description / Procedure: The purpose of this test is to determine maximum running speed. It involves running a single maximum sprint over a set distance, with time recorded. The test is conducted over different distances, such as 10, 20, 40 and/or 50 meters or yards, depending on the sport and what you are trying to measure. The starting position should be standardize, starting from a stationary position, with no rocking movements. 

If you have the equipment (e.g. timing gates), you can measure the time to run each split distances (e.g. 5, 10, 20m) during the same run, and then acceleration and peak velocity can also be determined. It is usual to give the athletes an adequate warm-up and practice first, and some encouragement to continue running hard past the finish line.

Equipment required: measuring tape or marked track, stopwatch or timing gates, markers.

505 Agility Test

Description / Procedure: markers are set up 10 and 15 meters from a line marked on the ground. The athlete runs from the 15 meter marker towards the line (run in distance to build up speed) and through the 5 m markers, turns on the line and runs back through the 5 m markers. 

The time is recorded from when the athletes first runs through the 5 metre marker, and stopped when they return through these markers (that is, the time taken to cover the 5 m up and back distance - 10 m total). The best of two trails is recorded. The turning ability on each leg should be tested. The subject should be encouraged to not overstep the line by too much, as this will increase their time.

Equipment required: start/stop timing gates or stopwatch, non-slip running surface, markers