Fitness Testing

Tests for aerobic capacity

Tests can either be maximal exhaustion tests in which the individual works maximally and the oxygen uptake is determined. Tests can also be sub-maximal in which the individual works sub-maximally and an oxygen uptake is predicted.

VO2 max lab test

Is undertaken in the lab and can either be a run test or a bike test a computer is used to measure the athletes oxygen capacity. Therefore it would be suitable to sports that incorporate long periods of running with increasing intensities rather than stop/start kind of activities. Thus examples of sports you may use this test for would be long distance runners or cyclists it may also be used for other sports as it is an accurate measure of aerobic capacity (VO2 max) whilst many of the other tests are field tests and hence can only make a less accurate prediction of the athletes aerobic capacity. Lab testing  can be expensive and requires specialised equipment whilst field testing usually does not.

20 meter shuttle run test

This is the same as the beep test carried out in many schools, it involves the athlete running up and back 20 meters within a limited amount of time. This again is a suitable test for sports that involve running of distances such as 20 meters and that is relatively continuous but involves changes in direction. this may be suitable for football player, soccer player or hockey players.

Yo Yo intermittent test

The yo-yo test is a variation of the beep test as it again involves 20 meter runs but at the end of each 20 meter run is a 5 meter active recovery rest period where the individual walks a further 5 meters in between the next beep. This test more closely resembles the intermittent nature of team sports as there is a brief rest period incorporated into the activity. Therefore this test is likely to be suitable for team sports such as soccer or sports such as tennis.

Harvard step test

Is one of the most known step tests available and is standardised meaning many variables are controlled so results from individuals can be compared. The step is supposed to be 41cm high and the individual is supposed to step at a rate of 24 steps per minute. They are then supposed to wait for 5 minutes and count the number of heart beats. This test is most suitable to quite low intensity aerobic exercise that involves the leg muscles.It is best suited for activities that require generally testing of aerobic capacity and can be used for sports such as netball or soccer however there are more suitable tests for those sports.

Cooper’s 12 minute run

Cones are placed 20 meters apart and a lap is measured around 200-400m, the individual is then supposed to complete as many laps as possible within the 12 minutes. The number of laps can help determine the distance covered and this can be compared to the standardised norms. This test again is suitable to sports of long distance continuous effort such as long-distance athletic events.

Critical swim speed test

The athlete participates in 2 swims a 400 meter swim followed by the 50 meter swim with a break in between. The times for the two swims are recorded and be used to determine VO2 max from norms but also it can be used to calculate training times. This test if most suitable for pool sports and swimmers. This is because test should be a specific as possible to the actual movements of the sport you are indenting to train for.

Phosphate recovery test

The phosphate recovery test involves a series of small runs at high intensity, one of the runs being 40 meters the other being 18 meters and is done in pairs. This kind of test is most suitable to sports where there is repeated bouts of high intensity activities. These activities may include short sprints into position or jumping. This kind of test would be suitable for a lot of team sports such as AFL, netball, basketball or soccer. This test is aimed at testing the capacity of the ATP-CP system hence the short duration and distance of run.

400 meter run test

An athletes time taken to run 400 meters is reordered. This test is aimed to measure the athletes capacity of their anaerobic glycolysis system. So this kind of test would be used for sports where there is a need for prolonged high intensity efforts lasting around 90 seconds or greater. This may include team sports although a lot of those sports are more suited to the phosphate recovery test due to their high intermittent nature.

Phosphate power test

Involves 2 trials of 10 second bike riding at maximal effort times are recorders and can be compared to standardised norms. This test is designed to evaluate the individuals capacity of their ATP-CP energy system and is used for sports that are of an intermittent nature and involve the use of bikes.

Tests for Muscular strength

Grip strength test

The grip strength test uses a hand dyanometer, which gives a reading regarding the amount of strength applied. It is most suitable for ball sports as it measures the strength of the hand and forearm muscles but does not measure the strength of the leg or shoulder muscles.

1RM bench press or squat:

The 1RM test measures the maximum amount of weight or resistance an individual can lift in one repetition of the exercise. The bench press gives an indication of the muscular strength of the muscles in the chest and upper arm area. Whilst the squat test gives an indication of the strength of the leg muscles. Therefore the individual can choose which type of test is most suited to the muscle groups used in their chosen activity.

Push-pull Dyanometer test

This involves different movement of the shoulder muscles as it involves pushing and pulling meaning is involves more use of the shoulder muscles. This makes it a suitable test for sports that involve tackling.

Tests for Muscular endurance

Timed sit-up test

This test is designed to evaluate the muscular endurance of the abdominal muscles which are used in many sports as they act as stabilisers. knees are usually slightly bent and the amount of sit ups the individual can do in 30 or 60 seconds is recorded.

Timed push ups

The athlete performs as manny push-ups as possible in 30 seconds. This test aims to measure the muscular endurance of the upper body muscles such as the arms and shoulders. Therefore it is suitable for sports that make use of these muscles such as AFL, rugby and volleyball.

Squats test

The athlete performs as many squats as possible in a given amount of time. This aims to to measure the muscular endurance of the leg muscles. Hence this type of test is suitable to sports in which the leg muscles are a major muscle group used by the sport.

Tests for agility

Semo agility test

Tests the ability of the athlete to move forward, backwards and side ways therefore tests the athlete ability to use a number of different movements. The time it takes for the individual to move through the course is recorded and able to be compared against standardised norms. This type of test is suited to sports that involve many changes in direction and a variety of movements such as stenos and basketball.

Illinois agility test

Tests the ability of the athlete to change direction quickly without losing balance or control. The athlete begins the test on their stomach and then has to complete the course as quickly as possible. This kind of test is suitable for sports with sharp changes in direction such as netball or AFL.

Tests for Muscular power

Standing long- jump test

It asses the individuals muscular power within the leg muscles. The individual attempts to jump as far as they can from a set point and the distance covered is measured. This kind of test is suited to sports i which the leg muscles were identified as a major muscle group used such as sports that involve running.

Vertical jump test

It assess the muscular power of the leg muscles. the individual jumps vertically in the air as high as they can the height of the jump is then reordered from the hand. This kind of test is suited to sports that involve vertical jumping such as netball or AFL where athletes need to jump to catch the ball.

Tests for flexibility

Sit and reach test

Where the individual sits with their legs straight and measures how far they can reach on a board. This is suitable and important for many sports such as sports like gymnastics.

Bend, twist and touch test (trunk test)

The participant stands half a meter in front of the wall and twists to each side trying to get both hand to reach and then tries to read their toes without bending their knees. This test aims to measure dynamic flexibility. Therefore is more suited to team sports than static stretching tests.

Tests for speed

50-meter sprint test

Designed to test the speed of the whole body over the distance of 50 meters.This kind of test would be suitable to sports that involve sprints over short distances such as team sports.

30 meter acceleration test

Designed to test an individuals acceleration from rest to full speed this would be important in sports where acceleration and power are vital. Such as sports like sprinting and tennis.

60 meter sprint test

This test is designed to see how well an individual firstly accelerates(first 30 meters) and then maintains speed ( next 30 meters). This kind of test would be suitable for sports where acceleration and maintenance of that acceleration is important such as the 100 meter sprint.

Tests for body composition

Skin-fold test

Skin fold test measures the distance between to folds of skin it is used to determine an individuals fat percentage. It can be performed at many areas over the body.

Body mass index (BMI) test

An individuals BMI can be calculated using their height and weight. This provides an indication of their health. However it does not take into account whether the weight measured is muscle or fat.

Waist to hip ratio test

Is a test used to determine how much weight an individual stores around their waist and hips and is a measure of fat distribution.

Tests for coordination

Hand-eye coordination test

Using a tennis ball the athlete stands two meters away from the wall and throws the ball to catch it with the other hand this is repeated for a period of 30 seconds. The number of catches the person receives is recorded. This is used to measure the participants hand-eye coordination which is used in a number of different sports in particular ball sports.

Balance tests

Standing stork test

The participant stands on one leg with the other leg resting of the knee of the standing leg and then attempts to hold this pose for at least a minute to test balance.

Standing stork test blind

This test is the same as the previous stroke test except the participant closes their eyes making the test harder as vision is an important part of balance.

Reaction time tests

Ruler drop test

In partners one stand behind the other on a step and holds a ruler up and drops it, the person standing in front and below has their arms by their side and then when the ruler is dropped must catch the ruler. The distance down the ruler that the participants catches the ruler is recorded.