Collecting data for physical fitness

Standardised fitness tests

Standardised fitness tests are objective methods. These are tests which have set rules or protocols relating to the way they are carried out. This means they are used in exactly the same way every time. Different tests can be used to gather data on different aspects of physical fitness. Most standardised tests have National Averages that athletes can compare themselves too.

Weightlifter doing 1 rep max test

An example of a standardised test for measuring strength would be a one rep max test. This is where the performer tries to work out the heaviest weight they can lift one time through a full repetition:

  • The participant completes a thorough warm-up. For example sets of \(5 - 10\) repetitions using a light weight
  • The starting weight must be carefully chosen so that the maximal lift will occur within five attempts
  • The participant should rest for \(2 - 4\) minutes between lifts and the next weight should be increased by about \(5 - 10 \%\)
  • If the participant fails to perform a lift with the correct technique, they should rest then attempt a weight that is \(2.5 - 5 \%\) lighter
  • The weight is increased and decreased until a one rep max lift is performed
  • This can then be compared to National Averages

Another example of a standardised test is the \(12\;minute\) Cooper run. This is a test to measure cardio respiratory endurance.

  • Complete a thorough warm-up and dynamic stretching
  • Place cones every \(20\;m\) for easy calculation of distance covered around the \(200\,/\,400\;m\) track.
  • The participant aims to complete as many laps as possible within the \(12\;minute\) time limit whilst running
  • On the completion of \(12\;minutes\), the recorder counts up the completed laps and the number of completed metres on the final lap, to give a total score in metres
  • This can then be compared to National Averages

Heart rate monitor

Heart rate monitor

This method of monitoring training ensures a performer is working in the correct training zone and therefore at the correct intensity. For example if training to improve stamina, a performer will need to ensure their heart rate is within aerobic training zone: \(60\) - \(80\%\) of their max.

This will also help identify when their body is beginning to adapt to training. When following a training programme, if the heart rate is too low they will know their body has adapted to that level of intensity.