A person is considered to be physically fit if they are able to carry out all of their daily tasks easily and without becoming fatigued. Before starting a fitness program, it’s important to know where you stand and if your current fitness level is adequate. Providing an honest assessment of your abilities and your mindset will allow you to take advantage of your strengths and overcome your weaknesses.
What Is a Fitness Test?
Fitness tests, often referred to as fitness evaluations or fitness assessments, include a series of measurements that help determine the health status and physical fitness of an individual.
These tests are often the starting point for designing an appropriate exercise program. The specific tests used in an assessment depend on the health and fitness goals of the individual, the trainer's experience and the type of workout routines being performed.
Health History & Medical screening
Before beginning a new exercise program, it's a good idea to review your medical history and, if necessary, get your doctor's OK to exercise or at least understand your exercise limitations. Most of the trainers, coaches and sports specialists will use one or more of the following screening tools to determine the safety of exercise for their participants.
-Vital Sign measurements
There are five components of fitness.
1. Cardiovascular endurance - Cardiovascular fitness also known as cardio respiratory fitness is the ability of the heart, lungs and vascular system to deliver oxygen-rich blood to working muscles during sustained physical activity. Here are some of the most common methods of determining endurance.
-12 minute run test
-Vo2 max testing
-The Bruce treadmill test protocol
-Exercise Stress Testing
-Rockport fitness walking test calculator
Exercise suggestion to improve cardiovascular endurance -
-Walking, Cycling, Stepping, running, Kick boxing
2. Muscular Endurance - Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to repeat a movement many times or to hold a particular position for an extended period of time.
-Push up test
-Core strength and ability test
Exercise suggestion to improve muscular endurance
-Cross training like one day treadmill, one day spin bike, one day swimming and elliptical.
3. Musculoskeletal Strength - Musculoskeletal strength is the amount of force a muscle or muscle group can exert against a heavy resistance.
-Life style/ADL/functional status
-Note speed of movement
Exercise Suggestion to improve Musculoskeletal Strength-Need to improve strength of whole skeletal system muscles, bones joints, ligaments and tendons.
- Perform strength training workouts.
-Perform interval training workouts to build anaerobic capacity.
- Allow your body to rest and recover between workouts.
-Unsupported compound and Power movement
4. Flexibility - Flexibility is the degree to which an individual muscle will lengthen.
-Sit and reach flexibility test
-Shoulder flexibility test
Suggestion to improve flexibility- you have to do variety of stretch as per your body requirement and your workout schedule.
5. Body Composition - Body composition is the amount of fat in the body compared to the amount of lean mass (muscle, bones etc.).
-Under water weighing (Hydrostatic weight)
-BMI (Body Mass Index)
-Bioelectrical Impedance analysis
-Waist to hip ratio measurements
-Body Circumference measurements
-Body fat analyzers and scales
Suggestion for ideal body composition-Sports nutrition is important for your ideal body composition.
-High protein rich diet
-Food in intervals
-Pre workout and Post workout drink
-Add calcium in your diet to improve bone density
Benefits of Fitness Test
There are many reasons why individuals should engage in a properly conducted fitness evaluation before starting and throughout their exercise training.
Safety - all professionals in our field agree that safety in training is of paramount importance, yet many programs do not test, or offer basic, inaccurate testing as part of their programming. The result is a program which risks injury for its participants.
Individuality-ensuring that you are completing the correct training for you and your goals is of utmost importance. Without testing, there is no way of knowing without guessing what you need to work on to reach your goals.
Focus- all too often fitness professionals try to "fit" in several types of training in a single training session in an attempt to develop several areas of fitness in one training session. The result is a program which develops very little of a lot of things.
Effectiveness- how do you know your training is actually working unless you are frequently evaluating and comparing your fitness values over time. Testing ensures that the training you are completing is actually working, and to what extent.
Progression-if you want to continue to improve your fitness, your training must be properly adjusted to progressively challenge your body to improve. Without testing, you are simply guessing how to progress your training moving
Reasons for Fitness Testing
- Weakness of a person enabling a training program to be devised which addresses the findings.
- To evaluate a training program, to see if it is helping in their ADL activities or not.
- To measure fitness levels following injury, illness or following the off season
- To assist in setting goals
- To determine health status (in the non-sporting population)
- Talent identification
- To aid motivation
-Sports related articles
-Exercise physiotherapy book goel’s
-Sports Physiotherapy Karim khan