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Fitness Components & Testing
Purpose of Fitness Testing.
Pre-Tests (Prior to training):
To identify strengths and weaknesses.
For planning an appropriate training program.
To assist with goal setting and motivation.
Post-Test (During and after training)
To monitor and assess effectiveness of the program.
 To monitor the progress of the athlete
 To identify areas of the training program that need modifying.
Types of Fitness Tests
Laboratory tests are those tests conducted under clinical
laboratory conditions.
They are the preferred means of assessing fitness components
(especially for elite athletes) because they provide the most
accurate indication of functional abilities.
Disadvantages : laboratory tests often require the use of
expensive and sophisticated equipment, controlled
environments, qualified personnel and considerable amounts of
time to complete, so they can be prohibitive to use.
Field tests are an easily administered alternative using readily
available and inexpensive equipment. They provide reasonably
accurate estimates or predictions of fitness levels. They also
allow simultaneous testing of large groups.
Disadvantage : Not as accurate as laboratory tests.
Criteria for selecting fitness tests
Relevant and Specific to the particular activity, fitness components and energy
systems used or required in a given activity. Eg cyclists should do cycling tests,
runners, running tests etc. In simple terms the test should as closely as possible
simulate or replicate the game or performance situation.
Valid and Reliable. The tests should actually measure what they claim to
measure. A test claiming to measure aerobic capacity should be of sufficient
duration to test the aerobic system. Tests must be reliable — that is, it must be
able to be replicated with consistently accurate results.
Interpretable and Comparable. Meaning the athlete should receive feedback
• what the results represent (good, average or poor performance)
• how the results compare with previous results
• how the results compare to those of other athletes in the reference group
• the consequences and implications of the results.
Fitness Tests Battery
The term fitness test battery refers to a selection of tests that have been grouped to
provide a comprehensive fitness profile. These test batteries are often formulated by
sporting bodies to provide a common set of tests for teams and individuals from within
that sporting field. Two fitness test batteries that are widely used within Australian
schools are the 1997 ACHPER Australian Fitness Education Award and the Sport
Search Fitness Program.
Advantages of using a fitness test battery
First, a test battery has usually been checked for reliability
and validity, and arranged to avoid double testing of the same component.
Second, batteries often provide a means of evaluating results on the basis of normreferenced standards or criterion-referenced standards.
They may also provide a way of calculating an overall score for each participant.
Further, test batteries serve as common denominators among groups.
Disadvantage is that test items may not always be specific to a sport’s requirements.
Selecting individual tests can produce the most
customised group of tests.
Fitness Testing Protocol
Pre-Testing procedures (Before any fitness testing)
 The following is a checklist of recommended procedures and precautions:
 The individual is fully informed about and familiar with the procedures
and format of the test (s).
 They have not consumed food within two hours of the testing.
 They are wearing appropriate clothing and footwear.
 They have avoided heavy or intense exercise on the day before testing.
 They have given consent and obtained appropriate medical clearances.
Post-Testing procedures
To gain accurate post test data the following conditions must be met:
Test conditions should be replicated including:
 Time of day
 Temperature
 Order of tests
 Physical and mental states.
Muscular Strength
Definition: 'The force that a muscle of group of
muscles can exert in a single maximal contraction'.
Factors affecting:
 Cross-sectional area (Larger = more force)
 Muscle length and joint angle. (120 degrees = best
angle for force application)
 Fibre type (White fibres apply more force)
 Sex (Males have larger x-sectional area)
 Muscle type (Pennate muscle allows greater force.
Fusiform allows greater range)
 Speed (As speed of contraction increases amount
of force decreases)
Muscular Strength (cont..)
Muscular Strength Tests.
 Handgrip dynomometer.
 Push/Pull dynomometer.
 1RM Max bench press.
 1RM leg press
 Abdominal strength (Sit ups)
 Chin ups
 Dips.
Sports : Weightlifting, wrestling, gymnastics
and contact sports.
Muscular Power
Definition: 'The ability to use strength
quickly in an explosive effort'
Factors affecting:
 The efficiency of the A.T.P. C.P. system.
 Requires high percentage of white fibres.
Tests :
 Standing long jump.
 Vertical jump.
 Basketball throw test.
Sports : Throwing, jumping, sprint
starts and kicking. (Any sport
requiring explosive movements)
Local Muscular Endurance.
Definition: ' The ability of the
muscle to contract at less than
maximal effort (sub- maximally) for
long periods of time' (Actions that
are repeated 30 times or more)
Factors affecting:
 Oxygen delivery
 Myoglobin levels
 No. of mitochondria
 In some activities the ability to tolerate and remove
lactic acid.
Local Muscular Endurance (cont…)
Local Muscular Endurance Tests:
 Max Sit up test.
 Curl up test
 Pull up & Modified pull up test
 Chair push up test.
 Flexed arm hang (isometric test)
 Maximum Bench Jumps (30sec)
Sports: Kayaking (arms)
Distance swimming (arms and shoulders)
Distance running (legs).
Any activity requiring either isotonic or isometric
contractions for long periods of time.
Aerobic Capacity.
Definition ; ' The ability to keep performing
tasks using the whole body for extended
periods where the energy is produced
aerobically '. (Considered one of the most
important fitness components)
Factors effecting;
 Oxygen delivery to the muscles
 The efficiency of the heart to blood.
 The efficiency of the lungs to take in air.
 Diffusion capacity at the alveoli
 Ability to remove wastes such as CO2.
Aerobic Capacity (cont…)
Aerobic Capacity Tests:
Vo2 max laboratory tests
Usually on a treadmill and requires sophisticated
equipment to
measures actual oxygen uptake. They are usually
maximal tests
but can also be of a sub-maximal nature. Lab tests
are not
commonly used.
Advantages of maximal tests : Very accurate. Accurate norms
Disadvantages of maximal tests : Require costly equipment,
are extremely stressful and therefore dangerous to certain
individuals, are time consuming etc.
Field tests: These are based on the assumption that there is
linear relationship between heart rate and oxygen uptake
and work rate and oxygen uptake. They are often submaximal test, but certain field test can be of a maximal
nature. Estimates of Vo2 max can be made using data from
sub-maximal exercise by predicting oxygen uptake on the
basis of this relationship
Advantages of sub-maximal field tests : Easy to administer, less
demanding therefore safer, don’t require expensive
equipment or facilities etc.
Disadvantages of sub-maximal field tests : Less accurate,
fewer reliable norms.
Aerobic Capacity (cont..)
Aerobic Capacity Tests:
Step tests:
• Harvard step test
• Kasch–Boyer step test
Cycle ergometer tests:
• Astrand–Rhyming ergometer test
• Physical work capacity (PWC170) test
• YMCA cycle ergometer test
Run tests:
• Cooper’s 12-minute run test
• Multi-stage 20-metre shuttle run test
• 1.6-kilometre run test 4
Other tests:
• 12-minute swim test
• 10 metre multi-stage shuttle swim test ( See your text to revise each of these tests)
All sports requiring continuos activity for extended periods. Some particular examples include;
Distance running, cycling and swimming, triathlon, rowing etc. It is considered beneficial in virtually
all sports as an aid to recovery ability and in the general community for cardiovascular health.
Anaerobic Capacity.
Definition: ' The ability to put body parts into motion
quickly and to sustain high intensity efforts where the
energy is supplied anaerobically‘
Factors affecting:
 Ability to produce A.T.P.
 Ability to tolerate lactic acid.
 Fibre type (White\Fast twitch suited to speed activities)
 Specific to muscles and muscle groups.
 As load or distance increases speed decreases.
 Flexibility. ( Greater joint mobility allows greater force
application )
Anaerobic Capacity cont..
Anaerobic Capacity (Speed) Tests:
Alactacid tests (A.T.P\C.P system energy production)
 Margaria stair run test
 15,40 & 50m sprint tests.
 Repco peak power test
 Phosphate recovery test
Lactacid tests (Lactic acid system energy productions)
 400m run
 Wingate 60sec cycle ergometer test.
Sprinting up to 400m, jumping, throwing, power
lifting, sprint cycling and swimming and all
activities that require quick movements from either
some or all body parts.
Definition ; ' The range of movement or mobility that a limb has around its
Factors affecting:
 The type of joint and the joint capsule (Main Factor) eg Ball and Socket
joint has greater range than a hinge Joint.
 The elasticity of the muscles ligaments and tendons
 Resting length of the muscles
 Body build ( Excessive fat or muscle can reduce mobility)
 Sex (Females are generally more flexible than males)
 Age (Flexibility decreases with age)
Flexibility (cont…)
Flexibility Tests:
Static tests (The ability to use the joint through a
great range of movement)
 Sit and reach (Hamstrings\lower back)
 Shoulder hyperextension.(Shoulders)
 Trunk hyperextension (Lower back)
Dynamic tests ( The ability to use the joint and
the muscle through a full range of movement
with speed and without resistance)
 Bend, twist and touch test.
It is generally accepted that virtually all sports
can benefit from increased flexibility. Particular
sports where flexibility is essential would include
gymnastics and hurdling.
Definition : 'The ability to change the position of the
body quickly and precisely while maintaining balance‘
Factors affecting :
Reaction time
Agility (cont…)
Agility Tests
 Illinois agility test.
 Vic Fit agility test.
 Squat thrust test.
 Semo agility test.
Any sport which requires sharp directional
changes with speed and balance. This
includes most team sports in evading the
opposition or recovering quickly after
falling over. Other sports such as martial
arts, wrestling, judo, boxing, tennis and
gymnastics also require a high level of
Neuro-Muscular Fitness Components
Definition :
The term ‘neuromuscular’ refers to the interplay of the nervous and muscular
systems. Neuromuscular fitness influences a players’ ability, for example, to
control a gradual or sudden shift in balance, to react quickly to changing
circumstances and/or to efficiently co-ordinate a series of movements.
There are 3 key Neuromuscular Fitness Components
Reaction time
Neuro-Muscular Fitness Components
Balance is the ability of the body to remain in a state
of equilibrium while performing a desired task.
There are two recognised types:
Dynamic balance, which involves keeping the body’s
balance under control while moving
Static balance, which involves keeping the body’s
balance under control while not moving.
Important for:
• running a bend in a 200-metre athletic race
• sprinting down the sideline in a Rugby Union game
• performing a 60-second aerobics routine
• performing a handstand in a gymnastics routine
• standing on one foot while shooting at the goal in
Jeff Farmer is displaying excellent ‘Dynamic’
balance as he changes direction
Balance is one of the discriminating characteristics
of elite and average performers.
Neuro-Muscular Fitness Components
Reaction time is the speed with which an
individual can react to an outside stimulus
The average reaction time is 0.2 second. It the
ability of the brain to react to various outside
input sources, process them, select a response,
then activate the expected muscular response.
Important for:
• reacting to the starter’s gun in a sprint race
• deciding which player is in the best position to
receive a pass in basketball
• judging the probable direction of the ball from an
opponent’s back swing in tennis.
Neuro-Muscular Fitness Components
Coordination is the ability to link together a series of
muscular movements so they appear to be well
controlled and efficiently executed.
Important for:
• dance, aerobics and ballet • discus throwing
• hitting a cover drive for four in cricket
• scoring from a netball shot
• spiking in volleyball
• all routines in gymnastics.
It is difficult to contemplate any activity that does
not require coordination to some extent. We tend to
take for granted our ability to connect a number of
closely or loosely linked movements, which result in
varying degrees of expertise.
Body Composition
Body Composition Measurements.
Body composition refers to the relative proportions of
bone, muscle and fat within the body. It can be assessed
in a number of ways, including underwater weighing
(hydrodensitometry) and skinfold measurements.
Other methods to identify fat proportions and appropriate
body weight include :
Body mass index .
Waist to hip ratio.
Body Typing is also a means of assessing body composition.
The End