Now thirty years old the beep test is still revered as one of the best tools for testing fitness levels, as benchmarks can be set and overall performance can be measured.
It is also an affordable and convenient way to track your progress as the equipment needed is minimal whilst the audio tracks are now available in CD format or even as a download for your smart phone.
What to Consider
The beep test should only be taken by people who already have an above average level of fitness. By its very nature, it reaches levels that are physically strenuous and those that have little or no experience of aerobic endurance could find it hampers their health. Many seasoned athletes can complete the beep test and still breathe normally afterward, however, this is quite rare for the ordinary individual.
What you Need
Apart from the audio track, you need very little equipment and you will probably already own the majority of items.
The first requirement is an area of at least twenty meters. This is why the bleep test is usually performed in sports halls or gyms. Outside areas are not considered suitable as a flat nonslippery surface is required. In fact, the bleep test was developed so that performance could be measured indoors rather than allowing the weather to influence the results.
You also need:
- A Tape Measure
- Some Markers or Cones (Anything will do even tins of baked beans)
- The Audio Track, on your phone, iPod or CD player
- Pen and Paper
- A Friend (To hold the pen and paper)
How to Do It
- Use the cones and tape measure to mark a twenty-meter straight line.
- Your first marker is the starting line, (another reason why a gym is optimum as the sports hall will have these as standard), place your toes just behind the line.
- With your friend helping, start the test as they press play. Run, run, run.
The aim is to make sure you reach the end of the twenty meters before or on the bleep. If you beat the beep, wait for it before setting off again. Keep running beating or matching the beep until the beep beats you. If the beep sounds before you reach the destination, your test is over. Have your friend take a note of how many lengths you complete, this will be a good benchmark for you to bypass the next time.
This test can be done weekly and is a cheap and effective way to track your progress.