How to test your stamina!

A new year is usually accompanied by new goals. But before you work towards their new best form, you should first determine their actual condition!

"Do not try to be better than anyone else. Just try to be better than yourself. "

Following this motto, we would like to introduce today the most common methods to test your endurance and record your development!

Step Test

There are many different types of step tests. One of the first was the Havard Step test, which was developed in 1943 at Havard University. The most common nowadays for home or in the gym with larger groups, is the so-called 3-minute step test. Needed next to a 30 cm high step (or a box, high step, etc.) only one way to measure the pulse. Heart rate monitors are of course the most comfortable here, but also the measurement on the carotid artery works.

First put one, then the other foot on the step and then down again. This is a repeat and should take about 2 seconds. Try to find a steady, steady rhythm. If you can not find a level at the prescribed height, you can increase speed on smaller levels instead. As a rule of thumb: 24 x 30-step height. Take your pulse after the 3 minutes. The following table will help you with the results analysis:

<9294-116118-122124-136> 138<9396 - 109113 - 120121 - 130> 135
very weak
very weak

Since it is a very simple test with only one variable, it is only to be used as a general assessment of fitness.

Cooper test

American sports physician Kenneth H. Cooper invented this test in the 1970s. It is still used today at many performance review schools and by authorities and trainers as an aptitude test.

The core of the test is a 12-minute run, which is designed for the maximum achievable distance. For beginners, the test is less suitable because it requires the ability to divide a run in addition to pure stamina. Otherwise, you may start too fast and over acid or you run too slow and give away valuable meters.

There are now several tables for evaluation. Here is one of the most common (PDF)

The biggest advantage of the test is its simplicity. It is excellently suited for results-oriented test procedures.

Disadvantages, however, are that no reasonable statements about performance, lactate or maximum oxygen uptake can be made. Whether this really improves the stamina or merely optimizes the tactical classification of the runner is not empirically verifiable. Those who are more interested in their physical development than in the result prefer to use another test.

(The opinions about the Cooper test are split: the Cooper test critically considered)

Conconi test

This well-known test comes from the beautiful Italy by the biochemist Francesco Conconi. He tries to determine the anaerobic threshold by means of a running or driving round, which is completed in ever faster time.

Since the heart rate must be measured at short intervals and promptly in this test, a corresponding measuring device is essential. Furthermore, a staked route - usually circular and 200 meters long - a stopwatch and a signal generator, such as a whistle needed.

Conconi assumes that the heart rate in the aerobic area increases linearly, ie evenly, until the anaerobic threshold is reached and the heart rate levels off. He calls this point the deflection point. To determine this point, the test person should run the route easily. After the first lap, the speed increases by about 0.5 km / h, which makes time in 200 meters 2-3 seconds. In order for the runner to be able to assess this better, the trainer / examiner supports him with corresponding signals. The test ends only when a further increase in speed can no longer be performed. For optimal test results, the running speed should be relatively even and you should refrain from final sprints. For this reason, the Conconi test is hardly suitable for untrained beginners, but rather aimed at competitive athletes.

After completion of the test, the values ​​are entered into a coordinate system, with the X-axis representing the running speed and the Y-axis the heart rate. Due to the assumed linearity in the aerobic area, the first points should be approximately in line. The latter, however, would have to drop significantly. The intersection of these two lines represents the deflection point.

Lactate threshold test

At the professional level, a test has now been established that uses the lactate value as an indicator. However, this is not without blood, which is why lactate tests in clubs and gyms are rarely and reluctantly used. Strictly speaking, taking blood off is a physical injury, it is not undertaken by specialized personnel (doctor / nurse) and obtained the express permission of the customer.

In addition to the heart rate, the lactate value taken from the blood determines the result and the further training recommendation. Important are two values. The aerobic threshold is considered to be 2 mmol / l lactate in the blood, while the anaerobic threshold is reached at 4 mmol / l. The other test procedure takes place as with any step test. Since such a test should only be carried out by trained trainers and doctors and requires appropriate equipment, further information on the evaluation is not necessary at this point.

Ambitious runners and professional athletes should certainly have had their own experience with lactate measurements once in their lifetime. Whether such costly and expensive tests are always necessary is another question.

Marcel Kremer

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