Aerobic Fitness Tests
There will likely become a point when you want to perform some aerobic fitness tests to see how far your aerobic fitness has progressed. You want to make sure all your aerobic exercise is paying off, and that you aren’t wasting your time, right?
I believe progression in your aerobic exercise routines is essential for your motivation to exercise, and vice versa. As without motivation, you won’t get anywhere. No motivation, no exercise!
So monitoring your progression with fitness tests is a great way to help you achieve your ultimate fitness goals.
Take a look at the following aerobic fitness tests and see how they can help you monitor the efficiency of your aerobic exercise routines.
Types of Aerobic Fitness Tests
The first fitness test I like to use is the Cooper 12 minute run. After a thorough warm up, the cooper run is basically an all out run that last for 12 minutes. Simple.
The theory is, the fitter you are, the more distance you will be able to cover in 12 minutes! So record your distance as accurately as you can, say to 100 meters. Do this using your bike, or even your car if you follow a road route.
The only downside to this test is that it requires quite a bit of skill to get it right, and will probably take two or three goes before you get accustomed to it. It’s far too easy on your first go to either run too hard at the beginning, leaving yourself burnt out and crawling for the last few minutes, or to go too easy so there’s loads left in you at the end of the run.
But once you get the hang of it, the cooper 12 minute run is a really good aerobic fitness test, and a great way to assess whether your aerobic exercise routines are paying dividends. The next fitness test is the Bleep test. This one is easier to perform than the cooper 12 minute run, but just as tough. It builds up slowly to an all out maximum effort.
The basic procedure is a shuttle run between 20 meter markers, with each shutter run performed in time with a pre-recorded bleep (hence the name bleep test!).
These bleeps get progressively faster, so that you run progressively faster. Once the beeps are going too fast for you to run in time, then the test is over. The fitter you are, the more shutter runs you will be able to perform. Like the cooper 12 minute run, the bleep test is another great fitness test.
A third awesome method of tracking your fitness is to keep a simple exercise journal or diary. Every workout you perform, whether it is a 5 mile run or 30 minutes circuit training, write it down! Jot down how much you do or how fast you perform it and also how you felt. After a few weeks, you will be able to see the difference. If after several weeks you find your times for running 5 miles is coming down, then you know you’re getting fitter. If not, then maybe it’s time to change your aerobic fitness routines around to give your body a bit of a shock.
Using Aerobic Fitness Tests To Monitor Health Related Fitness
Building your aerobic capacity (or VO2 Max) takes time. It doesn’t happen overnight. So you don’t want to be performing your fitness tests every few days. In fact, it’s best to perform your tests every month or six weeks. That way, you’ll get a good idea as to the efficiency of your aerobic exercise routines.
Keeping your exercise varied stops your body from getting used to the stress (good aerobic stress). You’ll find that with varied exercise, you’ll progress much quicker, and avoid those annoying, niggling injuries that could put you back several weeks, or more.
So take a look at the list of aerobic activities to see how you can add some variation to your aerobic exercise. You can also sift through the free workout plans and adapt these to your interests or use them as is.
You’ve probably also heard much about the benefits of interval training to increase your aerobic capacity. These are high intensity workouts and are simply fantastic. See the HIIT workout article to read more about these. You’ll find that by adding this type of training to your workout routines will have dramatic effects on your fitness test results.