Hydrostatic Weighing (Body Composition)
Tester takes subject's height, weight, and residual lung capacity.
Subject gets in water, wipes off bubbles on body, blows 80% of
air out in the water then the other 20% submerged. Subject holds
as still as possible. Tester hits on side of tank to signal subject
weight has been taken.
Inaccurate with power athletes with high bone density since
formulas assume fixed bone density. Football players have been
measured with negative percent body fat. Possibly inaccurate
with individuals with low bone density.
Fat located inside the abdominal
wall (visceral fat) contributes more to risk of cardiovascular
disease and diabetes than does fat located in other areas (Björntorp
1992). Some experts suggest waist circumference may be a better
predictor of visceral fat than widely used waist-to-hip ratio
(Pouliot, et al 1994). Waist circumference may overestimate health
risk in tall individuals and underestimate health risk in short
individuals (Welborn, et al 2003) and weight trained individuals,
or those with thicker waist musculature (See study).
Also see Waist Hip
Björntorp P (1992). Abdominal fat distribution and
the metabolic syndrome. J Cardiovasc Pharmacol : 20 Supp 8: S26-S28.
Pouliot M-C, Després JP, Lemieux S, Moorjani S,
Bouchard C, Tremblay A, Nadeau A, Lupien PJ. (1994). Waist circumference
and abdominal sagittal diameter: best simple anthropometric indexes
of abdominal visceral adipose tissue accumulation and related
cardiovascular risk in men and women. Am J Cardio. 73: 460-468.
Welborn TA, Satvinder S Dhaliwal and Stanley A Bennett
(2003). Waisthip ratio is the dominant risk factor predicting
cardiovascular death in Australia. The Medical Journal of Australia;
179 (11/12): 580-585.
Standards are as follows:
- Men: no greater than 102 cm (40 inches)
- Women: no greater than 88 cm (34.6 inches)
- Post-menopause women: no greater than 110 cm (43.3 inches)
100 - 120
39.5 - 47
90 - 109
35.5 - 43
80 - 99
31.5 - 39
70 - 89
28.5 - 35
ACSM (2005) ACSM guidelines for exercise testing and prescription,
7th ed. Lippincott, Williams, and Wilkins, 61
Shigematsu R (2004). Cutoff values of Intra-abdominal fat
area for the prevention of metabolic disorders in women. 36(5).
- Bone mineral density accurately measures bone strength and
risk of osteoporosis (Bouxsein, 1993)
- Dual Energy X-ray Absorptiometry (DXA)
- Amount of x-ray transmitted through bone is proportional
to mineral density
- Soundwaves estimates bone density by measuring wave attenuation
as it is applied to skeletal site.
- Attenuation affected by material and geometric properties
- Heel, shinbone, and kneecap
- Used as screening tool
- Diagnostic ability is questionable
- Poor at retesting due to poor precision errors (5-10%)
- poor at monitoring efficacy of treatment
- poor at detecting rates of loss
- Advantages over DXA
- no radiation
- easier to administer
- less cost
Measuring Joint Angles
- Measures angles and range of motion of joints.
- Technique must be standardized
- Yardstick and protractor
- Protractor diagram drawn on wall
- Speeds up testing large numbers
- Not as precise
- Track arc of motion
- Acceptable for complex movements
- Similar in principle to a carpenter's level
- Two inclinometers may be used
- May be purchased at a hardware store and are quite inexpensive.
Sit & Reach Box?
Liemohn et al (1997) found performance
on the sit-and-reach was significantly better with the ankle
in a passive plantar flexion as opposed to the fixed dorsiflexion
posture required when the test is administered using a sit-and-reach
box (See Sit and Reach
flexion may negatively affect hip flexion, since the stretched
pull the hamstrings
behind the knee.
The newest YMCA sit-and-reach
protocol no longer uses a sit-and-reach box allowing the
ankle to plantar flex. The YMCA Fitness Testing and Assessment
Manual (2000) states:
"A recent study by Golding showed a significant difference
in the scores obtained in the YMCA Flexibility Test and a different
version of the sit-and-reach test used in some other test batteries.
To use the (newer) YMCAs norms, the test must be
performed as just described."
Interestingly, in a bent over standing position, the ankle
would be in a neutral position, only slightly more plantar flexed
Liemohn W, Martin SB, Pariser G (1997). The effect of ankle
posture on sit-and-reach test performance in young adults. Journal
of Strength and Conditioning Research, 11, 239-241.
YMCA of the USA (2000), YMCA Fitness Testing and Assessment
Manual, 4th Edition, 158-160.
15 minute Run
Balke B (1963) A simple field test for the assessment of
physical fitness. Civil Aeromedical Research Institute Report,
63-18. Oklahoma City: Federal Aviation Agency.
Yo-Yo Test (Beep test)
Subjects run back and forth between markers, 20 meters apart
at speeds controlled by a cassette. The speed is progressively
increased. When the subject can no longer maintain the speed,
the test is terminated. VO2 max can be determined from the distance
covered during the test
- Developed by: Jens Bangsbo, August Krogh Institute, Copenhagen,
- Produced by: HO + Storm, Copenhagen, Denmark and Tiocano
Music A/S, Smorum, Denmark
- Purchase: Helle Thomson, August Krogh Institute, Universitetsparken
13, DK-2100 Copenhagen 0, Denmark, Fax: Int+45 35 32 15 67, Tel:
Int+45 35 323 1622
The 20-m shuttle run (Beep Test) is a poor predictor of VO2
max in male college soccer players. A correlation of r=0.35 was
found between the predicted VO2 max scores from the Beep Test
and the Vo2 max scores measured during the treadmill test.
Kendrick KH, Titlow LW, Sherwwod N (2004). Concurrent Validity
of the Beep Test in Male College Soccer Players. Research Quarterly
for Exercise and Sport. 75(1) Supl, A-39-40.
Treadmill Rockport Walk Test
Walk Test was originally designed to be administered on a
track. The field test can also be adapted to be perfomed on a
The most valid results can be obtained using treadmills that
can detect and display a chest strap heart rate monitor. However
some testers my only have access to treadmill with only the heart
rate monitor built into the treadmills hand rail. If this method
is used, hands should only be placed on the handrails momentarily
without supporting any weight onto handrailes, just long enough
to obtain stable reading.
Consider having sweat towel and water available during test.
- Warmup and review instructions with participant
- Reset machine to begin 1 mile
- Challenge participant to reach fastest walking speed in which
they can substain for remaining duration of test with fewest
speed adjustments possible.
- No speed adjustment should be made last half of test to substain
a steady state hear rate
- Take heart rate two seperate times just before end of 1 mile
- Use last measurement if heart rates are similar
- Record time a 1 mile mark
- If heart rates are significantly different take additional
heart rate immediate after completion of 1 mile at same speed.
- Reduce speed to slow walk for cool down
Also see post-exercise
palpation of pulse rate study.
A five minute step test was first developed during World War
II at the Harvard University Fatigue Laboratory. The Harvard
Step Test varies in validity from 0.20 to 0.50, probably because
the initial pulse rates are sometimes unreliable. The step test
was originally validated by comparing heart performance with
muscular endurance. In retrospect, we now know the correlation
between heart rate and muscular endurance is actually very low.
In 1951, Taddonio and Karpovoch found a correlation of 0.63 between
the step test and the order in which college men finished a cross-country
race. The primary appeal of the step test remains its ability
to simultaneously test many subjects indoors without the use
of a track or equipment,
such as a cycle ergometer or
Willgoose, C.E., Evaluation in Health Education and Physical
Education, McGraw-Hill Book Company, Inc. 1961.
Wheelchair VO2max Test
Level of aerobic fitness based on 12 minute wheelchair performance
test and VO2max (ml/kg/min)
Wheelchair propulsion (miles) = 0.370 + 0.0337 (VO2max, ml.kg-1.min-1)
R = 0.84 (p less than .001); SEE = 0.13
Franklin BA, Swantek KI, Grais SL, Johnstone KS, Gordon
S, Timmis GC. Field test estimation of maximal oxygen consumption
in wheelchair users. Arch Phys Med Rehabil. 1990;71:574-578.
Gettman LR: Personal Fitness Profile Database. National Health
Enhancement Systems. Phoenix, AZ, 1987.
Bench Press and Leg Press one repetition maximum standards published
in numerous fitness testing publication including the ACSM's
Guidelines for Exercise Testing and Prescription were developed
by The Institute for Aerobic Research (1994). The Cooper Institute
- "Since the norms were established using the Universal
DVR machine, no other weight training machine will be accurate"
Likewise the leg press norms were also derived from data using
the Universal DVR leg press machine. The Cooper Institute also
explains one problem in using the leg press is the considerable
variability among leg press machines. The varying angles of the
hip, knee, and ankle make it difficult to standardized the leg
press one rep max test.
Also see One Rep Max
Calculator and Strength
American College of Sports Medicine, (2000) ACSM's Guidelines
for Exercise Testing and Prescription, Sixth Edition, 84-85.
The Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research (1999). Common
questions regarding physical fitness tests, standards, and programs
in law enforcement. Dallas Texas, 5-6.
- Assess strength or muscular endurance
- Upright posture, arm at side, squeeze
- Truck erect, knees flexed 130° to 140°, bar across
thighs, exend legs
- Erect posture, knees extended, alternated grip bar, upward
- Strength assessment
- Best of 3 maximal attempts
- Expressed as absolute or relative strength in kg
- Endurance assessments
- Choice o f two protocols
- Initial load based on results of strength test
- Option A: Measure percentage decline in strength over 1 minute
- Option B: Measure time subject can maintain 50% of maximal
- Data standardized to average adult
- >50 years of age, reduced normative scores by 10%
- Strength or muscular endurance at constant speed
- Site-specific as allowable by device
- Strength protocol
- Speed set to 30° to 60° per second
- 2 to 3 submaximal trials
- 3-5 maximal attempts
- until performance decrease is noted
- best score recorded
- Endurance protocol
- Speed set to 120° to 180° per second
- Successive maximum attempts until torque decreases to 50%
of initial value
- Record number of repetition completed
- Norms provided by manufacturer
- May vary by instrument, speed, etc.
Anaerobic Power Tests
Muscular power tests include: Wingate
Anaerobic Power test, Isokinetic dynamometry, vertical
jump, and stair sprint.
Also see: Vandewalle, H., Pérès, G., Monod,
H. (1987) Standard Anaerobic Exercise Test, Sports Medicine 4:
Wingate Anaerobic Power Test
- 5-10 minute warm-up against light resistance to HR of 150-160
- Subject pedals maximally against low resistance to optimum
cadence (~90 rpm)
- Full load applied (30 second test begins)
- Load applied dependent on individual (see chart)
- Count maximal revolutions in 30 seconds
- usually done by computer and translated to Watts
- Cool- down:
- 3-5 minute cool-down of light cycling required!
- HR return to ~120 bpm
- Age and Gender specific norms (Inbar, et al, 1996)
120 Yard Dash (Speed)
Timer at yards: 40 , 80, 120 or use single timer far away
with split timer stop watch.
- Stationary 40 = 0 - 40
- Flying 40 = 40 - 80
- Speed endurance score = (0 - 40) - (80 - 120) < 0.1 second
- Flying 40 - Stationary 40 < 0.7 Sec
Number of strides during flying timed 40-yard dash time.
- Champion male sprinters: 5 steps per second
- Champion female sprinters: 4.48 steps per second
Source: Sports Speed