Cardiovascular Endurance

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Cardiovascular endurance testing measures how efficiently the heart and lungs work together to supply oxygen and energy to the body during physical activity. Here are some of the most common methods of determining endurance.

  • 12 Minute Run Test
  • VO2 Max Testing
  • The Bruce Treadmill Test Protocol

12 Minute Run Test – The 12 minute run test requires the person being tested to run or walk as far as possible in a 12 minute period. The objective of the test is to measure the maximum distance covered by the individual during the 12 minute period and is usually carried out on a running track by placing cones at various distances to enable measuring of the distance. A stopwatch is required for ensuring that the individual runs for the correct amount of time.  The 12 Minute run fitness test results are:

Age Excellent Above Average Average Below Average Poor
Male 20-29 >2800m 2400-2800m 2200-2399m 1600-2199m <1600m
Females 20-29 >2700m 2200-2700m 1800-2199m 1500-1799m <1500m
Males 30-39 >2700m 2300-2700m 1900-2299m 1500-1999m <1500m
Females 30-39 >2500m 2000-2500m 1700-1999m 1400-1699m <1400m
Males 40-49 >2500m 2100-2500m 1700-2099m 1400-1699m <1400m
Females 40-49 >2300m 1900-2300m 1500-1899m 1200-1499m <1200m
Males 50 >2400m 2000-2400m 1600-1999m 1300-1599m <1300m
Females 50 >2200m 1700-2200m 1400-1699m 1100-1399m <1100m

VO2 Max Testing – VO2 max refers to the maximum amount of oxygen that an individual can utilize during intense or maximal exercise. It is measured as “milliliters of oxygen used in one minute per kilogram of body weight.” Measuring VO2 max accurately requires an all-out effort (usually on a treadmill or bicycle) performed under a strict protocol in a sports performance lab.

The Bruce Treadmill Test Protocol – In it, the athlete works to complete exhaustion as the treadmill speed and incline is increased every three minutes. The length of time on the treadmill is the test score and can be used to estimate the VO2 max value.

Strength and Muscular Endurance

Muscle strength testing measures the maximal amount of force a muscle group can exert at one time, and muscular endurance testing measures the length of time a muscle group can contract before it fatigues. These tests can help compare similar groups of people (gender, age, health status) and provide some norms for determining recommended levels of fitness. The best use of these tests, however, is in their ability to compare a person’s fitness progress over time and to determine any areas of specific muscle weakness or imbalance. The tests conducted are

  • Push Up Test
  • Core Strength and Stability Test

Push up Test – It can test upper body strength and endurance and procedure to test, is

The push up fitness test results are”

Men Age: 20-29 Age: 30-39 Age: 40-49 Age: 50-59 Age: 60+
Excellent 54 or more 44 or more 39 or more 34 or more 29 or more
Good 45-54 35-44 30-39 25-34 20-29
Average 35-44 24-34 20-29 15-24 10-19
Poor 20-34 15-24 12-19 8-14 5-9
Very Poor 20 or fewer 15 or fewer 12 or fewer 8 or fewer 5 or fewer
Women Age: 20-29 Age: 30-39 Age: 40-49 Age: 50-59 Age: 60+
Excellent 48 or more 39 or more 34 or more 29 or more 19 or more
Good 34-48 25-39 20-34 15-29 5-19
Average 17-33 12-24 8-19 6-14 3-4
Poor 6-16 4-11 3-7 2-5 1-2
Very Poor 6 or fewer 4 or fewer 3 or fewer 2 or fewer 1 or fewer
Flexibility Testing

Measuring the flexibility or range of motion in certain joints of the body is helpful in assessing muscle weakness, injury and imbalances. There are a variety of ways to measure flexibility, but these are the most common tests

  • Sit and Reach Flexibility Test
  • Shoulder Flexibility Test

Sit and Reach Flexibility Test – It measure lower back and hamstring flexibility and procedure, is

Sit and Reach Test Scores

Adult Men – results in centimeters (cm)

Above 34 = Excellent

28 to 34 = Above average

23 to 27 = Average

16 to 22 = Below average

Below 16 = Poor

Adult Women – results in centimeters (cm)

Above 37 = Excellent

33 to 36 = Above average

29 to 32 = Average

23 to 28 = Below average

Below 23 = Poor

Shoulder Flexibility Test – It measures flexibility and mobility of the shoulder joint and involves

  • To test your left shoulder flexibility, stand and raise your right arm straight up overhead.
  • Bend your right elbow and let your right palm rest on the back of your neck and slide it down your back and between your shoulder blades.
  • Reach behind you with your left hand so back of your hand rests on the middle of your back.
  • Now slide your right hand down and your left hand up to try to touch the fingers of both hands.
  • Measure minimum distance between fingertips of both hands. Record any overlap as well.
  • Switch your hands to perform the test on the opposite shoulder.

Shoulder Flexibility Test Results

  • Excellent = Fingers overlap
  • Good = Fingers touch
  • Average = Fingers are less than two inches apart
  • Poor = Fingers are more than two inches apart
Body Composition

Body composition describes the different components (muscles, bone, and fat) that make up a person’s total body weight. The human body is composed of a variety of different tissue types including lean tissues (muscle, bone, and organs) that are metabolically active, and fat (adipose) tissue that is not. Few common methods of estimating body composition and body fat levels are:

  • Underwater Weighing – Hydrostatic Weight
  • Skin Fold Measurements
  • Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA)
  • BMI – Body Mass Index
  • Waist to Hip Ratio Measurement

Underwater Weighing – Hydrostatic Weight – In it a person is weighed while submerged in a large tank of water is called underwater or hydrostatic weighing. It is complicated and cumbersome and requires special equipment thus, not much used.

Skin Fold Measurements – This test estimates the percentage of body fat by measuring skin fold thickness at specific locations on the body. A Skin fold Caliper is designed specifically for simple accurate measurement of subcutaneous tissue. Either a 7 or 3 site skin fold may be assessed. Typically include the following seven locations on the body:

  • Triceps – The back of the upper arm
  • Pectoral – The mid-chest, just forward of the armpit
  • Subscapula – Beneath the edge of the shoulder blade
  • Midaxilla – Midline of the side of the torso
  • Abdomen – Next to the belly button
  • Suprailiac – Just above the iliac crest of the hip bone
  • Quadriceps – Middle of the upper thigh

Bioelectrical Impedance Analysis (BIA) – By standing barefoot on metal foot plates, an undetectably low voltage electric current is sent up one leg and down the other.

BMI (Body Mass Index) – The body mass index (BMI), is a measure for human body shape based on an individual’s weight and height. It is defined as the individual’s body mass divided by the square of their height

BMI Weight Status
Below 18.5 Underweight
18.5 – 24.9 Normal
25.0 – 29.9 Overweight
30.0 and Above Obese


Waist to Hip Ratio (WHR) – It is the ratio of the circumference of the waist to that of the hips. The WHR has been used as an indicator or measure of the health of a person, and the risk of developing serious health conditions. Research shows that people with “apple-shaped” bodies (with more weight around the waist) face more health risks than those with “pear-shaped” bodies who carry more weight around the hips.

It’s formula is –

Waist to Hip Ratio Chart
Male Female Health Risk-Based on WHR
0.95 or below 0.80 or below Low Risk
0.96 to 1.0 0.81 to 0.85 Moderate Risk
1.0+ 0.85+ High Risk



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