For any testing session, there are many important steps to be taken to ensure the session runs smoothly and safely, and that the information collected is accurate. Here is a list of many of the steps that should be considered. The same steps should be taken each time, as it is important standardize the testing conditions, such as the test procedures and equipment, so that the test can be more reliable. In the days leading up to the testing session, there are also many things the athlete can do to prepare themselves physically (see info about test preparation).
- Prepare forms for recording results.
- Check that all of the required equipment is at hand and functional.
- Calibrate the equipment if required.
- Adjust equipment to suit the subject (e.g. adjust cycle ergometer seat height)
- Ensure the equipment and testing area is safe from hazards.
- Have first-aid equipment nearby and an emergency procedure prepared.
- Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. See details about what should be included on an informed consent form. Maybe get them to fill in a Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire — a list of questions which helps to determine how safe it is for someone to start an exercise program, particularly for someone elderley and/or unfit. There is an information sheet to provide athletes prior to testing.
- Record test conditions, such as date, weather, surface, equipment used (see more about environmental conditions)
- Record basic subject information, such name, age, height, body weight, gender.
- Obtain resting heart rate and blood pressure measurements.
- Remove restrictive jewelry, watches, bracelets or hanging earrings that may get caught in equipment.
- Explain the test procedures to the subject.
- Follow a standard warm-up procedure. The actual warm up conducted will depend on the test being performed. Certain tests, such as some variations of the sit and reach test, specifically require you not to do a warm up beforehand, while other testing regimens have tests in a particular order so that the earlier tests provide a warm-up for the later tests. Read more about pre-testing warm-up.
Download your free copy of the Topend Sports' Fitness Testing Guide — a guide for you to plan, conduct, analyze and interpret fitness testing of athletes.
- Guidelines for Physically Preparing for Testing
- Warm ups for fitness testing
- Sprint Test Warm-Up
- Warm-ups for Sports
- Fitness Test Results Recording Sheet — standard blank sheet for recording results.
- Preparation for Fitness Testing — information sheet for athletes
- Example fitness test protocols
- Guide to Conducting Fitness Tests