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Example Fitness Testing Protocols

There is not a single set of standard tests that are performed for fitness testing. There are over 300 fitness tests but only a few should be selected to make up a fitness test regime. Which tests you chose will depend on many factors.

There is a large range of Sport Specific Test Protocols which vary depending on the physical demands required to compete in each of the different sports. There are also specific tests for those with special needs, such as the obese, young or elderly. The same goes for testing the general population. Depending on what the purpose of the testing, the current fitness levels, the social group or vocational group, there will be different tests that you may want to conduct. Below is an overview of the categories of tests you might want to perform and examples of tests in each group.

You can use these lists as starting points. If you wish to modify a protocol to suit your individual needs, you can use the information below and in the fitness testing guide to design your own testing regime. If you go to the page on fitness test categories, you will see the full range of tests for each component of fitness. You can also browse the complete list of fitness tests.

Simple Protocol

Here is just a simple basic set of common fitness tests to conduct on a general population group.

Fitness Component Example Tests
Body Composition height and weight measures
Flexibility sit and reach test
Strength Endurance Sit -up test
Aerobic Fitness Step Test

Comprehensive Protocol

In additon to the simple protocol, there are several other tests that you can also do.

Fitness Component Example Tests
Body Composition Height and weight measures, skinfold testing
Flexibility Sit & reach test
Coordination & reflexes Stick reaction time test
Balance Stork balance test
Strength & Power Handgrip strength test
Core Strength Sit-Up test
Strength Endurance Push-Up test
Aerobic Fitness Step Test or Beep Test

Fitness Testing on the Cheap

This test protocol uses test alternatives that can be done with minimal or no equipment.

Fitness Component Example Tests
Body Composition height and weight measures, BMI
Flexibility v-sit test
Coordination & reflexes stick reaction time test
Strength & Power vertical jump (wall)
Strength Endurance Sit Up
Aerobic Fitness 12 minute cooper test

Fitness Test Yourself

These are simple tests you can do in the home, requiring minimal equipment. The description of each of these tests is for performing them at your own home. For a complete set of test suitable for testing yourself at home, with full instructions and analysis, see the Home Fitness Test.

Fitness Component Example Tests
Body Composition Height and Weight
Flexibility Sit & Reach (home)
Core Strength Sit ups (home)
Strength & Power Vertical Jump (home)
Strength Endurance Push ups (home) and Squats (home)
Aerobic Fitness Step test (home)

How To Use

The first step when selecting the tests to use is to identify the components of fitness from the list that you wish to investigate. Then you pick the tests that are most appropriate, based on relevance, ease of use, available facilities, costs etc.. The test order is important too. Measurements of body composition should be first. After that motor fitness is tested, followed by flexibility, muscular power and strength, muscular endurance, and finally cardiorespiratory fitness. You can use the Fitness Testing Guide for more detailed information about conducting fitness testing.


fitness testing guideFitness Testing Guide

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.

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Testing Extra

We have over 400 fitness tests listed, so it's not easy to choose the best one to use. You should consider the validity, reliability, costs and ease of use for each test. Use our testing guide to conducting, recording, and interpreting fitness tests. Any questions, please ask or search for your answer.

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