The Margaria Kalamen Power Test is a simple test of power of the lower extremities, involving running up a flight of stairs. The test described here was introduced by Kalamen (1968), and is a variation of the original Margaria Step Test developed by Margaria et al. (1966).
purpose: to test the power of the lower extremities.
equipment required: stopwatch, timing mats (optional, like this one), tape measure, flight of 12 steps with a starting line of 6 meters in front of the first step. Each step is approximately 17.5 cm high with the 3rd, 6th and 9th step clearly marked. The vertical distance between the 3rd and 9th step must be accurately measured for use in the results formula.
pre-test: Explain the test procedures to the subject. Perform screening of health risks and obtain informed consent. Prepare forms and record basic information such as age, height, body weight, gender and test conditions. Mark out test area. Perform a standard warm-up. Measure and record step height. See more details of pre-test procedures.
procedure: The athlete's weight is determined in kilograms. The athlete is given a few practice runs up the steps to warm up. The athlete stands ready at the starting line 6 meters in front of the first step. On the command "Go", the athlete sprints to and up the flight of steps, taking three steps at a time (stepping on the 3rd, 6th and 9th steps), attempting to go up the steps as fast as possible. The time to get from the 3rd step to the 9th step is recorded (either using a stopwatch or using switch mats placed on the 3rd and 9th steps), starting when the foot was in first in contact with the 3rd step, and stopped when the foot contacts the 9th step. Allow three trials of the test, with 2-3 minutes recovery between each trial.
scoring: Power (Watts) is calculated from the formula below, where P = Power (Watts), M = Body mass (kg), D = Vertical distance, between steps 3 & 9 (meters), t = Time (seconds). 9.8 is the constant of gravity:
P = ( M x D ) x 9.8 / t
disadvantages: the ability to successfully conduct this test requires the availability of steps of the appropriate height and with a clear run up area.
reliability: the accuracy of this test will be reduced if a stopwatch is used instead of timing mats for measurement of the time. If using a stopwatch, you should have two people record simultaneously and use the average of the two measurements. It is also important to give the participants adequate practice so that they can confidently run up the stairs with maximum effort.
- Margaria, R., Aghemo, P. and Rovelli, E. (1966) Measurement of muscular power (anaerobic) in man. Journal of Applied Physiology 221, 1662-1664.
- Kalamen, J. (1968) Measurement of maximum muscular power in man. Doctoral thesis, Ohio State University
- A similar test of leg power is the standing long jump test
- See the list of anaerobic tests for other fitness tests of leg power.