The rowing beep test is a stroke rate based incremental aerobic fitness test, similar to the running beep test, though performed on a rowing ergometer. This test is based on the research of Alan Metcalfe at the University of Bedfordshire (Metcalf, 2012). There are also set distance ergometer fitness tests for rowers over 2km, 5km and 500m.
purpose: to test the aerobic fitness of rowers, by predicting VO2max from a beep test performed on a rowing ergometer.
equipment required: rowing beep test app (or audio cues at the same rate), Concept2 rowing ergometer (or equivalent). A specific drag factor needs to be set.
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. Check and calibrate the equipment as required. Perform a standard warm-up. See more details of pre-test procedures.
test preparation: You do not need to use the performance monitor to perform this test, the stoke rate will be determined by audio cues from the app. To ensure a full stroke is made each time, first make a full stroke then mark the chain at the point it comes out of the unit. This will be the marker to know that a full stroke is made each time.
procedure: The test begins with three minutes at a 24 strokes/min (females) or 28 strokes/min (males) at any resistance level (this is for warming-up and familiarization with the technique and keeping time to the beeps). The main part of the test begins after one minute of rest. Resistance is set to 10. The test begins at a stroke rate of 28 strokes/min (females) or 30 strokes/min (males), indicated by audio beeps. Thereafter the stroke rate is increased by one stroke each minute. Ensure the subject reaches the top of the stroke (full extension) with each beep. The test is over when the athlete can no longer keep up with the beeps (e.g. if misses the chain marker more than three times) or when the test is completed.
scoring: On the app, click the stop button when the test ends, to see the predicted VO2max score and a rating level.
target population: rowers
comments: good efficient rowing technique is required for this test to accurately measure aerobic capacity
- Metcalfe, Alan, J., (2012) An Investigation into the Development and Validity of Progressive Fitness Tests for Rowing and Young People. A Masters thesis submitted in fulfilment of the requirements for the award of Masters by Research of the University of Bedfordshire
- Metcalfe AJ, Castle PC, Brewer J (2013) The Use of an Indoor Rowing Ergometer Test for the Prediction of Maximal Oxygen Uptake. J Athl Enhancement 2:6. doi:10.4172/2324-9080.1000133
- 2000m (2km) rowing ergometer test — aim to cover the 2km in the shortest possible time.
- 20m shuttle run 'beep' test
- 5km Rowing Ergometer Test — aim to cover the 5000m in the shortest possible time.
- 500m ergo test — aim to cover the 500m in the shortest possible time.
- Other aerobic tests
- Rowing fitness testing
- More Modified Beep Tests
- Beep test variations
- Rowing Ergometers for Fitness Testing
- About the sport of rowing, which includes indoor rowing competitions
- Rowing at the Olympic Games