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Swimming Beep Test

This test is a variation on the running beep test suitable for swimmers, conducted in water. This swimming version was described by Lavoie et al. (1985), a team which included Luc Léger which developed the running beep test. This test is not commonly used, and it is not clear what signals are used for the swimmers keep up to the required pace. A variation of this test, the Progressive Swim Test, has recently been described (Veronese da Costa et al., 2012)

There are a couple of similar water-based beep tests, the Williams Swimming Beep Test and the Shuttle Swim Test for water polo players. See our list of swimming fitness tests.

test purpose: to test the aerobic fitness of swimmers

equipment required: you need a 25m pool, audio recording and player, speakers that are audible underwater (maybe using underwater speakers, or even a waterproof mp3 player). You need to make your own recording of the audio signals with the appropriate timings (you can create your own using the team beeptest software).

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, test conditions. See more details of pre-test procedures.

procedure: The test is conducted in a 25m pool, starting at a speed of 1 m/sec and increasing by 0.05 m/sec every two minutes. Swimmers are allowed to perform tumble turns at each end if they wish to.

scoring: The swimmer's score is the level and number of laps reached before they were unable to keep up with the recording.

target population: this is a test of aerobic fitness for swimmers. The test is suitable for all ages and fitness levels (male and female).

advantages: The test allows a whole team to have their aerobic fitness effectively assessed using minimal time and pool space.

disadvantages: As with the running beep test, practice and motivation levels can influence the score attained, and the scoring can be subjective. It is also a disadvantage that an audio recording which can signal the appropriate swimming speeds is required.

comments: You can create your own Swimming Beep Test using the team beeptest software, using the timings listed here.


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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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