Health and fitness testing gives a client (or you as a personal trainer) an accurate picture of their current physical ability. It helps them to boost motivation and amplifies their progress pre-competition.
Health-related fitness includes aerobic capacity, muscular endurance, muscle strength and flexibility, whilst skill-related fitness relates to agility, speed, balance and power.
Just like a mechanic wouldn’t look at the outside of your car and ignore what is happening inside, body composition testing takes a deeper dive into how your body works. It can help you identify the red flags that are warning signs your body is unhealthy and provide valuable insight to create a healthier lifestyle.
While some fat is essential, too much can increase your risk for chronic health problems such as heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. A healthy body composition has a high percentage of muscle mass and low percentage of fat.
Body composition tests break down body weight into core components such as fat, protein, minerals, and body water. These measurements are used to determine your health and fitness levels more accurately than methods such as BMI and body weight.
For those who want to gauge their fitness level and receive expert direction for improvement, this comprehensive health & fitness evaluation will assess strength via a full body DXA scan, power via a jump test, and resting metabolic rate.
For testing of most fitness components, it is necessary to select appropriate field tests and criterion measures for the purpose of establishing cut-points (or standards). For youth, determining the relationship between performance on a fitness test and health outcomes can be challenging, especially in terms of time to develop health problems, as many are associated with risk factors that take years to become manifest in disease or disability. For this reason, the committee prefers to use the term “health markers” rather than health outcomes in describing what is potentially measurable through fitness testing.
Speed refers to the ability to move limbs quickly and cover ground at a high rate. It requires strong muscles, a low body weight to minimize air resistance, and efficient movement mechanics to optimize muscle power for the least amount of energy used. Speed is usually measured as a distance, such as the 40-yard sprint. It is one of the most popular fitness tests for football and other collegiate sports programs in the United States, as well as a common test for laboratory methods classes in exercise science and physical education academic programs.
In some sports, like track and field sprinting and sprint swimmers, speed is often considered the most important aspect of fitness. However, in other sports and positions, qualities like agility might be more critical for success.
The ability to change direction and speed quickly is a vital part of many sports. Enhanced agility can improve athletic performance, enhance physical fitness, and reduce the risk of injuries.
Agility is a skill that requires the integration of isolated movement skills, including balance, coordination, speed, reflexes and strength. It is also referred to as “nimbleness” in some contexts.
In general, agility is different than speed. While speed is all about moving your body in a straight line, agility is all about changing directions quickly. In the gym, agility training often involves drills like ladder drills and cone drills.
Balance is one of the most important components to a healthy lifestyle. In fact, a recent study found that adults who cannot stand on one foot for 10 seconds have a greater risk of death within the next decade than those who can. Balance training is also key for controlling blood sugar, cholesterol and blood pressure.
Athletes who have good balance can remain in control of their body position regardless of what activity they are performing – this includes sports that require hitting objects such as baseball and tennis. When testing balance, fitness professionals must choose the right test and ensure that a consistent testing environment is used to avoid unreliable data and subsequent injuries (1). Three of the best tests for evaluating balance are the Balance Error Scoring System (BESS), Star Excursion Balance Test (SEBT) and the Bass test.