Why Fitness Testing?
1. Get a Baseline – The initial fitness testing session can give you an idea of where your fitness levels are at the start of a program, so that future testing can be compared to this and any changes can be noted.
2. Identify Weaknesses and Strengths— You can determine your strengths and weaknesses by comparing fitness test results to other athletes in the same training group, the same sport, or in a similar population group.
3. Design a Program — Once the areas of strength and weakness have been identified, an appropriate training program can be designed to workout efficiently and maximize gains by concentrating your efforts on the areas of greatest need.
4. Monitor Progress — Comparing fitness test results to a baseline or previous test can be used to monitor your changes in fitness. Testing sessions should be planned at the beginning of a new training phase, and at least at the end of each phase. The period between tests may range from two weeks to six months. It usually takes a minimum of 2-6 weeks to see a noticeable change in any aspect of fitness.
5. Assess Goals — Specific and general fitness goals should be set after the initial testing. By repeating the tests at regular intervals, you can get an idea of the effectiveness of the training program and whether your goals are being achieved.
6. Compare Results to Others — By comparing results to others such as successful athletes in your sport or your classmates, you can see the areas that need improvement, and the fitness program can be modified accordingly.
7. Provide Incentives — The incentive to improve can often be provided by the ‘goal’ of a certain test score. By knowing that they will be tested again at a later date, you can aim to improve in that area.
8. Talent Identification— A general non-sport specific testing battery can provide you with an idea of your basic strengths and weaknesses, and from this you may find you would be better suited to another sport, which makes better use of your strengths.
9. Evaluate the effectiveness of training/speed and agility programs. Comparing the results over a period of time allows trainers and coaches to concretely determine if a program is working for their team and adjust accordingly. Comparative results can also be used by individuals looking for personal areas of improvement.