20 metre Progressive Shuttle fitness test: This can be done by anyone with good fitness levels and no major risk factors, who would like to test their cardiovascular endurance (VO2 max), with a view to retesting 4 to 6 weeks later, to see whether, or by how much, their aerobic and anaerobic training has improved their fitness levels.
The test is very simple and lasts between 8 and 13 minutes approx, (depending on fitness levels) and can be done with large groups.
The person walks/jogs/runs back and forth between two lines 20 metres apart. The running pace is set by audio signal (beep sound) at set intervals from a CD or an app. The pace progressively increases and the person must continue to cover the 20 metre distance within the set interval. The test ends when the person can no longer reach the end of a shuttle twice in succession in the required time, and the level they have reached is then recorded. The challenge for the participant is then to reach a higher level in 5 to 6 weeks time.
VO2 max is defined as ‘the highest rate of oxygen consumption attainable during maximal or exhaustive exercise’.