Identify Weaknesses and Strengths:
There are many benefits to having a fitness test done. However, the most important is to be able to establish the strengths and weaknesses of the athlete. This is done by comparing fitness test results to other athletes in the same training group, the same sport, or in a similar population group. These previous test results from the larger groups are often published as normative tables.
By comparing results to successful athletes in your sport, you can see the areas which need improvement, and the training program can be modified accordingly. This allows the athlete and coach to engage in valuable training and us the time more efficiently. It should also be noted that some athletes still perform well in their sport despite their physical or physiological attributes, and it may not be advantageous to be like them.
After the initial testing session, the athlete will have an idea of where their fitness levels are at the start of a program. This will allow the athlete and coach to then compare these results to the results of future testing and any changes can be noted. A baseline is especially important if you are about to embark on a new training phase. Subsequent tests should be planned for the beginning and end of each new phase in the training program.
By repeating these fitness tests at regular intervals, you can get an idea of the effectiveness of the training program. The time-frame between tests is dependent on the availability of time or costs involved, or the phase of training the athlete is in. Depending of these factors, the period between tests may range from two weeks to six months. It usually takes a minimum of 2-6 weeks to see a demonstrable change in any aspect of fitness.
While these tests are can be an incentive themselves to push the athlete harder and further it is a good idea to create 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, the athlete then can aim to improve in that area. This can drive them to improve more.
Testing is primarily used for help in designing the most appropriate athletic training program for the athlete. By performing a general non-sport specific testing battery can provide you with an idea of what your basic strengths and weaknesses. Then from this you may find you would be better suited to another sport that makes better use of your strengths. Although testing has sometimes been used in this way for talent identification, it has generally not been very reliable in predicting the future success of juniors (mainly due to varying growth patterns) and in sports which rely heavily on other factors such as technique, tactics and psychological factors.
If you are wanting to take your training to next level then we suggest fitness testing. Contact us at Peak Wellness for more information on our training programs and resources!