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Fitness Testing and Training. Learning objectives. To understand fitness components needed to achieve sporting excellence. To describe lifestyle factors that contribute to training and performance. To understand how to test own fitness levels and psychological factors that effect performance. .

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Fitness Testing and Training

Learning objectives

To understand fitness components needed to achieve sporting excellence.

To describe lifestyle factors that contribute to training and performance.

To understand how to test own fitness levels and psychological factors that effect performance.



  • You are a badminton coach. You will need to think about your performers fitness requirements and possible training methods to use with them. As a coach you should also consider:
  • Psychological factors that might affect performance.
  • Ways of testing fitness and analysing the results.
  • What lifestyle factors could contribute to your athlete’s performance levels.

Components of fitness

Components of fitness can be used separately or in combination with each other.

6 components of physical fitness:


Muscular Strength

The ability to exert a large amount of force in a single maximum effort.

Muscular strength can help in a number of sports. Can you name any?


Aerobic Endurance

“The ability of the cardio-respiratory system to supply oxygen to working muscles during sustained physical activity”

The cardio-respiratory system deals with the heart, lungs and blood vessels of the body. Training increases the efficiency of the heart to transport oxygen to working muscles.


Muscular Endurance

“The ability to use voluntary muscles, over long periods of time without getting tired”

Also known as stamina means that the muscles keep working for a long time without getting tired.

Essential for long distance events.



Speed “Time taken to cover a set distance”

  • 100m sprinter OR
  • It could be how fast a badminton player can move their racket to cover a drop shot

Speed is very important in many sports – it can often be the thing that separates a good performer from a great performer.



‘Having a full range of motion at a joint’

Also known as suppleness refers to the ability of the muscles to stretch and then return to their original position.

It is important for reducing the risk of muscles strains and injuries.


Body Composition

“The proportion of body weight that is fat, muscle and bone”

Some body shapes are better suited to certain sports

than others.

Describe the ideal body composition for the following



Horse Racing




Components of SKILL-RELATED Fitness?

Everyone’s fitness level will differ depending on the particular sports they play. Each activity has it own set of fitness requirements that the individual must meet in order to compete with others.

The following are the 5 main components of skill-related fitness:



Agility “is the ability to change direction quickly”

Athletes with good AGILITY keep their entire body under control throughout.

Agility is especially important in sports that require a sharp movement or turn. i.e. goal keeper



Balance “is the ability of the performer to retain their centre of mass over their base of support without falling”

Balance can be:

static – for example, handstand

dynamic – for example, keeping your balance on a board i.e. skateboard, surfing

Can you think of any other examples?



Coordination “is the smooth flow of a movement needed to perform efficiently and accurately”

E.G. an effective tennis stroke requires coordinating footwork and arm action.

Can you think of any other examples?


Reaction time

Reaction time “The time between the presentation of a stimulus and movement”

For example, how quickly a table tennis player reacts to a serve.

A stimulus could be anything from a starting gun to a sudden side-step by an opponent.

Can you think of any other examples?



Power is a combination of strength and speed

Power = Force × DistanceTime

Power is important in explosive events like throwing and sprinting.

Power is vital to getting a good start in short races.


Sport Specific Fitness Components

What components of fitness are required for each sport pictured below?


Body Composition and Sports Performance

Somatotyping is a method of determining an individuals body shape

Body shape is determined genetically (born with it). It can be improved but not dramatically changed


3 Basic Somatotypes

    • Wide hips and Narrow shoulders
    • Shot putters, sumo wrestlers.
    • Narrow hips and broad shoulders
    • Tennis, rugby, sprinters & swimmers
    • Narrow hips and shoulders
    • High jumper, marathon runner


Somatotype is important, it may mean that you are better suited to one sport more than another.

Many people are a normal shape – not an extreme body type.

You can be a mixture of body types.



You are now ready to complete Task 1

P1 - describe the fitness requirements for achieving

excellence in a selected sport.

M1 - explain the fitness requirements for achieving

excellence in a selected sport.


Fitness Training Methods

There are a variety of training methods which different performers might use.


Plyometrics Training

Plyometrics is one method of strength training that can be used to improve power or muscular strength.

e.g. Good for long jumpers, 100 m sprinters or basketball players

Strength gains through plyometrics usually takes about 8-10 weeks.


Flexibility Training

Static stretching can be active or passive.

In active stretching, the performer works on one joint, pushing it beyond its point of resistance (lengthening the muscles)

In passive stretching, the stretch occurs with the help of an external force, such as a partner, gravity or a wall.


Flexibility Training

Ballistic stretching involves performing a stretch with swinging or bouncing movements to push a body part even further.

PNF (proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation) is where the muscle is contracted isometrically for a period of at least 10 seconds. It then relaxes and is stretched again, usually going further the second time.


Circuit Training

Circuit training is a series of exercises completed one after another. It is a very good way of developing general fitness.


Interval Training

This training involves periods of work followed by periods of rest.

i.e. Sprint for 20 metre + walk back to start.

What athletes/performers would benefit from this method of training?


Fartlek Training

It is a combination of running, cycling speeds. i.e. 1 lap at 50% max, 1 lap walking, 1 lap at 80%

Works on both aerobic and anaerobic fitness due to the varying intensities.

continuous training
Continuous Training

Involves a steady but regular pace. i.e. Jogging. It is important to maintain heart rate in the training threshold (60-80% of MAX)

Activities can includes running, walking, swimming, rowing or cycling.



You are now ready to complete Task 2

P2 - Describe three different fitness training methods used to achieve excellence in a selected sport.


Lifestyle Factors

To succeed in sport performers must consider all aspects of training and lifestyle factors.


Stress can have a negative or positive effect on individuals. Everybody differs!!

Stress usually occurs if the

performer thinks they are

unable to do an activity

or exercise.



Eustress is a positive form of stress. Perfomers can enjoy testing themselves to the furthest possible extremes and reaching there potential.



All drugs have a side effect and can be harmful to a persons health. Drug abuse is illegal and if tested positive can be banned from sport.

Here are some examples of banned substances:


Beta blockers:

e.g. Atenolol (Alcohol has a similar effect)

The beta-blocker drugs 'sit' on receptors and stop ('block') the receptor from being stimulated.

Effect: slows heart rate, calms and steadies hands

Athletes: Shooting (target sports), Snooker

Side effects: Reduces heart rate so low that heart may stop, low blood pressure and causes tiredness


Anabolic steroids:

Artificially produced testosterone (MALE HORMONE).

Effect: Repair body tissues after stress, promote muscle growth, ability to train harder with less fatigue

Athletes: Athletics (power events) e.g. .... 100m, Shot Putt

Side effects: Females develop male features. Liver & heart damage.



Remove fluid from the body.

Effect: Rapid weight loss

Athletes: Boxers, Jockeys

Side effects: Dehydration, Dizziness or light headed



Stimulate the body physically and mentally. (Tea, Coffee, Cocaine)

Effect: Reduces tiredness, increased alertness & endurance

Athletes: Any event with a sprint start, Boxing,

Side effects: Raise blood pressure, hide symptoms of fatigue & addictive



Smoking and consuming alcohol is legal but becoming less socially acceptable (smoking ban – 2007). Both have harmful side effects and can effect performance capacities.

Nicotine is taken into the blood stream through smoking.

It is an addictive drug, which raises the heart rate and blood pressure


Smoking and health

Lung cancer – tars are deposited in the lungs, making them less efficient and can lead to cancer

Increased risk of heart disease

Carbon monoxide reduces the effectiveness of the oxygen-carrying capacity of haemoglobin.

- therefore reduced levels of fitness



Sleep is vital. Young athletes need at least 8-9 hours sleep a night. This allows the body rest and recovery from training and performance.



Everyone needs to eat a balanced diet, depending on the physical demands of the sport. Good diet and nutrition will reduce health risks.

The diet of a rower would be totally different from that of a Sumo wrestler!!!

a balanced diet
A balanced diet

A balanced diet consists of the following components:


Other lifestyle factors

  • Other factors to consider could include:
  • Activity Levels
  • Gender
  • Alcohol
  • Medical history or injuries
  • Work demands and free time


You are now ready to complete Task 3

P3 - Describe four different lifestyle factors that can affect sports training and performance.


Assessing your own fitness

Before testing your fitness individuals should complete a consent form.

  • This form makes sure:
  • You know exactly what is required of you.
  • You understand the procedures and testing.
  • You understand you could pull out at any time.

Fitness Testing

There are tests for each type of fitness. Fitness testing measures a performer's ability and is beneficial to both the performer and the coach in highlighting areas for improvement.

  • Fitness testing will:
  • Highlight strengths and weaknesses
  • Allow progress to be monitored carefully, through re-testing and comparison to norms

Validity and reliability of testing

The two main issues to consider in fitness testing are validity and reliability.

Validity relates to whether the test actually measures what it sets out to measure.

Reliability is a question of whether the test is accurate. It is important to ensure that the procedure is correctly maintained for ALL individuals.

How might you improve validity and reliability?


Validity of testing

  • Validity and reliability can be improved by:
  • The tester should be experienced.
  • Equipment should be standardised.
  • Different performers might have differing motivation to complete the test to the best of their ability.
  • Tests should be repeated to avoid human error.


You are now ready to complete Task 4

P4 - Carry out four different fitness tests for different components of fitness, recording the results accurately.


Testing – Aerobic Endurance

  • The various methods of evaluating stamina (cardio-respiratory endurance) include:
  • The multi-stage fitness test
  • Cooper run
  • Harvard step test

The Multi Stage Fitness Test:

The athlete performs a 20m progressive shuttle run in time with a beep, to the point of exhaustion. The level reached depends on the number of shuttle runs completed and is ascertained from a standard results table.


Testing – Aerobic Endurance

Cooper Run:

The 12 minute Cooper run will test your endurance capabilities. The testing procedure is simple and very little equipment is needed. Large groups can be tested together and standardised data are used for comparison.

25 m square



Performers run as far as they can for 12 minutes. Each lap of the grid is 100 m. Pupils to calculate the distance covered.

The grid below shows the average scores.


Testing – Aerobic Endurance

Harvard Step Test:

Performers step onto and off the bench/step continuously for 5 minutes. (steady pace). Recovery heart rate is then measured.


Testing – Stamina – Harvard Step Test

1 minute after exercise = take pulse

2 minute after exercise = take pulse

3 minute after exercise = take pulse

Add 3 scores together and use the following formula:


3 pulse score added together

Here is a table of the ‘norms’:


Testing – Strength

One simple method of assessing maximum strength is the handgrip test, using a muscle dynamometer.

Measures the strength of the performer hand grip strength in one action.


-No swinging your hand

-Start with your hand up and bring down to side while pulling in handle


Testing – Strength

Here is a table of the average scores:


Testing – Flexibility

The sit -and-reach test gives an indication of flexibility of the hamstrings and lower back. This test measures the range of movement at the hips/torso.


-Legs straight with feet touching the box.

-Push marker as far as possible without bending your knees.

This position must be held for a couple of seconds


Testing – Flexibility

Here is a table of the average scores:


Testing – Speed

Performers to cover a straight 30 m from a standing start. The time taken should be accurately recorded.

Limitations include possible human error in the timing, the result may be affected by the running surface and by the weather.

Here is a table of the average scores:


Testing – Power

The vertical jump test is a simpler method of assessing power.

Performers to reach up to highest point without going onto tiptoes. They then jump vertically and touch highest point on the wall/board.

-The score is the difference between the 2 measurements

Here is a table of the average scores:


Testing – Reaction Time

A simple, cheap method of evaluating reaction time is the ruler drop test.

This measures reaction to a stimulus. Partner to hold and drop ruler from above performer dominant hand.

  • Rules:
  • Fingers of the performer should be at the 0 cm mark
  • The performer should not be able to anticipate the drop coming.

Testing – Agility

The performer runs around a 10 m course as fast as they can between a series of evenly spaced cones.

Performers start at the first cone. On the whistle pupils should follow the course in the diagram and finish at the end cone.

Performers are timed from start to finish.


Testing – Agility

Here is a table of the average scores:


Testing – Balance

The stork stand is a test used to evaluate static balance.

Performers start by adopting the stance in the diagram. The time starts when the pupil’s foot in contact with the ground is up onto tiptoes.

Here is a table of the average scores:


Testing – Muscular Endurance

The sit-up bleep test assesses muscular endurance of the abdominals.

The athlete performs sit ups in time with a beep, to the point of exhaustion. The level reached depends on the number of repetitions completed.

Here is a table of the average scores:


Testing – Body Composition

To assess suitability for as particular sport you can measuring the ratio of the body. Fat levels vary depending on age and gender.

Measuring fat levels can be done with skin fold callipers.

Measuring fat during a skin fold test should be done at the CHEST, ABDOMINALS & THIGH.


Testing – Body Composition

Here is a table of the average scores:


Testing – Body Mass Index (BMI)

BMI is a general way of working out whether a person is the right weight for their height.

Use the following formula:

BMI = Weight (kg)

Height (m) x Height (m)

TASK: Calculate your BMI.


Body mass index (BMI)

Generally the higher the BMI the more % body fat, but elite athletes with have a high % body mass due to muscle weighing more than fat.



You are now ready to complete Task 5

P5 - Interpret their test results and personal level of fitness.

M2 - Explain their test results and personal level of fitness, identifying strengths and areas for improvement.

D1 - Evaluate their test results and personal level of fitness, considering the level required to achieve excellence in a selected sport.


Psychological Factors

Performing to high standards require physical fitness, skill and a strong mental capacity.

Arousal and Anxiety


Psychological Factors





Motivation influences our behaviour. There are 2 categories of motivation.

Intrinsic motivation

This type of motivation happens within the performer. This is the desire to improve themselves and the enjoyment gained from success within the performer.



Extrinsic motivation

This type of motivation relates to receiving rewards for success and good performances. e.g. Winning a trophy for a tournament.The balance between intrinsic and extrinsic motivation are vital to a performer if they are to be successful.



What is arousal?

“An increased state of readiness before performing a task or activity”


Forms of Anxiety

There are 2 forms of anxiety that a performer may experience:

Trait Anxiety:

General disposition of a performer to perceive situations as threatening. Naturally anxious individuals will feel apprehensive often.

State Anxiety:

This form of anxiety occurs in particular situation. Linked to performers mood and therefore varies from moment to moment.

e.g. Taking a penalty.



Negative stress is often referred to as.... Anxiety

There are 2 types of anxiety:

Cognitive:Thoughts of worry and concern over perceived lack of ability to complete task. Usually prior to event (Nervousness + apprehension)



Somatic:Physiological responses. Increase heart rate, sweating, blood pressure rises, muscle tension. These symptoms usually reduce once the event has started.


Varying levels of somatic and cognitive anxiety




Level of anxiety


1 week before 1 day 1 hour Start After



What’s different about the personality of these people?


What is Personality

Personality is a unique characteristics of an individual.Knowledge about personality is important to ensure optimum sporting performance.

Coaches will treat individuals differently depending on the performer’s personality.

This means they will get the best out of them.


How to Measure Personality

Interviews – reflects behaviour patterns in different situations

Questionnaires – Must be answered honestly and fairly.

Observations – Involves watching the performers behaviour over time



This is the ability of a performer to process information and focus.

Information processing happens quickly and the body will decide whether to act on the information or not.

An overload of information can have a negative effect on performance.


Learning routines and skilful performances

When learning a new skill coaches will often break the movements down into small sub-routines or ‘chunks’ to learn.

  • Example: High Jump can be split into different learning phases.
  • Run up
  • Take off
  • Flight


You are now ready to complete Task 6

P6 - Describe the effects of psychological factors on sports training and performance.

M3 - Explain the effects of psychological factors on sports training and performance.

D2 - Analyse the effects of psychological factors on sports training and performance.