The Cooper Fitness Test

The Cooper Fitness Test ( VO2max Test)

Objective

The Cooper Test (Cooper 1968)[1] is used to monitor the development of the athlete’s aerobic endurance and to obtain an estimate of their VO2max. VO2max is the maximum amount of oxygen in millilitres an athlete can use in one minute per kilogram of body weight. Those who are fit have higher VO2max values and can exercise more intensely than those who are not as well conditioned. Numerous studies show that you can increase your VO2max by working out at an intensity that raises your heart rate to between 65 and 85% of its maximum for at least 20 minutes three to five times a week.

Whilst we have been using the ‘bleep multistage fitness stage within the club to assess aerobic fitness and VO2 max levels this can only be completed safely in dry conditions.  The Cooper test does not necessarily have that restriction and simply requires access to a running track.

The Test

This test requires the athlete to run as far as possible in 12 minutes.

  • The test will commence following a thorough and appropriate warm up.
  • The assistant gives the command “GO”, starts the stopwatch and the athlete commences the test
  • The assistant keeps the athlete informed of the remaining time/elapsed time at the end of each lap  (400m)
  • The assistant blows the whistle when the 12 minutes has elapsed and records the distance the athlete has covered to the nearest 10 metres

Normative data for the Cooper Test

Male Athletes

Age

Excellent

Above Average

Average

Below Average

Poor

13-14

>2700m

2400-2700m

2200-2399m

2100-2199m

<2100m

15-16

>2800m

2500-2800m

2300-2499m

2200-2299m

<2200m

17-19

>3000m

2700-3000m

2500-2699m

2300-2499m

<2300m

20-29

>2800m

2400-2800m

2200-2399m

1600-2199m

<1600m

30-39

>2700m

2300-2700m

1900-2299m

1500-1999m

<1500m

40-49

>2500m

2100-2500m

1700-2099m

1400-1699m

<1400m

>50

>2400m

2000-2400m

1600-1999m

1300-1599m

<1300m

Female Athletes

Age

Excellent

Above Average

Average

Below Average

Poor

13-14

>2000m

1900-2000m

1600-1899m

1500-1599m

<1500m

15-16

>2100m

2000-2100m

1700-1999m

1600-1699m

<1600m

17-20

>2300m

2100-2300m

1800-2099m

1700-1799m

<1700m

20-29

>2700m

2200-2700m

1800-2199m

1500-1799m

<1500m

30-39

>2500m

2000-2500m

1700-1999m

1400-1699m

<1400m

40-49

>2300m

1900-2300m

1500-1899m

1200-1499m

<1200m

>50

>2200m

1700-2200m

1400-1699m

1100-1399m

<1100m

VO2max

An estimate of your VO2max can be calculated as follows:

(Distance covered in metres      – 504.9) ÷ 44.73

We will use a Vo2 max calaculator to give each athlete their VO2 max result.

Analysis

Analysis of the test result is by comparing it with the athlete’s previous results for this test. It is expected that, with appropriate training between each test, the analysis would indicate an improvement in the athlete’s VO2max. We will maintain a full history of the results of each test so that athletes can easily compare their results.

Referenced Material

  1. COOPER, K.H. (1968) A means of assessing maximal oxygen intake. JAMA. 203, p. 135-138

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