It may sound a little corny or cliche but to get where you want to go, you need to have a plan in mind. To be truly successful, part of that plan must include regular testing sessions so that the athlete and coach may readily determine the efficacy of the current plan, as well as what if any changes need to be made to allow for continued success.
When an athlete approaches Hybrid Fitness for help, the first thing we do is gather information about them. This will include current training protocols, nutrition, rest and recovery, and current overall health status regarding injuries etc. Next we will put them through a battery of tests. The tests will be chosen to provide information that is relevant to their chosen sport as well as to expose any weakness or imbalance that may be present. Finally we will take photos and measurements to allow us to assess body composition and track other aspects of their training plan.
When choosing tests, be sure that they are relevant. If you are an athlete that competes in running based events or open field sports such as soccer or lacrosse, it makes no sense to use an indoor bicycle ergometer test as your primary means of assessment. Unless the test is designed to evaluate technical ability and or skill, it should require as little skill as possible. For strength testing I prefer the use of machines for this purpose. Finally the tests should be easy to track and replicate. If they are not you will have trouble gathering any information of value. Keep in mind that the very first time you do a test you are establishing your starting values. After this the test should be repeated at regular intervals to allow you to easily track your progress.
So remember to get the most out of your strength and conditioning program make a plan, follow it, and always test and re-test for maximum results.
PAU for NOW
Below are a few tests we might use when working with an open field sport team or individual player.
The objective of these tests is to determine the athletes 5 and 10 Repetition Maximums in all major muscle groups.
To undertake these tests you will require access to the following five machines:
1) Leg Press
2) Shoulder Press
3) Lat Pulldown use a supinated (palms facing you) grip
4) Chest press
5) Seated Rowing
How to conduct the test
1) Start each exercise with a weight that you can comfortably handle for 10 repetitions. Usually no more then 30% body-weight for most exercises.
2) Perform 10 slow, controlled reps taking 3-5 seconds to raise the weight and 3-5 seconds to lower the weight.
3) Rest two minutes and repeat the above protocol using 10-20% more weight.
4) Continue until 10 reps can no longer be achieved.
5) The 5 RM test is conducted in a similar fashion using slightly higher weight increases.
2.4 Km Run Test
The objective of this test is to determine the minimum time to complete six laps of a 400 meter track (2400 meters). This allows the coach to monitor the development of the athlete’s aerobic endurance.
To undertake this test you will require:
1) 400 meter track
2) Stop watch
3) An assistant
How to conduct the test
1) Athlete to complete a 10 minute warm up
2) Athlete to complete the 2.4km (6 laps of a 400m track)
3) Assistant to keep athlete informed of the number of laps remaining to complete the test
4) Assistant to record the time taken for the athlete to run 2.4km
For the complete article on performance evaluation including a wide variety of tests and how to properly implement them visit www.hybridfitness.tv