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What exactly is the Beep Test?


The beep test, also known as the bleep test, multi-stage fitness test, or shuttle run test, is used by sports coaches and trainers to estimate an athlete's maximum oxygen uptake better known as VO2 Max. The test is especially useful for players of sports like football, hockey, or rugby. The test involves running continuously between two points that are 20metres apart. These runs are synchronised with a pre-recorded audio tape, CD or laptop which plays beeps at set intervals. As the test proceeds, the interval between each successive beep reduces, forcing the athlete to increase velocity over the course of the test, until it is impossible to keep in sync with the recording.


The recording is typically structured into 23 'levels', each of which lasts 60 seconds. Usually, the interval of beeps is calculated require a speed at the start of 8.5 km/h, which increases by 0.5 km/h with each level. The progression from one level to the next is signalled by 3 rapid beeps. The highest level attained before failing to keep up is recorded as the score for that test.

The procedure is designed to measure the maximum endurance of an individual. Therefore, it should not be used for those of low fitness levels.

This test is now used by the British Army as one of the basic measures of personal fitness.



Facts                                      English Football star David Beckham and American Cycling Legend, Lance Armstrong are two of the very few people who can complete the beep test.

At lower speeds/ levels, athletes might be laughing or complaining about the ease of the test.  However, things get quiet tough at about Speed 9, and by Speed 11 to 13, people are dropping out.

"When a team gets told it is doing the beep test it usually strikes fear into everyone - even at international level"
James Kirtely - Cricketer