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3 Fitness Tests to Gauge Cardio Endurance

3 Fitness tests to gauge cardio endurance

No matter where you're at in your warrior journey, it's imperative to understand where you currently stand with your fitness levels. Here are 3 fitness tests to gauge your cardio endurance.

When we watch some of our favorite anime heroes on the screen, it’s typically easy for us to see when they have “powered up”. This is commonly portrayed by muscles getting bigger, warriors moving faster or for my Dragon Ball fans, hair changing color with glowing electricity around the body. In our own human reality, it’s fairly simple to track progression when lifting weights; If you can lift heavier weight, you’re getting stronger or if you’re seeing more muscle on your body, you’re improving muscular aesthetics.

Unlike lifting weights, we can’t physically see our heart and lungs progress and transform such as seeing muscles grow on the body. However, we can measure the performance of our lungs and heart to track progress. With with a list of east-to-follow field tests, we can measure our VO2max; the maximum amount of oxygen we consume during exercise which in other words mean, measure the progression of our cardiovascular system. Here are 3 fitness tests to gauge your cardio endurance and help you progress into the anime warrior of your universe.


What is the Queens College Step Test

The step test is a common test that requires little equipment, minimal time commitment and has been used for more than 50 years. This test requires an individual to step up and down a step for 3 minutes and measuring recovery heart rate.


High blood pressure

On-set of chest pain

Signs of poor perfusion


·        Prepare a step at the height of 16.24 inches.

·        Set step rate at 24 beats per minute for men or 22 beats per minute for women. A complete cycle of a step up includes right leg up one beat, left leg up one beat, right leg down one beat and left leg down one beat.

·        When 3 minutes of stepping is completed, measure your recovery heart rate by taking your pulse at your radial artery on the wrist (15 second pulse count multiplied by 4 to determine heart rate (HR) in beats per minute (bpm).

VO2max Calculations

Once you retrieve your recovery heart rate, input that into one of the equations below.


VO2max ( = 111.33 - (0.42 x HR)


VO2max ( = 65.81 - (0.1847 x HR)


If a male individual finished the test with a recovery HR of 146 bpm, then:

VO2max ( = 111.33 - (0.42 x 146)

VO2max ( = 50.01



What is the 12 minute walk/run test

Just like the 1.5 mile run test, this test was created by Dr. Ken Cooper of the Aerobics Institute in Dallas, Texas. This test requires the individual to cover as much distance as possible in 12 minutes either through walking, running or a combination of both.


Just as the 1.5 mile run test, this test should not be performed by those with symptoms of heart disease, or risk factors for heart disease.


·        Find a flat surface that will allow you to run or walk for 12 continuous minutes. Ideally, this should be completed on a standard 400 meter track.

·        Begin your distance tracker and timer.

·        Run or walk as far as you can in 12 minutes.

·        Upon finishing 12 minutes of walking, running or a combination, stop your tracker and timer.

·        Record your finishing distance in meters.

*Note: Distance must be expressed in meters. 1 mile = 1609 meters 

VO2max Calculations

VO2max ( = (distance in meters - 504.9)/44.73


Individual covers 1.5 miles in 12 minutes

Convert miles to meters: 1.5 miles x 1609 meters = 2,413.5 meters

VO2max ( = (2,413.5 meters - 504.9)/44.73

VO2max ( = 42



What is the Cooper Test

The Cooper Test was created for the U.S. Military by by Kenneth H. Cooper. This test requires participants to run 1.5 miles at a pace that will allow them to finish the run as fast as possible.


This test should not be completed by unconditioned individuals, individuals with symptoms of heart disease, and those with known heart disease or risk factors for heart disease. Additionally, individuals should be able to jog for 15 minutes continuously to complete the test.

Test Protocol

Find a flat running surface or standard quarter-mile track (6 laps = 1.5 miles).

One week before, have a trial run to establish a sense of pace.

Complete a 5-10 minute warm up or until you are at or near a sweat.

Prepare your timer.

Start your timer and begin your 1.5 mile run (run it at a pace to complete it as fast as you can).

VO2max Calculation for Men and Women

VO2max (mL . kg-1 . min -1) = 3.5 + 483/Time

Time = time to complete 1.5 miles in nearest hundredth of a minute 


1.5 mile completion time: 11 minutes and 12 seconds

> 11.2 (12/60 = 0.2)

VO2max (mL. kg-1 . min-1) = 3.5 + 483/11.2

= 46.6 mL . kg-1 . min -1

VO2max = 46.6 mL . kg-1 . min -1

Disclaimer: All information presented and written within this article are intended for informational purposes only. You should not rely on this information as a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you should choose to follow or participate in any workout, program or practice, you do so voluntarily and do not hold Initial Mile and it's founder responsible for any cause of injury or death. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other health-care professional.



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