You don’t need sports science qualifications to test your progress in any aspect of fitness. It obviously helps to have the expertise when measuring top athletes though – even when you should understand that the best measurement you can have when testing team sportspeople is their performance on the field of play. It is the ultimate measure as I found out when I was testing International players in the sport of Rugby League.
When I started there were no such people as Sport Scientists and other than the information we could glean from the trainers of Olympic athletes of the Soviet Block or the trainers of the professional sports such as American Football, there was very little information to go by. So we started from the beginning and looked at the game that we were asked to test players for and write conditioning programs for by doing time-in-motion studies of the individual positions. It was time consuming because we didn’t have the technical equipment that Sports Scientists do these days, but you don’t have to get too technical to test yourself to see as to whether you are making progress.
With Aerobic activities it is easy in that you measure a timed distance as I said in the first article in this series, but with measuring your progress in the gym, it gets a bit more technical. Doing testing on one-repetition-maximum takes some organization and I personally think it is dangerous as there are not many athletes who need this information. It is better to test yourself at the beginning of a workout after a thorough warm up and to test strength it would make more sense to test your ability to complete 5 repetitions with perfect form to attain a result. For local muscular endurance your repetition range can be between 12 and 15. To see progress in circuits it is easy to measure your time of completion of a specific circuit, obviously using the same number of exercises and the same repetition number as you usually use.
Some Basic Rules…
1. Keep it simple. Using ‘special’ formulas to test…whatever is a whole pile of ‘la de la’ other than those people who are in one of the strength sports, but that is at a different level! But when it comes down to it, it is their performance on the platform that counts – it just means that it is a more regulated and accurate way of reaching those results you want when you use formulas in this specific case.
2. Second rule is know what you are testing for. Be specific and ask yourself as to whether certsin measurements are important in attaining your ultimate goal? After all, some of the best performers in the gym weren’t the people who could perform on the paddock when it came to team sportspeople…
3. Keep your measuring techniques accurate and testing protocols strictly to the same pattern if you want ‘true’ measures. Any change made between one test and subsequent tests changes the result?
Keep it simple…yes I meant to repeat that because complex measures of progress will invariably lead to faulty results!