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Bleep Test – October 2009

 On Thursday 29 October we staged a bleep test.

The science in a nutshell. The bleep test predicts your maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max), the capacity of your body to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise (calculated as millilitres of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute – ml/kg/min). VO2max is accepted as the best measure of cardiovascular fitness and aerobic power.

Now the practical. The bleep test involves shuttling continuously between two points that are 20 metres apart. These runs are synchronized with a pre-recorded CD which plays bleeps at set intervals. As the test progresses, the interval within each set of bleeps reduces, which forces the runner to increase speed until they are no longer able to keep up.

Here’s how it went. Of the 25 of us who took part, very few had done a bleep test before. The test has a reputation for being tough and a number of us, although keen to find out what we could do, approached the session with some trepidation. The VO2 tables at the very bottom of this piece show how to interpret your scores. As you will see, many WACers recorded very decent results. Unfortunately those tables don’t show statistics for under-13s. Our youngest athlete on the night was just 10 years-old, James Hughes.

The class of the field were Guy Thompson, whose predicted VO2max was 56.557, and Maddy Vaughan-Johncey, recording an excellent 47.716 (VO2max values are typically 40-60% higher in men than in women), but there were many other impressive performances. There was a little moisture on the track, so those fast turns became a little tricky. Although the bleep test is ultimately about measuring fitness, there is definitely a technique to it, and it seems reasonable to expect that all our bleep test rookies will improve the next time around.

Kelly Williams is not shown in the results. Kelly tweaked a knee during the week and although she started the test, those turns at the end of each 20m shuttle meant she had to pull out before she was able to reach her cardiovascular limits were.

Thanks go to Elaine Vaughan-Johncey who organized this superb session for us.

Wave One

Name

Score

Predicted VO2 max

Anthony Clark

11/9

52.907

Craig Dixon

11/8

52.613

Derek Evans

11/7

52.319

Paul Teck

9/8

45.880

Guy Thompson

12/10

56.557

Dave Wild

9/7

45.562

 

 

 

 

Wave Two

Name

Score

Predicted VO2 max

Kevin Elliott

8/10

43.186

Rich House

9/6

45.245

James Hughes

8/4

41.202

Robin Hughes

10/1

47.105

Niki Roe

8/3

40.871

Graham Whiffen

10/3

47.716

 

 

 

 

Wave Three

Name

Score

Predicted VO2 max

Dave Black

9/7

45.562

Georgie Hougham

7/2

37.109

Paul Hougham

9/5

44.927

Callum Kennedy

11/2

50.848

Paul Mallett

9/2

43.975

Maddy Vaughan-Johncey

10/3

47.716

 

 

 

 

Wave Four

Name

Score

Predicted VO2 max

Tim Box

8/10

43.186

Jon Braund

10/7

48.937

Kim Jolliffe

6/9

36.203

Ian Kennedy

9/8

45.880

Nick Solomon

9/5

44.927

Alexandra Vaughan-Johncey

9/3

44.292

 

 

 

 

So what do those numbers mean? The following tables give some indication of how well you have done. For example Tim Box’s predicted VO2max was 43.186, which would place him as ‘excellent’ in his age group (men 50-59).

So, how did you do?

Before you get too big-headed remember that five time Tour de France winner Miguel Indurain is reported to have had a VO2max of 88.0 at his peak, and Siberian dogs running in the Iditarod Trail sled race have VO2 values as high as 240!

VO2 Tables

Women (values in ml/kg/min)

Age

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Superior

13-19

<25.0

25.0 - 30.9

31.0 - 34.9

35.0 - 38.9

39.0 - 41.9

>41.9

20-29

<23.6

23.6 - 28.9

29.0 - 32.9

33.0 - 36.9

37.0 - 41.0

>41.0

30-39

<22.8

22.8 - 26.9

27.0 - 31.4

31.5 - 35.6

35.7 - 40.0

>40.0

40-49

<21.0

21.0 - 24.4

24.5 - 28.9

29.0 - 32.8

32.9 - 36.9

>36.9

50-59

<20.2

20.2 - 22.7

22.8 - 26.9

27.0 - 31.4

31.5 - 35.7

>35.7

60+

<17.5

17.5 - 20.1

20.2 - 24.4

24.5 - 30.2

30.3 - 31.4

>31.4

 

Men (values in ml/kg/min)

Age

Very Poor

Poor

Fair

Good

Excellent

Superior

13-19

<35.0

35.0 - 38.3

38.4 - 45.1

45.2 - 50.9

51.0 - 55.9

>55.9

20-29

<33.0

33.0 - 36.4

36.5 - 42.4

42.5 - 46.4

46.5 - 52.4

>52.4

30-39

<31.5

31.5 - 35.4

35.5 - 40.9

41.0 - 44.9

45.0 - 49.4

>49.4

40-49

<30.2

30.2 - 33.5

33.6 - 38.9

39.0 - 43.7

43.8 - 48.0

>48.0

50-59

<26.1

26.1 - 30.9

31.0 - 35.7

35.8 - 40.9

41.0 - 45.3

>45.3

60+

<20.5

20.5 - 26.0

26.1 - 32.2

32.3 - 36.4

36.5 - 44.2

>44.2

 

Table Reference: The Physical Fitness Specialist Certification Manual, The Cooper Institute for Aerobics Research, Dallas TX, revised 1997 printed in Advance Fitness Assessment & Exercise Prescription, 3rd Edition, Vivian H. Heyward, 1998.p48

 

 

 
 
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