Cardiovascular Capacity Assessment

woman foot race

Cooper 12 Minute Run/Walk


  • Place markers at set intervals around the track to aid in measuring the completed distance.
  • Participants run for 12 minutes, and the total distance covered is recorded.
  • Walking is allowed, though the participants must be encouraged to push themselves as hard as they can to maximize the distance covered.


  • There are Cooper test norm tables for general guidelines for interpreting the results of this test for adults.
  • There are also several equations that can be used to estimate VO2max (in ml/kg/min) from the distance score (a formula for either kms or miles):
    • VO2max = (35.97 x miles) – 11.29
    • VO2max = (22.35 x kilometers) – 11.29
  • An estimate of your VO2 max can be calculated as follows:
    • (Distance covered in metres – 504.9) ÷ 44.73

Male Athletes

AgeExcellentAbove AverageAverageBelow AveragePoor

Female Athletes

AgeExcellentAbove AverageAverageBelow AveragePoor

Rockport 1 Mile Run/Walk


  • The purpose of this test is to walk as fast as possible for 1 mile.
  • After you have completed the mile, immediately take your pulse rate.
  • If you do not have a heart rate monitor, you can manually count the number of beats for 10 seconds, and then multiply that by 6 to get your minute heart rate.
  • Note the time it took to complete the mile.
  • You will also need to know your body weight for the VO2max calculation.


  • A VO2max score can be calculated using the following equation (Kilne et al., 1987 and McSwegin et al., 1998):
    • Females: VO2 = 139.168 – (0.388 x age) – (0.077 x weight in lb.) – (3.265 x walk time in minutes) – (0.156 x heart rate).
    • Males: add 6.318 to the equation for females above.
  • The formula (Kilne 1987) used to calculate VO2 max is:
    • 132.853 – (0.0769 × Weight) – (0.3877 × Age) + (6.315 × Gender) – (3.2649 × Time) – (0.1565 × Heart rate)
    • Where:
      • Weight is in pounds (lbs)
      • Gender Male = 1 and Female = 0
      • Time is expressed in minutes and 100ths of minutes
      • Heart rate is in beats/minute
      • Age is in years

Bleep Test

The 20m multistage fitness test (MSFT) is a commonly used maximal running aerobic fitness test. It is also known as the 20 meter shuttle run test, beep or bleep test among other names.

Equipment required:

  • Flat, non-slip surface
  • Marking cones
  • 20m measuring tape
  • Bleep test cd
  • CD player
  • Recording sheets.


  • This test involves continuous running between two lines 20m apart in time to recorded beeps.
  • For this reason the test is also often called the ‘beep’ or ‘bleep’ test.
  • The subjects stand behind one of the lines facing the second line, and begin running when instructed by the recording.
  • The speed at the start is quite slow.
  • The subject continues running between the two lines, turning when signaled by the recorded beeps.
  • After about one minute, a sound indicates an increase in speed, and the beeps will be closer together.
  • This continues each minute (level).
  • If the line is reached before the beep sounds, the subject must wait until the beep sounds before continuing.
  • If the line is not reached before the beep sounds, the subject is given a warning and must continue to run to the line, then turn and try to catch up with the pace within two more ‘beeps’.
  • The test is stopped if the subject fails to reach the line (within 2 meters) for two consecutive ends after a warning.


  • The athlete’s score is the level and number of shuttles (20m) reached before they were unable to keep up with the recording.
  • Record the last level completed (not necessarily the level stopped at).
  • This norms table below is only one set of norms available, and gives a very rough idea of what level score would be expected for adults,
Excellent> 13> 12
Very good11 – 1310 – 12
Good9 – 118 – 10
Average7 – 96 – 8
Poor5 – 74 – 6
Very poor< 5< 4