Fitness Assessment Protocol


Baseline Information

Testing can, and should, be done at different stages of an exercise program. But, before starting is possibly the most important of these. This not only gives us a base to refer back to, but, it also gives an idea of what areas the program needs to be tailored towards improving. Information about the aspects of fitness of the participant is the greatest tool available, when setting up an exercise program. Depending on the aims of the program, a different amount of testing can be applied, before starting the program. But, all of the intended testing that may be done at a later stage should be done before starting. In other words, the test battery done before starting should be the most complete. Later testing can be more focused, and used for tracking progress towards goals. But, without the initial information, adding other tests, at a later stage, would not glean any information about the progress.

Track progress

As mentioned, follow-up testing should be done, to track progress. This is not only to compare to the base-line data for goal setting, and attaining. But, can also be used to show improvement in other areas, potentially not directly related to the initial goals that were set. An example of this could be our participant who is aiming to lose weight. Body weight, and body fat percentage readings will show what improvements are being made, in that regard. But, muscle endurance and aerobic fitness should also show improvement, as a result of the exercises used for weight loss. While this may not have been the initial goal that was set, it can be used as extra proof of overall improvement. This will serve as continuing motivation, for the participant.

Types of testing


As was discussed in the Screening section, certain medical tests can, and should, be done before exercise programs are entered into. And, just like all other types of tests related to exercise, these can be repeated, to track progress. For example, a blood test for serum cholesterol can be repeated, after a while of taking part in exercise, to show the effect that program is having. In participants who are on medication for high cholesterol, this is highly important, as the medication may need to be adjusted, from time to time. Similar issues will arise with most participants who have medical referrals.


As the name suggests, these are types of tests that can be performed in a clinic environment. Some tests may blur the line between clinical and medical, such as heart rate, and blood pressure. And, others may blur the line between clinical and exercise, such as active range of motion (a type of flexibility). But, one way of considering a clinical test is one that can be performed in an air-conditioned room, without needing to change into exercise clothing to perform. Also, one shouldn’t need a specialist medical degree in order to administer the test.


Exercise tests are exactly that; a test, using some form of exercise, or physical exertion, in order to make a measurement of an ability pertaining to a specific aspect of fitness. For these tests you will need to change clothes. They will be specifically chosen for their ability to show definite results, and for their ease of reproduction. In many cases, some learning will be required, in order to perform the test correctly. But, the tests should never be so complicated that this hinders their administration.