Beep Test Help

The beep test is a multi-stage fitness test used to measure cardiovascular fitness and maximum oxygen uptake (VO2 max). It is commonly used by coaches and trainers to measure athlete fitness, or used as a pre-requisite for police, emergency and military organizations. The test is also known as the bleep test, pacer test, 20m shuttle run test or Léger test.

Test Rules

The Standard test has 21 levels, and each level consists of a different number of shuttles. The test is performed by running between two markers placed 20 meters (65.6 feet) apart, at an increasing pace as indicated by the beeps. The test ends when you can no longer keep pace, or level 21 is completed.

The test can be performed by an individual without assistance, or used by a coach to test an entire team.

Equipment

  1. Beep Fitness Test for iOS.
  2. Two or more markers, e.g. traffic cones.
  3. A flat surface, suitable for running, which is at least 20m long with adequate space at each end for coming to a stop.

Procedure

  1. Place markers 20 meters apart.
  2. Position yourself, or athletes, at one of the markers.
  3. Press the start button of the Beep Fitness Test app.
  4. Run 20 meters to the opposite marker, getting there before the next beep sounds.
  5. Wait there until the beep sounds before running back to the other marker.
  6. Repeat this process for each shuttle until you are unable to keep up with the beeps. Remember, you must wait for the beep before starting the next shuttle.
  7. When you miss a beep you must continue to run to the marker in front of you, turn at the end, and try to catch up with the pace within 2 more beeps. The test ends when you fail to reach the opposite marker for two consecutive beeps.
  8. Your final score is the last level and shuttle you completed before missing a beep.

The speed at the start of the test is quite slow, however it will increase with each level. A level lasts approximately 1 minute and the entire test requires an increase in speed from 8 km/h to 18.6 km/h.

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Scoring and VO2 Max

Your score is the level and number of shuttles reached before missing a beep. This information can be used to calculate a variety of things, such as your VO2 max and fitness level. Scores have been presented using dot notation, e.g. a score of level 12, shuttle 7 would be represented as 12.7.

Normative data

Male

Age Excellent Average Poor
14–16 12.7 8.9 < 6.6
17–20 12.12 9.2 < 7.3
21–30 12.12 9.3 < 7.5
31–40 11.7 6.10 < 6.4
41–50 10.4 6.9 < 5.2

Female

Age Excellent Average Poor
14–16 10.9 6.7 < 4.7
17–20 10.11 6.8 < 4.9
21–30 10.8 6.6 < 4.9
31–40 10.4 6.3 < 4.5
41–50 9.9 5.7 < 4.1
Source: Beashel P. et al; The world of sport examined; 1997

National team scores

Sport Male Female
Basketball 11.5 9.6
Hockey 13.9 12.7
Rugby League 13.1
Netball 9.7
Squash 13.13
Source: Beashel P. et al; The world of sport examined; 1997

VO2 Max

VO2 max is the maximum capacity of an individual's body to transport and use oxygen during incremental exercise. The name is derived from V for volume, O2 for oxygen, and max for maximum. When used to compare the performance of endurance sports athletes it is expressed as a relative rate in milliliters of oxygen per kilogram of bodyweight per minute (ml/kg/min).

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Test Variations

Our default Standard beep test is also known as the Eurofit Test. This protocol is commonly used in Europe and Australia. It was first published by the Council of Europe for Sport in 1983.

From version 1.3, we provide 11 beep test variations. You can choose from any of these tests:

Standard (Eurofit)

The Standard Test starts with a speed of 8.0 km/h for the first level, then goes to 9.0 km/h for the second level. After that the speed for each level increases by 0.5 km/h.

The number of shuttles per level is set to keep each level to approximately 1 minute.

This version of the test is typically used by organisations in the UK and Australia, including the Australian Defence Forces.

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Standard 8.5 (Léger)

The Standard 8.5 test starts with a speed of 8.5 km/h and increases every level thereafter by 0.5 km/h. This test is the same as the Standard test apart from the speed of the first level.

This test variation uses the speeds specified by Luc Léger in 1984.

It is used by Canadian Forces and other organisations.

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Birtwell 40

This test was devised by Ian Birtwell for the Canadian national rugby programme. It uses a distance of 40 metres for each shuttle. The starting speed is faster than the Standard test and the speed increases more quickly for each level.

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PACER 15

PACER is an acronym for Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run and is part of the FitnessGram program. It is based on the original test published by Léger and Lambert in 1982.

This 15 metre shuttle length version is used where there is insufficient space to run the 20 metre version of the test.

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PACER 15 UK Police

The UK Police variation of the PACER 15 test. This variation as used by the UK Police College has slightly different timings to the FitnessGram version.

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PACER 20

PACER is an acronym for Progressive Aerobic Cardiovascular Endurance Run and is part of the FitnessGram program. It is based on the original test published by Léger and Lambert in 1982. The shuttle timings are similar, but different to the Standard (Eurofit) and Standard (Léger) test variations. For example, it starts at 8.0 km/h like the Standard (Eurofit) test, and increases by 0.5 km/h for all levels like the Standard (Léger) test.

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YOYO ETL2

The YoYo tests were created by Bangsbo in Denmark in the 1990s for football (soccer) players. The YoYo Endurance Test Level 1 (ETL1) test is identical to the Standard test. The YoYo Endurance Test Level 2 (ETL2) version was created for more elite athletes, starting at a higher speed than the Standard test.

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YOYO IETL1

The YoYo Intermittent Endurance Test Level 1 is a test variation that tests aerobic fitness in an intermittent way, more like the effort required in a football game. On every second shuttle the athlete rests for 5 seconds before continuing.

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YOYO IETL2

The YoYo Intermittent Endurance Test Level 2 starts at a higher speed than the Level 1 test. On every second shuttle the athlete rests for 5 seconds before continuing.

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YOYO IRTL1

The YoYo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 is designed for football (soccer) players. On every second shuttle the athlete rests for 10 seconds before continuing.

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YOYO IRTL2

The YoYo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 2 starts at a hgher speed than the Level 1 version. On every second shuttle the athlete rests for 10 seconds before continuing.

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Test History

The test was created by Luc Léger from the University of Montreal, and first published in 1983.

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App Notes and Support

If you are doing a crucial test, we recommend that you put your phone into airplane mode to avoid any interruptions.

Contact Us

If you have questions or feedback, tweet @musketmade or email [email protected].

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