IMPORTANT: You will complete some (but not all) of the activities from the Exercise Physiology lab handout,
and additionally you will complete some extra activities that are described below. See list below.
Some of these tests will be easier if you have someone to help you out, but you can also do most everything
on your own.
Once you have completed the activities below, write a Discussion of your results. Your Discussion should be no
less than 300 words.
Use the Exercise Physiology lab to help you write your Discussion! It has many tables that will allow you to
compare your results to average scores.
Some things to keep in mind for your Discussion:
Insights are provided into the wider implications of the results
Possible reasons for significant discrepancies are suggested and specific
Conclusion is clearly and logically drawn from data provided
A logical chain of reasoning from data to conclusions is clearly and persuasively explained
Conflicting data, if present, are adequately addressed
Complete the following activities:
Take notes and record your results for each test. You will need this for your Discussion.
Calculate BMI (described in the lab lab handout)
One minute timed sit-ups (described in the lab lab handout)
Push-up test (described in the lab lab handout)
PA-R score (described in the lab lab handout)
Flexibility Measurement – Trunk Lift (described below)
Measure your trunk length.
Sit in a firm chair with your chin level.
Measure the distance from the tip of your nose to the seat of the chair.
Lie face down on the floor and place both hands under your hips.
Lift your trunk as high as possible off the floor.
Record the difference between the floor and the tip of your nose.
Perform three trials.
To calculate your score, subtract your best trial from your trunk length.
Use the table below to get a flexibility rating.
Men Poor Fair Average Good Excellent
Trunk flexion 10.25 or more 10-8.25 8-6.25 6-3.25 3 or less
Trunk flexion 10 or more 9.75-8 7.75-6 5.75-2.25 2 or less
Cardiovascular Endurance – The Step Method (visit link for description)
The Measurable Elements of Physical Fitness and Wellness
As a fitness professional or if you are working within the field of physical therapy or cardiac rehabilitation, you
need to master the basic principles and techniques of fitness and health assessment. The results are obtained
by this type of assessment will allow you to scientifically develop sound exercise programs to meet the
client/patient needs, interests, and abilities. These tests are also essential for monitoring the effectiveness of
the exercise program.
When defining physical fitness, it is important to identify the components that can be measured, defined, and
developed separately from each other. Physical fitness components can be broken down into two major
categories: health-related fitness components and skill-related components.
Health-related fitness includes the essential parts of a fitness profile. This includes cardiorespiratory
endurance, body composition, flexibility, musculoskeletal strength, and musculoskeletal endurance. Skillrelated components include agility, balance, coordination, speed, power, and reaction time.
To begin the lab, the first thing that needs to be determined is whether the subject (you) is at low, medium, or
high risk for cardiovascular or metabolic disease. To assess this, complete the health assessment and
determine your risk factor according to the chart. If you are low risk or moderate risk, you will complete the lab
individually in class. However, if you fall into the high risk category OR if you know of a medical reason not to
participate in this lab, please let the instructor know. You will participate in the lab by helping gather data for
others and you will be allowed to use another individual’s results for this lab.
An important component of fitness and health assessment is body measurements, which are commonly used
in two major ways. The first use of body measurements is to determine waist to hip ratios and to help calculate
BMI. The other major use of body measurements is to record the measurements for comparison at a later date.
Either at home or in the lab, use a flexible tape measure to record the following eight body measurements.
- Neck – Standing, measure your neck at its largest girth, right over the Adam’s apple.
- Shoulder – Standing and can either be measured as a straight line from the largest points on each shoulder
across the chest or as a girth measurement all the way around the body.
- Chest – Standing, measure with breathe out just above the nipple.
- Biceps – Measure at its largest girth, can be taken relaxed with arms at side, relaxed with arm bent, flexed
with arm bent or all three.
- Waist – Standing, measure at the narrowest point or at the midway point between the top of the hip bone and
the bottom of the rib cage.
- Hips – Measure at the largest girth, where the butt is protruding the greatest.
- Thigh – Standing, measure at the largest girth, just below the butt.
- Calf – Seated if you are measuring yourself or standing if you have a partner, measure at its largest girth.
Chest __________Biceps ___________
Thigh __________Calf _____________
From these measurements, two important indices can be calculated. The first, BMI or body mass index is a
number calculated with reference to an individual’s weight and height. This number can then be used
estimated health and to predict and estimate VO2max.
To calculate BMI, use the following formula:
BMI = mass (kg) BMI: _
For classification, see the chart on the bottom of the page.
Another important relationship which can be calculated is the waist/hip ratio. This is a simple equation and is
one that can be used to estimated health.
WHR = waist circumference
hip circumference WHR: ___
When the WHR is greater than 0.94 in males or 0.86 in females, the individual is at greater risk for health risks
associated with obesity.
Cardiorespiratory Fitness (Aerobic Fitness/Maximal Oxygen Consumption)
Energy for human movement is primarily derived from the breakdown of carbohydrates and fats from the
energy carrier molecule adenosine triphosphate, ATP. ATP can either be formed from anaerobic and/or aerobic
pathways to fuel the body tissues with energy during physical activity.
When we look at the increasing demands of energy needs for sustained period, we must look at how the body
adapts to the changing demands. Cardiorespiratory fitness is defined as the boy’s ability to adapt to increasing
energy production over a prolonged period of time. For the body to facilitate and increase in energy production,
the cardiovascular system responds by increasing cardiac output (through increases in heart rate and stroke
volume) and reducing peripheral resistance to blood flow in the active muscle, and the respiratory system
responds by increasing the unloading of oxygen to the active tissue.
In the field we refer to the body’s ability to adapt to the increasing demands of activity as aerobic fitness, the
maximal capacity to take in, transport, and utilize oxygen. Thus, it is dependent on both the cardiovascular and
respiratory systems. Exercise physiologists measure this capacity as maximal oxygen consumption (max
VO2). Maximal VO2 can be measure in either absolute values directly related to body size (L/min or ml/min) or
in relative values that consider body weight (ml/kg/min). Thus relative VO2 may change due to an increase in
functioning of the cardiorespiratory system and /or the loss or gain of body weight.
Types of Maximal Oxygen Consumption Tests
In clinical and research laboratories, max VO2 is measured directly through a maximal oxygen consumption
test. These tests require expensive equipment and experienced personnel (including a physician).
During a max VO2 test, the subject begins by performing a brief warm-up. Then, through a mouthpiece, they
are hooked up to an air analyzer that measures both oxygen consumed and carbon dioxide expired. The
subject then performs an exercise test on a treadmill (or ergometer) in which the test protocol increases the
workload until the subject can no longer perform the task (complete fatigue). Since it is expensive and difficult
to perform, the submaximal test was developed to estimate VO2 max.
Through research, there have been many submaximal protocols developed to estimate max VO2 by
performing at lower intensities than maximal effort. These tests were developed on the assumptions that
steady state heart rates can be measured at any given exercise intensity and there is a linear relationship
between heart rate/oxygen consumption and workload. This means as workload increase, there should be an
increase in heart rate and oxygen consumption. Most submaximal VO2 tests use protocols similar to the
maximal test, just terminating as a predetermined heart rate or intensity.
Types of Submaximal Oxygen Consumption Tests
Depending on the facilities available you will have many options for measuring submaximal VO2. They range
from utilizing very sophisticated equipment to field tests that are great for use with large groups or if you only
have a stopwatch.
The field test is a simple, inexpensive protocol that estimates aerobic fitness. Since all that is usually needed is
a stopwatch, an area that has a predetermined distance, and the ability to accurately measure post exercise
heart rate. These tests can use walking, running, swimming, cycling, or bench stepping as the mode of
exercise. Please note that these types of tests are not used diagnostically, but just to evaluate aerobic fitness.
Prediction of VO2 max:
Maximal VO2 is a way to assess physical fitness before starting an exercise program so exercise programming
can be specific to a individual. Even without completing a field test, one can mathematically predict VO2max.
Developed by Jackson, et al (1990) the researchers used factors such as age, gender, BMI or percent body fat,
and a ranking of physical activity to predict VO2max. This mathematical model is called the N-EX.
Now determine your PA-R score from page 16:
Now calculate your predicted max VO2 using the following N-EX BMI Model Equation:
VO2 max (ml/kg/min) = 56.363 + 1.921 (PA-R score) – 0.381 (age) – 0.754 (BMI)
VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 67.350 + 1.921 (PA-R score) – 0.381(age) – 0.754(BMI)
Predicted VO2 max: _______
Estimation of Max VO2 using a submaximal field test
UKK Institute of Finland (Kukkonen-Harjula, et al, 1998)
For this field test, the client will walk 2 kilometers as fast as they can, while maintaining a speed that allows
them to compete the 2km. Measure the time need for completion of the 2km walk and heart rate at the end of
the test. Using that data, estimate VO2 max using the appropriate equation as follows:
VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 116.2 – 2.98(time) -0.11(heart rate) – 0.14(age) – 0.39(BMI)
VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 184.0- 4.65(time) -022(heart rate) – 0.26 (age) – 1.05 (BMI)
1.5 Mile Run Test (George, et al, 1993)
For the 1.5 mile run/walk test, have your client run 1.5 miles as fast as they can. Measure the time needed for
completion of the 1.5 mile run. Using that data, estimate vo2max from the following equation:
VO2max (ml/kg/min) = 88.02 -0.1656 (weight in kg) -2.76(time in minutes-seconds in decimal form) + 3.716
(gender: male=0, female=1)
Calculate Estimated VO2max from submaximal field test:
Time:________Heart Rate: ____
Age _________BMI __________
Weight (kg) _
Estimated VO2max (ml/kg/min) = ___________________
Standard Values for VO2 max in mL/kg/min (Gettman, 1987)