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CV Fitness Testing: YMCA 3-Min Step Test

There are many different fitness tests out there, but today I am going to go show one simple and quick way to assess your own cardiovascular fitness level with the YMCA 3-Min Step Test.

Equipment Needed:

1. 12" Step

2. Stopwatch

3. Metronome

How to implement the YMCA 3-Min Step Test:

  1. Measure a 12" step

  2. Start your metronome at 96 bpm (you will step "up, up, down, down" to the beat)

  3. Start your 3-minute timer at the exact time you start stepping

  4. Sit down within 5s of ending the test

  5. Take your recovery heart rate for 1 FULL MINUTE

  6. Recored your score



Contraindications: (1)

  • Individuals who are extremely overweight

  • Individuals with balance concerns

  • Individuals with orthopedic problems (e.g., knee or low-back)

  • Individuals who are extremely deconditioned, as the intensity of the test may require near-maximal effort

  • Individuals who are short in stature, as they may have trouble with the step height

Consult first with your doctor or health care professional before starting this or any other fitness program to determine if it is right for your needs. Especially if you (or your family) have a history of high blood pressure or heart disease, or if you have ever experienced chest pain when exercising or have experienced chest pain in the past month when not engaged in physical activity, smoke, have high cholesterol, are obese, or have a bone or joint problem that could be made worse by a change in physical activity. Do not start this fitness program if your physician or health care provider advises against it. If you experience faintness, dizziness, pain or shortness of breath at any time while exercising you should stop immediately.

1. American Council on Exercise. "Ace group fintess instructor fitness assessment protocols".

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