The 3-Minute Step Test – Assessment for Cardiorespiratory Fitness

What’s up, wise guys and gals? Today, we’re doing a fitness assessment known as the 3-Minute Step Test. Its purpose is to assess cardiorespiratory fitness.

First, we need to find a safe bench set at 12-inches high. This is the standard height for assessing and comparing your score to the norms chart below.

Next, set a metronome to 96 beats per minute.

Start the test by stepping up onto the bench in an up-up-down-down sequence. Left, right, left right.

The lead foot may be switch at any time during the test.

Stepping must be in sync with the metronome, one step for each beat.

Step for a full 3 minutes.

Be sure to practice good form:

  • Keep head up, shoulders back
  • Place entire foot on the step
  • Fully extend knees at the top
  • Step down close to the step
  • Don’t forget to breathe

At the end of the 3 minutes, sit down and monitor your pulse for one full minute. This gives us the recovery heart rate, which shows us how quickly the heart rate returns to resting. You can compare your score to the step test norm chart below. This is to serve as a starting point and you can improve from there.

My score was 86, which puts me into the “good” category. Time for me to wise up and get my cardiorespiratory fitness into the excellent category!

Note: Another heart rate measure you can take for this exercise is called the post exercise heart rate. This tells you at what heart rate you were exercising. After 3 minutes of stepping, take the pulse for 10 seconds and multiple by six.

Enjoy the assessment, have a great day, and make wise choices!

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