So you think you’re fit, huh?!

…have you ever tested your fitness though?! How do you know when you have made progress if you have no way of measuring it? The Cooper 12-minute run test is one way…

It basically predicts your VO2 max which is a measure of cardiovascular fitness (specifically cardiorespiratory endurance). All you need is a treadmill (or track) and a stopwatch. 

The aim of the game is to see what distance you can cover in the 12 minutes at a sustainable pace. SO, there’s no up and down in speed throughout; you are permitted to increase or decrease the speed at the 6 minute mark only. Once you have reached 12 minutes, record the distance to the nearest 100 metres (along with age and gender) to calculate an estimate of aerobic capacity (VO2 max). 

p.s make sure you do a short warm up and cool down before you do the full 12 minutes. You can use the warm up to maybe gauge which speed you will work at during the test.

Here is the equation (it’s an easy one!)

VO2 max = (distance in metres – 505) / 45 

Now check out the table below to work out where your distance places you…

Age Very good Good Average Bad Very bad
13-14 M 2700+ m 2400 – 2700 m 2200 – 2399 m 2100 – 2199 m 2100- m
F 2000+ m 1900 – 2000 m 1600 – 1899 m 1500 – 1599 m 1500- m
15-16 M 2800+ m 2500 – 2800 m 2300 – 2499 m 2200 – 2299 m 2200- m
F 2100+ m 2000 – 2100 m 1700 – 1999 m 1600 – 1699 m 1600- m
17-20 M 3000+ m 2700 – 3000 m 2500 – 2699 m 2300 – 2499 m 2300- m
F 2300+ m 2100 – 2300 m 1800 – 2099 m 1700 – 1799 m 1700- m
20-29 M 2800+ m 2400 – 2800 m 2200 – 2399 m 1600 – 2199 m 1600- m
F 2700+ m 2200 – 2700 m 1800 – 2199 m 1500 – 1799 m 1500- m
30-39 M 2700+ m 2300 – 2700 m 1900 – 2299 m 1500 – 1899 m 1500- m
F 2500+ m 2000 – 2500 m 1700 – 1999 m 1400 – 1699 m 1400- m
40-49 M 2500+ m 2100 – 2500 m 1700 – 2099 m 1400 – 1699 m 1400- m
F 2300+ m 1900 – 2300 m 1500 – 1899 m 1200 – 1499 m 1200- m
50+ M 2400+ m 2000 – 2400 m 1600 – 1999 m 1300 – 1599 m 1300- m
F 2200+ m 1700 – 2200 m 1400 – 1699 m 1100 – 1399 m 1100- m

Here is the VO2max chart for the guys:

Age (years)
rating 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
excellent > 60 > 56 > 51 > 45 > 41 > 37
good 52-60 49-56 43-51 39-45 36-41 33-37
above average 47-51 43-48 39-42 36-38 32-35 29-32
average 42-46 40-42 35-38 32-35 30-31 26-28
below average 37-41 35-39 31-34 29-31 26-29 22-25
poor 30-36 30-34 26-30 25-28 22-25 20-21
very poor < 30 < 30 < 26 < 25 < 22 < 20

And for the girls:

Age (years)
rating 18-25 26-35 36-45 46-55 56-65 65+
excellent > 56 > 52 > 45 > 40 > 37 > 32
good 47-56 45-52 38-45 34-40 32-37 28-32
above average 42-46 39-44 34-37 31-33 28-31 25-27
average 38-41 35-38 31-33 28-30 25-27 22-24
below average 33-37 31-34 27-30 25-27 22-24 19-21
poor 28-32 26-30 22-26 20-24 18-21 17-18
very poor < 28 < 26 < 22 < 20 < 18 < 17

The last time I measured my VO2 max was in May of 2012 using the Rockport Walking Test in which I calculated my VO2 max to be 44.97 (above average according to the table above). So I think it’s time to remeasure (using the Cooper test) and see if there has been any improvement! 

So who is gonna give it a go with me?! Let me know your scores in the comments section below…

Elle 🙂 x

P.S Safety always comes first. If you are new to exercise ensure you seek advice from your GP. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids, wear appropriate clothing and carry out drills in a suitable space. Technique is paramount, and nothing should hurt. Should you experience pain, discomfort, nausea, dizziness, chest pain, shortness of breath etc, STOP and consult your GP. 

Follow:

2 Comments

  1. Billy Martin
    February 4, 2013 / 18:19

    I've gotta try this, thanks Elle 🙂

    • Elle Linton
      February 5, 2013 / 09:38

      Let me know how you get on 🙂

Leave a Reply