‘The Multistage Fitness Test’, more commonly known in school sports halls as ‘the bleep test’, is a borderline sadistic system devised to estimate your VO2 max, and very broadly speaking, your fitness levels.
You may remember running endless cone-to-cone shuttles, trying desperately to keep up with the soundtrack of loud beeps emanating from a scratchy cassette, but this workout trades plimsole clad sprints for the vertical drop of the burpee, meaning this is one lesson you can swot up for absolutely anywhere.
The test involves following an audio recording of a set of timed ‘beeps’ (which can be found on iTunes, Spotify or YouTube, by simply searching for ‘multistage fitness test'). To refresh your memory, you’d traditionally begin a sprint each time the audio sounds, with the gaps between beeps progressively shortening at each ‘stage’. In this workout you’ll forego the running in favour of dropping to the deck and performing two to five reps of the ever versatile burpee at each tone. Choose a higher rep count for a quicker, intense blast, or drop the reps to two for a long, hardcore, lung grinder.
Rack up your rep count as the intervals between beeps grow progressively shorter. Once you can no longer perform the prescribed work before the next beep sounds, class is over. The final beep you managed to complete successfully indicates your score; tot up your reps make a note of your finishing ‘level’, and aim to best it on subsequent attempts to ensure progress.
1. Burpee x 2-5 reps at each beep
Stand tall, take a breath and squat down, placing both hands on the floor between your feet. Jump your feet back into the top of a press-up position before lowering your chest to the ground (A). Straighten your arms and hop your feet forwards, before jumping into the air, touching your hands above your head (B) Focus on your breathing throughout, this will take you a long way.
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