FITNESS

THE BLEEP TEST IN SOCCER

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The fitnessgram pacer test is a multistage aerobic capacity test that allows us to determine the maximum aerobic power or VO2 max. To apply the bleep test you will need comfortable clothes and suitable footwear, a smooth running area 20 meters long, marked with two lines at its ends, and the bleep test audio.

It is a test of maximum endurance. The beeps sound faster and faster, specifically the rate of the bleep increases 0.5 km/h every minute. Every time a beep sounds we must reach the baseline and step with one foot on the other side of it, which means that each time we must run faster. The test ends when we are unable to reach the end line in time on two consecutive occasions or when we withdraw.

The Origin of the Fitnessgram Pacer Test

Also known as the Leger Test, in honor of its creator, Professor Luc LĂ©ger, professor at the University of Montreal (Canada), the Pacer dates from 1988. Subsequently, this 20-meter test has been modified on many occasions with the aim of adapt it to different sports. One of the most famous adaptations to soccer is the yoyo test.

How Long is the 20 Meter Test

The beep test lasts as long as we are able to endure, but we can say that the maximum duration is around 20 minutes. In any case, this will depend on the age of the participant and gender, since there are certain physiological differences between man and woman that modify the air max VO2. The coach and his assistants will stand in the running side zones at the ends and check that the players step on the other side of the line when the bleeps sounds. If a player fails to do so, the coach will raise his hand, if on the following bleeps the player fails  again, he will be asked to abandon the test.

Bleep Test Results

As with other physical test in soccer, such as the Yoyo Test for example, there are scales that allow us to assess the physical level of our players. Below you can find the results of the multi-stage fitness test to evaluate the aerobic power of your soccer players depending on their ages and sex.

On the left you can se the age and gender of the participants and on the top the mark obtained, from 0 to 10. Depending on the level of your footballers, your demands as a coach will be different. In any case, we must ensure that all players have an adequate aerobic capacity that allows them to practice soccer without any risk to their health. The Pacer Test is not only used in football, or in schools, institutes or educational centers, but also to evaluate the fitness levels of applicants in different organizations, such as the Swedish Army, in which to enter you must obtain a grade 9.5 minimum.

📈 MARK♂ ≀ 12♂ ≀ 13♂ ≀ 14♂ ≀ 15♂ ≀ 16♂ ≄ 17♀ ≀ 12♀ ≀ 13♀ ≀ 14♀ ≀ 15♀ ≀ 16♀ ≄ 17
1010.511.51313.51414.599.51010.51111
9,5101112.51313.5148.599.51010.510.5
99.510.51212.51313.588.599.51010
8,591011.51212.5137.588.599.59.5
88.59.51111.51212.577.588.599
7,58910.51111.5126.577.588.58.5
77.58.51010.51111.566.577.588
6,5789.51010.5115.566.577.57.5
66.57.599.51010.555.566.577
5,5678.599.5104.555.566.56.5
55.56.588.599.544.555.566
4,5567.588.593.544.555.55.5
44.55.577.588.533.544.555
3,5456.577.582.533.544.54.5
33.54.566.577.522.533.544
2,5345.566.571.522.533.53.5
22.53.555.566.511.522.533
1,5234.555.5611.522.533
11.52.544.555.511.522.533
0,5123.544.550.511.522.52.5

Relationship between Beep Test and VO2 Max

The most appropriate way to calculate the maximum aerobic capacity is in a specialized medical center with vo2 max testing equipment. This is a practice that, as a minimum, should be carried out every year at the beginning of the season to rule out any type of heart problem that could put the footballers’ health at risk. Currently there are highly developed fitness testing equipment. However, they are very specific and expensive instruments that are not available to everyone. This is the reason why the fitnessgram pacer test has become so popular. It is easy to perform, it is cheap and it gives us a very useful information for planning our soccer workouts. The formula used to calculate VO2 Max. in the 20 meter pacer test is:

5.857 x Last step reached (Km/h) – 19.45

Although it is interesting to know the value of the maximum oxygen consumption, from a practical point of view it will not provide us with anything interesting. What is very important is to always record, in an Excel sheet for example, the last step reached by our players and the date on which it was done. This will allow us to have a record and to evaluate the physical evolution, as well as his physical condition regarding his teammates.

ROUNDSPACELAPSDISTANCE
18,5 km/h7140 metros
29 km/h8300m
39,5 km/h8460m
410 km/h8620m
510,5 km/h9800m
611 km/h9980m
711,5 km/h101180m
812 km/h101380m
912,5 km/h101580m
1013 km/h111800m
1113,5 km/h112020m
1214 km/h122260m
1314,5 km/h122500m
1415 km/h132760m
1515,5 km/h133020m
1616 km/h133280m
1716,5 km/h143560m
1817 km/h143840m
1917,5 km/h154140m
2018 km/h154440m

Key Points for the Pacer Test

Some tips for taking the 20 meter bleep test are the following:

  • A good warm-up. Although the test begins at a very gentle pace, practically walking, it is advisable to warm up a little and do some previous stretches that prepare us for the effort.
  • Check that your shoes are well laced and that your sports equipment is correct. Once you start running you cannot stop and any little detail can make you feel uncomfortable.
  • Go to the toilet and drink some water before you start, but not too much. It is convenient to prevent any type of uncomfortable sensation once we have started the test.
  • Be careful when changing direction, make a good support, avoid slipping and turn each time to the side if possible. As the minutes pass, it becomes more difficult to pay attention to these aspects.
  • Choosing well the type of surface to perform this test is essential. The turf field is much heavier at the muscular level, also the whistles will be heard worse. Whenever possible we will do it on an indoor track.
  • Beware of bluetooth speakers and mobile phones. If you get a message in the middle of the test, the bluetooth disconnects or anything else happens can completely spoil the test. 
  • Divide the team into groups that are easy to control and tell the players to remember the period when they quit the test. If you put all the players to run at the same time, it will be very difficult for you to control the test. Remember that taking is essential to be able to compare in the future.

Download the Bleep Test Audio

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