Customising STEP tests for your clients | fit.test

STEP tests can be so much better than the old, single stage heart rate step tests

Customising an exercise test makes perfect sense and it is easy

Olivia, we’re going to do a individualised exercise test on a step bench. This customised step test has so many advantages over the well known step tests and I have made another post here on those advantages which is well worth looking at.

This is a test designed specifically for you, so we’re going to start at a level you can manage very easily. That is a stepping speed equivalent to very, very light exercise intensity and each minute we’re going to increase the step speed a little until you reach fatigue or earlier than that if you want to stop. The step bench height can be varied: use a higher step for fitter individuals or taller individuals. You will need a metronome: there are many free metronome apps available. The one that I use is called MetroTimer. Set the metronome at 4 times the speed of the number of steps needed per minute: for example, if your client is stepping at 14 steps per minute, then set the metronome at 14 x 4 = 56 so that beeps happen for UP-UP-DOWN-DOWN. You can download my exercise record sheet from Articles on this website and this will do all of the calculations for you. Just follow that stepping speed progression on the data sheet. You do not need the lowest step speeds for fitter individuals: just start at a higher speed.

Olivia, we’re going to keep going up to about hard or maybe even very hard. So there’s the next level now. And I’m going to measure your heart rate and your work rate on the bike each minute and input that into the program. So what level are you at now? I’m at 9/20 exertion level.

Going to the next level now. And what level are you at now? I am at 12/20. So it’s between very light and fairly light. What level are you at now? I am at 14/20 now. OK that’s between somewhat hard and hard. 

And the next workload now. I am feeling it at 15/20 exertion now.  

OK, so you can just stop there. 

And we’ve estimated your aerobic fitness to be 36 ml/kg/min which is very good for your age.

We will be able to prescribe exercise based on your test and prescribe for cycling or walking or running. Thanks for volunteering.