CSCS Chapter 13: Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation of Selected Tests
CSCS Study Guide Chapter 13

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    Chapter Goals:

    • Discover the best ways you can measure the selected parameters in relation to athletic performance.
    • Give appropriate field tests.
    • Learn to evaluate and analyze test data and make a normative comparison.
    • Know appropriate statistics.
    • Bring together the results of selected tests in order to generate an athletic profile.

    Measuring Parameters of Athletic Performance

    Maximum Muscular Strength

    This is the force a muscle, or group of muscles can exert in one max effort.

    Anaerobic or Max Muscular Power

    The ability of muscle tissue to exert high force while contracting at high speeds.

    Anaerobic Capacity

    Max energy production rate by combined phosphagen and lactic acid energy systems for activities of moderate duration.

    Local Muscular Endurance

    Muscle’s ability to perform repeated contractions of Submax resistance.

    Aerobic Capacity

    Max rate of energy production for an athlete through oxidation of energy resources.

    Expressed in oxygen volume per kg of body weight per minute. 

    This can be called aerobic power.


    The ability someone has to stop, start, and change directions in a controlled way.


    Movement distance per unit of time.


    A joint’s range of motion.

    Body Composition

    Proportions of fat and lean tissue weight.


    The human body and the science of measurement.

    Height, weight, and body girth measurements.

    Most of the max strength tests use slower movement speeds, thus, they reflect low-speed strength. High-speed strength assessments may involve 1RM of explosive resistance training exercises, height in vertical jump, or times to sprint up a staircase. ATP is the main source of energy for low speed and high-speed strength tests.

    Testing Conditions

    Conditions need to be as similar as possible between athletes and from test to retest in order to enhance reliability.

    Temperature, humidity, surface, and type of equipment need to stay consistent.

    Athletes should not test when they are fatigued, or if glycogen is depleted, or they are full.

    Vertical Jump

    Wall and chalk.

    Commercial Vertec Device: 3 best trials recorded to the closest half an inch.

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    Static Vertical Jump

    Test procedures are about the same as vertical jump, but the countermovement is removed.

    Athletes hold the bottom of a squat for 2 – 3 seconds before jumping.

    Reactive Strength Index

    Boxes of different heights.

    Commercial device for measurement of contact time.

    The athlete starts on the drop box with contact mat 0.2m in front of the box.

    Tell athletes to put their hands on their hips, step forward off the box without coming down or jumping up. When you achieve contact with the ground, jump as high as you can while minimizing the time of contact.

    Obtain jump height and contact times from the measuring device.

    Best of the three trials is taken.

    Calculate the relative strength index as jump height divided by contact time.

    Margaria-Kalamen Test

    The athlete sprints forward to the stairs from 20 feet away from the base of the stairs, and then up the staircase 3 steps at a time.

    Power, measured with watts, is calculated as the weight of the athlete in newtons multiplied by height in meters from the third step to the ninth step divided by the time interval that is measured in seconds. P = ( w x h ) / t

    300 Yard Shuttle

    Pair athletes of close abilities together. 

    Athletes sprint 25 yards away, then sprint back to the first line. Six round trips are made as fast as possible without stopping. 

    Two trial average is recorded to the nearest second.

    Curl Up

    Metronome goes 40 bpm and the individual slowly curls up, lifting their shoulder blades off the matt in time with the metronome.

    Athletes perform as many as they can without stopping, the max is 75.

    Army Push Up

    Starting position is with knees off the ground.

    For army standards, it is as many as can be done in two minutes.

    ACSM Push up For Females

    Starting position is with knees on the ground and legs crossed.

    For ACSM as many reps that can be done nonstop until they fail.

    Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test

    Tests that are more specific with team-based sports, due to the mimicking of short bursts of exercise and then short recovery times.

    The tests consist of 2 by 20-meter shuttle runs at speeds that increase ad are interspersed with 10 seconds recovery times. IRT1 starts at 10km/hr and IRT2 starts at 13. Strength and conditioning professionals should start at IRT1.


    Measure out 20 meters for a test course and arrange the cones. Put the markers 2 meters apart at the ends of the test course for the start and the turning lines. Measure 5 meters behind the starting line.

    Warm-up prior to testing. The athlete runs the course at submaximal effort first.

    Testing starts at the start line.

    On signal, athletes run to the turn line. With the next signal, they return to the start, arriving with the sound.

    The stat marker is passed and the person jogs to the 5-meter mark, then to the start. The athlete then waits for the next sound.

    Athletes place one foot over the start or turn line at each sound.

    Athletes run as long as they maintain the speed of auditory signals.

    The test end by the athlete failing to maintain the set paces.

    There is a warning at the first miss.

    At the end, record the last level and the number of 2 by 20-meter intervals.

    The last speed and interval score can be used in calculating the total distance covered by the athlete.


    Layout A to B 10 yards apart.

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    C is 5 yards left of B

    D is 5 yards right of B

    Test starts at A

    Sprint to B and touch cone with right hand, shuffle left, touch base cone C with the left hand, shuffle right to cone D base with right hand, shuffle left and touch base cone B with left hand, run backward passing A.

    Hexagon Test

    The Athlete hops with two legs from the hexagon in the center over each side and back to the center.

    Start with the side directly in front of the athlete. Continuously in a clockwise way until all six sides are covered three times. 18 total jumps.

    Side length is 24 inches.

    Pro Agility Test

    Athletes Sprint 5 yards left.

    Changes right and sprints for 10 yards.

    Then changes again and sprints 5 yards to the start.

    505 Agility Test

    When given a signal, sprint forward for 10 meters to the timing lights, then sprint 5 meters to the turn line, where they will turn and accelerate off the line.

    Athlete will slow down after going passed the timing lights the second time.

    The best of two is taken down to the nearest 0.1 second.

    The athlete will complete trials turning off the preferred leg.

    Balance Error Scoring System

    The three stance positions are feet together, single-leg stance on nondominant foot with contralateral leg at 90 degrees of flexion, and tandem stance with the dominant foot in front of the other foot. The test is done on a hard surface and then on a soft one.

    Hold stances for 20 seconds with closed eyes and hands on your hips.

    Keep as steady as you can, if losing balance, attempt to regain the initial position as quick as possible.

    Errors are: eye-opening, lifting hands from hips, constant foot touching down, a step, hop, or other movements of stance foot, moving the hip into 30 or more degrees of flexion/abduction, or remaining out of the position for 5 seconds.

    BESS error scores are summed to one score.

    Star Excursion Balance Test

    Athletes stand in the center of the grid with eight 120 cm lines extending at 45-degree increments.

    Athletes keep a single leg stance and face one direction and reach with the contralateral leg as far as possible with each taped line, touching the furthest point they can and returning to a bilateral position. With one trial, the athlete stays facing in the starting direction and the stance leg remains the same, with the other leg doing the reaching.

    Distance from the star’s center to the touched position is taken.

    The starting direction and supporting leg is chosen at random. 3 trials are done for each condition and then the average is taken.

    The trials are discarded if the athlete doesn’t touch the line, the stance foot leaves the grid, the athlete loses balance, or the start and return position isn’t maintained for one second.

    Sit and Reach Test

    A measuring device is taped to the floor.

    At 15 inches, a piece of tape is placed.

    The athlete is shoeless and with the measuring device between their legs. Feet are 12 inches apart with toes pointed up and heels touching the edge of the 15-inch mark. 

    The athlete will reach slowly forward with both their hands as far as they can go on the measuring device. The position is held, the athlete should exhale and drop their head between their arms when reaching.

    3 best trials are recorded to the nearest fourth of an inch.

    Overhead Squat

    The athlete holds a wooden dowel over their head with their shoulders flexed fully and elbows locked. The grip is twice the shoulder width and feet are about shoulder-width apart with toes pointing forward or barely out.

    Athlete squats down, the initial action is flexion of hips and knees. Heels remain in contact with the floor.

    The athlete lowers down until the hip crease is below the top of the knee.

    Athletes need to hold this position with the torso upright and the dowel comfortable overhead.

    The athlete does 5 reps, and the tester watches from the side.

    This test is qualitative, and the goal is to assess physical competency, with movements scored with a pass or fail.

    Skinfold Measurement

    Common Sites

    Chest, Thigh, Abdomen, Triceps, Suprailium, Midaxilla, Subscapula, Calf

    Skinfold Measurement Procedure

    Taken on dry skin before exercise.

    Grab skin firm with thumb and index finger.

    Calipers are placed perpendicular to the fold.

    Release the grip of the calipers so there is tension on the fold.

    Read the dial 1 to 2 seconds after grip has been released. Record nearest 0.5 millimeters.

    Get one measurement of each site then repeat them.

    If the measures don’t differ by more than 10%, then take the average.

    Girth Measurements

    Procedures: Put the athlete in a relaxed anatomical position for the measurements.

    Common sites

    Chest, Right upper arm, Right forearm, Waist, Hips, Right thigh, Right Calf.

    Statistical Evaluation Test Data

    Descriptive stats

    Central Tendency

    Mean: average

    Median: Middle score

    Mode: Most frequent score


    Range: from lowest to highest score.

    Standard Deviation: the variability measure of a set scores about the mean.

    Percentile Rank

    The percent of people tested scoring below the individual.

    Inferential stats

    Allows someone to give general conclusions about a population in a sample.

    Population sample is representative.

    Normal Bell Curve

    Magnitude stats

    Gives useful approaches to practitioners because it allows interpretation of the clinical significance of fitness testing.

    Developing an Athletic Profile

    Select tests for measuring specific parameters closely related to the sport of choice.

    Choose valid reliable tests in the best order.

    Give the test to as many as you can.

    Determine worthwhile changes for tests and compare normative data.

    Repeat the testing.

    See the results in a meaningful way.

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    CSCS Chapter 13: Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation of Selected Tests 1
    CSCS Chapter 13: Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation of Selected Tests 2
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