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 of 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 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.

Agility

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

Speed

Movement distance per unit of time.

Flexibility

A joint’s range of motion.

Body Composition

Proportions of fat and lean tissue weight.

Anthropometry

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 the vertical jump, or times to sprint up a staircase. ATP is the main energy source 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 to enhance reliability.

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

Athletes should not test when they are fatigued if glycogen is depleted, or if 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 a contact mat 0.2m in front of the box.

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

Obtain jump height and contact times from the measuring device.

The 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 athlete’s weight in newtons multiplied by height in meters from the third step to the ninth step divided by the time interval 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

The 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 can be done nonstop until they fail.

Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test

Tests that are more specific with team-based sports, due to mimicking 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.

Procedures

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 before 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 with the athlete failing to maintain the set paces.

There is a warning at the first miss.

Finally, 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.

T-Test

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

The test starts at A

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

The 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.

An athlete will slow down after passing the timing lights the second time.

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

The athlete will complete trials by 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 possible; if losing balance, attempt to regain the initial position as quickly 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, 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 are 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 hands as far as possible 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.

The athlete squats down; the initial action is the flexion of the 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 must 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, Subscapular, 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 the grip has been released. Record the nearest 0.5 millimeters.

Get one measurement of each site, then repeat them.

Take the average if the measures don’t differ by more than 10%.

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

Variability

Range: from lowest to highest score.

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

Percentile Rank

The percentage of people tested who score below the individual.

Inferential stats

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

The 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
CSCS Chapter 13: Administration, Scoring, and Interpretation of Selected Tests 3

Tyler Read

Tyler Read, BSc, CPT. Tyler holds a B.S. in Kinesiology from Sonoma State University and is a certified personal trainer (CPT) with NASM (National Academy of sports medicine), and has over 15 years of experience working as a personal trainer. He is a published author of running start, and a frequent contributing author on Healthline and Eat this, not that.

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