Bleep test

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The bleep test, or multi-stage fitness test, is one way to measure your endurance fitness. It provides a guide to your uptake of oxygen and how effective your body is using it to generate energy.

The idea is to run 20 metre lengths in time with a timed ‘bleep’ – these are called shuttles. Every minute the intervals between the bleeps get shorter, so you must run faster to keep up.

The theory is that it will take you to your fitness limit so only do the bleep test if you are healthy and have a reasonable level of fitness already.

Download a Bleep Test app. There are lots of free apps to choose from for both iOS and Android phones.

Step by step

Start with your foot on the starting line.
Run to the other line when you hear the first bleep.
If you reach the other line before the next bleep, wait until you hear it and then run back.
When you hear three bleeps, you have moved up a level so the time between bleeps is shorter. You’ll need to increase your pace.
Keep doing this in time with the bleep until you can no longer keep up with it.
If you don’t reach the line by the bleep, don’t give up straight away. See if you can make up the time for another couple of shuttles.


Try doing this test once a week to see how your fitness is improving over time.
If you haven’t got a Bleep test app, all you need is a stop watch.
See how many shuttles you can run in a minute, then rest for a minute. Run shuttles for another minute and see if you can beat your score, then rest for a minute.
Repeat this up to five times.
Make a note of the total shuttles you have run, and try and beat it next time.