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Over a third of UK adults wear a fitness tracker. Despite varying levels of accuracy, these trackers – including smart watches, fitness watches, and other wearables – have been shown to promote habits which benefit our overall health. 

A large-scale 2022 research study determined that wearable activity trackers are associated with a clinically significant increase in exercise motivation and aerobic capacity, as well as being positively associated with weight loss and a decrease in blood pressure. 

Similarly, a UCLA study found that the positive effects of activity trackers were compounded by combining the tracker with personalised feedback designed to reinforce behaviour changes. The study highlighted the importance of having guidance and encouragement to maintain the lifestyle that the trackers prompt. It goes to show that even with so much data at our fingertips, it can be difficult to translate our daily metrics into an action plan – especially if we’re not seeing the results we want.  

Health and fitness tests offer a way to step back from the day-to-day measurements (which can hide the real changes) and establish new baseline metrics or view your progress through an in-depth assessment.

Whether you’re hitting a plateau with your workouts or completely new to fitness, health and fitness testing can provide personalised insights into where you currently stand and how you can progress. In this article, we’ll offer a comprehensive overview of what health and fitness testing is and how it can benefit you.

What is Health and Fitness Testing?

A fitness test, or a fitness assessment, is a series of tests designed to offer an overall assessment of your fitness level. Similarly, health testing involves a series of tests and measurements that offer insights into your physical health. 

Health and fitness testing is a broad category that can include several different test types, including tests to establish your body composition, range of movement, strength, cardiovascular capacity, bone strength, heart health, metabolic health, and more.   

These tests might be carried out by professionals such as doctors, medical specialists, nurses, personal trainers, coaches, physiotherapists, or fitness specialists.

What Can Fitness Testing Tell You About Your Health?

Health and fitness tests can offer you a wealth of information about your current health and fitness levels, including your:

  • Metabolic health
  • Cardiovascular fitness/aerobic endurance
  • Muscle power and strength
  • Muscular endurance
  • Bone health
  • Cholesterol levels
  • Blood sugar levels and diabetes risk
  • And much more!

How Accurate is Fitness Testing?

The accuracy and reliability of a given fitness test depend not only on the type of test, the equipment it is carried out with, and the expertise of the person carrying out the test but also on day-to-day variables such as:

  • The time of day
  • Temperature and humidity of the testing space
  • Length of warm-up
  • Whether a person performs the test fasted
  • How rested or tired a person is when they perform the test 

Tests administered in a consistent environment, with well-checked equipment and clear instructions given to the test-taker are more likely to be accurate and reproducible. This is particularly important if you are looking to retake health and fitness tests at a later date to compare results. 

To make sure your fitness tests are as accurate as possible, make sure to:

  • Follow any instructions regarding fasting or time of day
  • Provide any up-to-date medical information to the test administrator
  • Ask questions if you are unsure about how to carry out a test
  • Give each test the maximum effort you can (without causing pain)

For the best results, consider working with a lab that specialises in the type of tests you’re seeking, whether that’s a DEXA scan for body composition, a VO2 Max test to determine cardiovascular endurance, or baseline blood tests to gain a clearer picture of your overall health. 

Not sure what type of testing would benefit you? We’ll cover how to choose the right health and fitness test for you a little later on.

Who Can Benefit from Health and Fitness Testing?

The short answer is that anyone interested in improving their health and fitness can benefit from testing. All sorts of people access testing, including:

  • Professional athletes
  • Recreational athletes
  • Those interested in remaining healthy and active as they get older
  • Regular gym-goers 
  • Those interested in monitoring or improving their blood sugar
  • Those interested in monitoring or improving their cholesterol
  • Those considering their health and fitness for the first time

Regardless of where you’re at, how active you currently are, or your reasons for fitness testing, health and fitness testing can help empower you to reach your health and fitness goals. 

What Are the Benefits of Health and Fitness Testing?

Why is fitness testing important? 

Fitness testing can give you the information you need to unlock new levels of athletic performance, optimise your general health, or set targeted goals for your health and fitness. Many people turn to fitness testing to:

Establish baseline measurements 

Making changes to your health and fitness starts with knowing where you’re at. Gaining accurate measurements of your baseline level of health and fitness gives you something to measure against as you take the next step on your fitness journey. This can boost motivation and provide concrete “proof” of your hard work, especially if you’re struggling to notice your results in your day-to-day life.

Identify your strengths and weaknesses

Fitness testing is a quantified way to identify strengths and weaknesses in your overall fitness, aerobic endurance, and muscle strength and power. Equipped with information about your specific body type, fitness level, and general health, you’ll be empowered to make data-informed changes to your workouts and nutrition – removing any guesswork.

Create targeted goals 

Finally, health and fitness testing gives you the information you need to create targeted goals that reflect your body, goals, and motivation. No more one-size-fits-all workout plans.

What Are the Limitations of Fitness Testing?

As with any decision relating to your health and well-being, it’s important to consider the pros and cons of fitness testing for your circumstances before committing. A fitness consultation can be a great way to assess which tests might be the best options for you as you continue your health and fitness journey.

 

Types of Health and Fitness Testing

The image is an infographic entitled 'Types of Fitness Tests', with this text displayed in a central oval on a teal background. Six types of fitness test are displayed in ovals around the central category: Blood tests; Body Composition; Cardiorespiratory; Metabolic; Muscular Endurance; Functional Movement Assessment.

 

With such a wide range of tests, providers, and reasons for seeking health and fitness testing, it’s crucial to be clear about the types of tests you are seeking and why. A professional health and fitness consultation can be a great way to talk through your goals, concerns, and questions before booking. 

Body composition testing

Body composition testing aims to measure the amount of fat, muscle, bone, and other mass in the body – or some combination thereof. Body composition tests vary in accuracy, accessibility, and detail of information they provide. 

Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA)

What is it: Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) (sometimes referred to as bioelectrical impedance (BEI)) is a technology that devices such as bodyweight scales can use to measure metrics such as body weight and composition. BIA measures the rate at which an electrical current travels through the body to calculate an estimate of adipose tissue, or body fat percentage. 

What does it test: A BIA scale can be used to estimate a person’s fat-free mass. Then, based on demographic information provided such as gender, height, and weight, an estimation of body fat percentage can be made. 

How is it performed: Bioelectrical impedance is incorporated into devices such as home smart scales and the more advanced scales found in gym changing rooms. These may feature handholds, and require the user to stand barefoot in order for the current to pass through the body. 

Pros:

  • Is a quick and easy way to estimate body composition
  • Can be measured at home or the gym

Cons: 

  • Is not as accurate as 3-compartment measures of body composition, such as a DEXA scan
  • Has been seen to underestimate body fat percentage 
  • Doesn’t analyse where body fat and lean mass are located
  • Can vary day-to-day due to hydration, exercise, and more 

Who is it best for: Bioelectrical impedance is best for anyone looking for a rough body fat test or estimate of their body composition that they can easily measure at home or the gym.

Skinfold measurements

What is it: A skinfold test, carried out using skinfold callipers, uses skinfold thickness as an estimation of body composition measures such as body fat percentage. 

What does it test: Skinfold measurements are used to offer an estimate of body composition measures, including lean mass and body fat percentages. 

How is it performed: Skinfold callipers can be used to take measurements from various locations of the body, including the following:

  • Abdomen
  • Triceps
  • Quadriceps
  • Below the shoulder blade (subscapular)
  • Above the hip bone (suprailiac)
  • Mid-chest (pectoral) 

Each measurement is ideally taken three times, and an average is calculated. These measurements can then be inserted into an online body composition calculator to offer an estimate of lean mass and body fat.  

Pros:

  • A fairly cheap and accessible measure of body composition 
  • A convenient test that can be carried out at home

Cons:

  • Not as accurate a measure of body composition as a DEXA scan
  • Accuracy is variable depending on the callipers used, the tester’s competency, and the test-taker’s hydration level

Who is it best for: Skinfold measurements are best for anyone looking for a rough estimation of their body fat percentage.

DEXA Scan

What is it: A DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scan is an enhanced, low-level X-ray scan that can be used to measure body composition. Typically performed as a whole-body scan, the DEXA scan works by passing two X-ray beams through the body, which are absorbed at different rates depending on the type of tissue they pass through. The absorption rates allow the DEXA to accurately determine how much fat, muscle, and bone there is in a particular area of the body. 

What does it test: The DEXA scan gives data on body fat percentage and fat deposition (including the android/gynoid ratio and the quantity of visceral fat), lean mass percentage and distribution (including any muscular imbalances), and bone mineral content (BMC) and bone mineral density (BMD). 

How is it performed: A DEXA scan for body composition can be performed in a specialist fitness lab. The DEXA  technician will ask you to undress to your underwear and position you lying face-up on the bed, ensuring that you are evenly spaced. They will also lightly secure your feet to each other so your legs can’t swing. The receiver arm of the scanner will pass over your body in three sweeps in order to gradually build up a picture of you. You will need to remain very still while the scan is happening to ensure the best quality image possible.

Pros: The DEXA is the gold standard test for body composition analysis, offering a detailed breakdown of body fat, lean mass, and bone density segmented by body area. The DEXA is consistently more accurate and precise than two-component body composition measures

Cons: A DEXA scan report is only as beneficial as its interpretation. Since a DEXA scan is often more expensive than more readily accessible (yet less accurate) measures of body composition, it’s worth ensuring the price of your scan includes a professional post-scan consultation to help you turn your results into action. 

Who is it best for: Anyone looking to better understand their body composition, and gain accurate baseline measurements of body fat, visceral fat, and muscle mass, or identify muscular imbalances. 

 

Cardiovascular fitness tests

An athletic woman wearing a mask checks her fitness watch while riding an exercise bike inside. The mask is allowing her to measure her aerobic endurance by performing a VO2 Max test.

Cardiovascular fitness/performance, cardiorespiratory fitness (CRF), cardiorespiratory endurance, and aerobic fitness – these terms all refer to a single concept: the body’s capacity to use its cardiac and respiratory systems to effectively deliver oxygen to muscles during sustained exercise. 

High cardiovascular fitness is positively associated with lower blood pressure and cholesterol levels, increased strength and stamina, and a reduced risk of cardiovascular disease. 

There are several types of cardiovascular fitness tests available, including the VO2 Max, FatMax test, and 12-minute run test. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each test.

VO2 Max 

What is it: The gold standard in cardiovascular assessment, the VO2 Max test is a graded exercise test that measures maximal oxygen uptake. The VO2 Max test is measured in mL/kg/min and measures the maximum rate of oxygen that your body can use during intense exercise. 

What does it test: Cardiovascular fitness/aerobic endurance

How is it performed: The test-taker performs the test by exercising on a treadmill or stationary bike at a steadily increasing intensity. A face mask is fitted to measure the ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide present in both inhaled and exhaled air throughout the test. 

Pros: 

  • Considered the best indicator of cardiovascular fitness
  • Has a high degree of accuracy
  • Offers a wealth of data including maximum heart rate, training zones, respiratory rate, aerobic threshold, anaerobic threshold, and information on how the body burns fats and carbohydrates
  • Personalised insights for weight loss, fat burning, and training efficiency 

Cons: 

  • Relatively time-consuming
  • Can be cost-prohibitive 
  • Needs to be performed by a trained professional, often in a medical setting or sports performance lab
  • The intensive nature of the test means it isn’t suitable for everyone (certain medical conditions may disqualify you from the test without a doctor’s recommendation)

Who is it best for: The VO2 Max test is a great choice for athletes and fitness-oriented individuals looking to maximise their performance at different heart rate intensities and boost their overall capacity to process oxygen. 

It’s also a good fit for anybody looking to establish their training zones and how their body utilises fats and carbohydrates during training at varying intervals. 

Finally, since VO2 Max is positively correlated with longevity, it’s a great test for anyone seeking to take steps to live a healthier life. 

FatMax test

What is it: The FatMax test is a measure of fat oxidation that identifies the intensity of exercise at which the test-taker’s fat-burning potential is greatest. The test shows the ranges of heart rates at which the test-taker is currently best at burning fat due to exercise and can reveal the ideal training intensity for them to be working at to make use of the good work done and expand upon it.

What does it test: The FatMax test measures oxygen and carbon dioxide output during exercise. The ratio of these gases provides information about the fuel source being used at a particular intensity of exercise. At a given time, a 1:1 ratio of carbon dioxide to oxygen indicates that the test-taker is using carbohydrates as fuel, while a 0.7:1 ratio indicates the test-taker is using fat as fuel. 

How is it performed: The FatMax test is typically performed on a treadmill. The test-taker is fitted with a heart rate strap and a mask which monitors the ratio of oxygen to carbon dioxide inhaled and exhaled throughout the test. Starting at a low intensity, the test-taker walks on the treadmill at increasing inclines until fat oxidation reaches a peak level and starts to decline, at which point the test concludes. 

Pros:

  • Offers insights about how to train most efficiently for fat-burning
  • Helps you to get the most out of your cardio workouts
  • Identify the optimal fat-burning heart rate for your body
  • Not a high-intensity test and is accessible to most people 

Cons:

  • Needs to be performed with specialist equipment 
  • Requires expert interpretation to make the most of the data 

Who is it best for: The FatMax test is great for anyone looking to understand how their body burns fuel, or looking to burn fat in the most efficient way possible. Since it doesn’t require reaching as high an intensity of exercise as the VO2 Max test, it’s an accessible option regardless of fitness level.

12-minute run test

What is it: The 12-minute run test, or Cooper test, is a fitness test designed to determine aerobic fitness by offering an estimate of VO2 Max. Originally developed by Kenneth Cooper to estimate the fitness levels of military personnel, the 12-minute run test requires the test-taker to walk or run as far as they can within a 12-minute interval. 

What does it test: Aerobic endurance. The result of the test (in either miles or kilometres), is inserted into a formula to produce an estimate of VO2 Max, given in ml/kg/min. Online fitness calculators allow test-takers to easily compare their scores with those in their age and gender bracket. 

Pros: 

  • The 12-min run test is simple, and be carried out anywhere, by anyone 
  • The test is accessible: for those who aren’t able to run, the test can be carried out at a walking pace

Cons: 

  • The test offers an estimate of VO2 Max, not an exact calculation 
  • Variables such as location, surface, humidity, temperature, and motivation can prevent replicable results

Who is it best for: The 12-minute run test is best for those looking to quickly estimate their aerobic endurance for free, and who are confident in their ability to run or walk for 12 minutes safely.  

Blood tests for health and fitness

What is it: Blood tests are a simple way to test common health indicators such as cholesterol levels, thyroid function, blood sugar levels, hormone levels, and more. These tests might be requested by your GP or medical specialist or can be proactively booked through a pharmacy, online health clinic, or health and fitness lab

What does it test: Some popular blood tests for health and fitness include:

  • HbA1c: A diagnostic test for diabetes and pre-diabetes, the HbA1c blood test is a blood sugar test that measures the amount of blood glucose attached to haemoglobin in your blood.
  • Lipid panel: A cholesterol test that calculates total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol, HDL cholesterol, and triglycerides.
  • FBC: A full blood count (FBC) measures the quantity of red blood cells, white blood cells, platelets, and haemoglobin present in your blood. This test can be used to screen for anaemia, infection, and other medical problems.
  • Thyroid function test: Tests T3, T4, and TSH levels to assess how well the thyroid gland is working and to diagnose thyroid disorders.
  • Hormone tests: Tests for oestrogen, testosterone, and cortisol levels can be used to identify hormonal imbalances.

How is it performed: A blood test can be performed in two ways: 

  • Venous blood test: Blood is collected from a vein (typically in the arm) using a needle
  • Fingerprick blood test: Blood is collected from the fingertip using a lancet.

A venous blood test is the standard in medical settings, while a fingerprick blood test can be carried out at home or in another testing setting. The main advantages of a fingerprick blood test are that they are quick and easy to carry out, and tend to be experienced as less invasive. 

Pros:

  • Quickly highlight key markers of overall health
  • Flag areas of concern that are worth raising with your GP
  • Suggest types of lifestyle changes that might benefit your health
  • Often free or cheap to have performed

Cons:

  • Only test certain health markers 
  • Don’t offer a complete picture of overall health and fitness 

Who is it best for: A blood test for health and fitness (or combination of blood tests) is a great starting place for anybody looking to prioritise their overall health or check on their blood sugar and cholesterol levels. 


Muscular endurance tests

The photograph shows an athletic man in an energetic jump pose in an urban environment. One knee is drawn up to his chest and the other extends behind him. His arms are positioned as though running. He is wearing sports leggings, trainers, a cap, a heartrate monitor on his arm, and a sports watch. The photo intends to demonstrate the power of fitness testing for athletic performance.

What is it: Muscular endurance tests assess the muscular endurance of a given muscle group using repeated calisthenic-type exercises. One popular example of a muscular endurance test is the push-up test. Other common tests for muscular endurance include:

  • Full squat (lower body)
  • Sit-up (core)
  • Bicep curl (muscle-specific)
  • Burpee (full body)
  • Plank hold (core)

Since muscular endurance tests are muscle/muscle-group-specific, it is possible to have varying levels of muscular endurance across different muscle groups. 

What does it test: Muscular endurance is the ability of a muscle or muscle group to sustain repeated contractions in quick succession over a measured period. Muscular endurance serves as a strong indicator of training effectiveness and can be an effective method of tracking change in muscular endurance across different muscle groups. 

How is it performed: A muscular endurance test can be performed at the gym or home and doesn’t require any specialist equipment. For the chosen exercise/s, the test can be performed in two different ways: 

  • The exercise is performed continuously, with good form, until exhaustion
  • The exercise is performed as many times as possible, with good form, within a 60-second time limit

Pros: 

  • Can easily be performed at home or the gym 
  • Doesn’t require any specialist equipment
  • Muscular endurance is one of the key indicators of overall fitness
  • Muscular endurance is important for everyday life and can help reduce the risk of injury

Cons:

  • Doesn’t measure muscle strength, flexibility, or power
  • Requires the test-taker to maintain good form throughout the tests

Who is it best for: Anyone looking to quickly test baseline muscular endurance in specific muscle groups, or wanting to track training effectiveness over time. 

Metabolic testing

Metabolism – the process by which the body breaks down food into energy – is variable from person to person, and linked to factors such as body size, body composition, age, sex, and exercise level. 

Metabolic testing provides insights into how effectively your body utilises the calories you gain from food to fuel your body. Examples of metabolic tests include the resting metabolic rate (RMR) test and the lactate threshold test. 

Resting metabolic rate test 

What is it: The resting metabolic rate (RMR) test – also known as the basal metabolic rate (BMR) test – measures the number of calories that the test-taker burns at rest. 

What does it test: The RMR test uses a method called Indirect Calorimetry to determine energy expenditure. This involves measuring the oxygen saturation of the air the test-taker exhales at rest and comparing this to the oxygen saturation of the air being inhaled. The amount of oxygen taken in throughout the test can then be used to calculate the caloric needs of the test-taker at rest.  

How is it performed: An RMR test is typically carried out at rest, either lying down or reclining. The test-taker wears a nose clip and is asked to breathe through a breathing tube for the duration of the test, which lasts approximately 10 minutes. 

Pros: 

  • Provides an accurate, measured calculation of metabolic rate
  • The test is quick and non-invasive
  • Offers personalised data to inform plans for weight loss, gain, or maintenance

Cons:  

  • Needs specialist equipment to be performed
  • May not be accessible to everyone 

Who is it best for: An RMR test is best for anyone looking to assess their metabolism and accurately determine their caloric burn at rest.

Lactate threshold test

What is it: A lactate threshold test is a measure of blood lactate level during exercise. It is a graded test which measures blood lactate levels at increasing levels of exercise intensity, to identify the point at which lactate is produced at a faster rate than it can be removed from the bloodstream. This point is referred to as a person’s lactate threshold, LT2, or anaerobic threshold.  

What does it test: A lactate threshold test is used as a measure of performance ability for endurance exercise. 

At low to moderate levels of exercise, a person’s lactate production is typically balanced with lactate removal. However, during high-intensity exercise, the body’s ability to utilise oxygen to generate fuel through glycolysis decreases. The body continues to generate fuel through anaerobic glycolysis, but this process produces byproducts. After a period of time, the body’s production of lactate will exceed its ability to remove it – this is known as the lactate threshold.

The higher a person’s lactate threshold, the longer their body can perform intense exercise.  

How is it performed: A lactate threshold test can be performed in a dedicated sports lab. The test typically involves the test-taker completing a graded exercise test on a treadmill or stationary bike, with a fingerprick blood test being carried out at each exercise intensity to determine their lactate level. 

Advances in fitness technology allow real-time lactate measurements to be taken continuously via an enzyme-based wearable sensor, vastly improving the accuracy and breadth of data. 

Pros: 

  • A good measure of submaximal fitness
  • Can inform training levels for both professional and recreational athletes 

Cons:

  • Needs to be performed with specialist equipment
  • Often requires repeated blood testing at each exercise intensity

Who is it best for: The lactate threshold test is best for recreational and professional athletes looking to determine appropriate training intensities and monitor their aerobic endurance. 

Bone health testing

What is it: Bone health is typically tested with a bone density scan which is carried out using a DEXA (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry) scanner. The DEXA produces a high-resolution scan of a single area of the body – typically the spine or hip. 

What does it test: A bone density scan measures bone mineral density (BMD). This metric can then be compared to the BMD of other individuals of the test-taker’s age and gender, and/or to a ‘peak’ BMD. The number of standard deviations the score is away from these ‘typical’ scores can provide a measure of relative bone health. 

How is it performed: The DEXA scan for bone health is carried out with the test-taker lying down on an open X-ray table. The scanner passes over the area of the body being scanned and two low-dose X-ray beams pass through the body to assess the density of the bone. 

A bone density scan can be carried out in two ways:

  • At the recommendation of your GP or hospital doctor (as a diagnostic test for osteoporosis or osteopenia)
  • Privately, as an overall assessment of bone health  

Pros:

Cons:

  • A bone density scan won’t identify the reason for less dense bones (for example, osteoporosis, or low vitamin D levels)

Who is it best for: Anyone wanting to check in on their bone health. You might be at an increased risk of bone problems if you:

  • Have certain health conditions, such as arthritis
  • Have broken or fractured a bone
  • Are experiencing menopause or perimenopause
  • Are postmenopausal and also drink or smoke heavily
  • Have, or have had, an eating disorder, or low BMI 

Functional movement assessment

The photograph is a cropped view of a client lying flat on their back with one knee bent. A physiotherapist or functional movement assessor has one hand supporting the raised knee, and the other hand gently pressing down on the corresponding foot. The image is intended to demonstrate a functional movement assessment in action.

What is it: A functional movement assessment is a quantified assessment of functional strength and flexibility. It can be used to assess muscular imbalances, identify possible causes of performance issues, and prevent injury. 

What does it test: A functional movement assessment tests your overall strength, flexibility, and range of motion across all major joint complexes, including:

  • Neck
  • Shoulders
  • Thoracic spine
  • Lumbar spine
  • Hips
  • Knees
  • Ankles  

How is it performed: A functional movement assessment can be performed in a specialist fitness lab, or by a physiotherapist or athletic performance coach. The tests carried out typically include a combination of the following, depending on what is needed:

  • Single-leg stand/balance test
  • Mid-thigh pull
  • Grip strength test
  • Countermovement jump
  • Ankle dorsiflexion
  • Leg extension
  • Leg flexion
  • Trunk rotation
  • Neck rotation
  • Neck flexion
  • Hip extension
  • Push up test

Pros:

  • A non-invasive test 
  • Can be personalised to your performance needs or specific muscular groups
  • Provides key information on muscular strength, mobility, and imbalances

Cons: 

  • Requires some specialist equipment
  • Results can be affected by energy levels and fatigue 

How to Choose the Right Health and Fitness Tests for You

The image shows an athletic black woman making a thumbs up signal while working out on a treadmill at the gym. There are several other gym-goers visible on treadmills in the background.

Step 1: Assess your goals

Figuring out your goals is the first step to choosing the right health and fitness test for you. 

What do you want the test/s to achieve? What information are you hoping to gain? What will the test enable you to do?

Some common reasons for seeking health and fitness testing include to:

  • Gain an accurate understanding of your current health and fitness
  • Establish baseline measurements before making changes to your fitness or nutrition
  • Identify your performance strengths and weaknesses 
  • Monitor improvements in your health and fitness over time 
  • Inform goal-setting by identifying areas for improvement
  • Screen for common health problems relating to cholesterol, blood pressure, thyroid function, and insulin sensitivity

Identifying which goals are most important to you can help you narrow in on which tests are – and aren’t – going to be most helpful for you at this time. 

If you’re not sure what your goals are, then booking a free fitness consultation can be a great way to hone in on what you want to achieve, and the types of tests that can get you started. 

Step 2: Get familiar with different types of fitness test

As we outlined earlier, there are a few different categories of fitness tests:

  • Body composition tests (to measure levels of body fat and lean mass)
  • Cardiovascular fitness tests (to determine aerobic endurance)
  • Blood tests for health and fitness (to track markers of overall health)
  • Muscular endurance tests (to measure the strength and endurance of muscle groups)
  • Metabolic testing (to identify caloric needs)
  • Bone health testing (to assess bone density)
  • Functional movement assessments (to assess muscle stability, flexibility, and symmetry)

The right tests for you will depend on the goals you outlined in Step 1, as well as your budget, the amount of time you can dedicate to testing and your geographical location. 

While everyone’s situation will be different, some test types tend to offer a smart baseline for certain goals – such as body composition, metabolic testing, and general health testing for weight loss, cardiovascular fitness, muscular endurance, and functional movement assessments for athletic performance.

Step 3: Prioritise

Next, prioritise which of the tests you have highlighted are most important to your goals. Are there tests that you’re interested in having as a one-off? Are there tests you’d like to get a baseline measure of to track changes over time? Taking the time to consider which tests are most important to you – and why – can help ensure your health and fitness test offers you the best value for your investment. 

Step 4: Book your fitness tests with a trusted provider

Once you’ve identified the best fitness tests for you, it’s time to book your tests and scans! Reading customer reviews can be a great way to review providers and find an accredited testing location to have your fitness tests performed. 

How to Prepare for a Health and Fitness Assessment

To get the most out of your fitness assessment, there are a few simple tasks you can complete ahead of time to ensure all goes smoothly on the day:

  • Ask questions in advance, and write down any lingering questions to ask on the day
  • Make a note of any medical conditions and medications and bring this with you to your assessment
  • Review any instructions around fasting or exercise in advance of your tests, and make sure to follow these
  • Get a full night’s sleep the night before your assessment
  • Wear comfortable clothing that you can easily move in, or bring gym clothes to change into at the testing location
  • Give yourself plenty of time to find your testing location

Then, attend your assessment, and receive your results! 

How to Interpret Your Health and Fitness Test Results

Once you’ve completed your first fitness tests, it’s time to take the results and put them into action! To do so, it’s essential to understand what your test results are telling you – and what they’re not. 

Even the most comprehensive health and fitness assessment is just data without a clear breakdown of the results, how to interpret them, and how you can use the information to progress towards your health and fitness goals. 

One of the most complex test reports is the DEXA scan. To get a better sense of how to interpret and use the numbers in your report, check out our guide to understanding your DEXA report

Unlock Your Potential with Health and Fitness Testing at My Vital Metrics

Health and fitness testing offers key insights into your body composition and overall health and fitness profile. These metrics are essential to maximising your training time, fuelling your body efficiently, and reaching your fitness & sports performance goals.  

My Vital Metrics is the only dedicated fitness lab in the UK to bring together the very best in scientific testing for body composition analysis (DEXA Scan), aesthetic and postural assessment (3D Body Scan), resting metabolic rate (RMR) testing, aerobic endurance testing (VO2 Max & FatMax), and functional movement assessments. 

All our tests and packages come with a comprehensive post-scan consultation to ensure you have the information you need to leverage your test data. 

Not sure which tests would be right for you? Reach out to My Vital Metrics to schedule your free fitness & nutritional consultation today!