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Jun 30, 2009

YMCA 3-minute Step Test

This page describes the procedure for conducting the YMCA version of a step test.

purpose: a step test provides a measure of cardio-respiratory or endurance fitness (see also other step tests) .

equipment required: 12 inch (30 cm) step, stopwatch, metronome or cadence tape, stethoscope.

description: Begin by demonstrating the alternating stepping cadence to the subject. In time with the beat step one foot up on the bench (1st beat), step up with the second foot (2nd beat), step down with one foot (3rd beat), and step down with the other foot (4th beat.) Allow the subject to practice the stepping to the metronome cadence, which is set at 96 beats per minute (4 clicks = one step cycle) for a stepping rate of 24 steps per minute. The athlete steps up and down on the platform at the given rate for a total of 3 minutes. The athlete immediately stops on completion of the test and sits down and remains still. Starting within 5 seconds, the tester is to count the subject's heart rate (ideally with a stethoscope) for one complete minute.

scoring: The total one-minute post-exercise heart rate is the subject's score for the test.

advantages: all step tests require minimal equipment and costs, and if required the test can be self-administered.

disadvantages: As the step is the same size for all people (men and women), biomechanical characteristics such as height and lower limb length may give an advantage


Ratings for Men, Based on Age(

Above Average88-9388-9492-8895-10197-10094-102
Below Average102-107104-110108-113113-119111-117114-118
Very Poor124-157126-161130-163131-159131-154130-151

Ratings for Women, Based on Age(

Above Average96-10295-101100-104104-110106-111104-111
Below Average113-120113-119115-120120-124119-127123-126
Very Poor135-169134-171137-169137-171141-174135-155


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