A test is how someone is judged on their ability to be proficient at a task. In fitness or strength & conditioning we refer to complete assessments on athletes and clients. In sport the “test” is actually playing the game and the outcome of that game.

Im the strength & conditioning (S&C)/fitness industry the amount of assessments out there are overwhelming. Like everything else in the industry things have been blown out of proportion…

Keeping it simple, I will go through why assessments ARE important and how to make the most use of your time with them.

First if you have a personal client and/or have the time to assess an athlete, do it! You will learn more about that person from just asking questions then the actual assessment itself more times than not. I prefer the functional movement screen (FMS) for the in-depth efficiency of the test. Only take some about 12 minutes to complete for most people and I now know what they can and can’t do while training. I would use the FMS on anyone that I could get my hands on…

The second set of assessments that need to be considered are performance assessments. The majority of adult fitness clients want weight loss, so their performance test may be body fat percentage or if you have decide that they do indeed need to lose weight than the scale is their performance indicator. For athletes just beginning a program performance assessments can be very misleading because of the enormous gains they’re going to experience from starting a lifting program. I will typically weight until I feel like that athlete or group of athletes has overcome initial gains and then begin a testing period. Performance tests I would use with athletes would be vertical jump, broad jump, and a 10 yard dash test. All of the strength work is tested in the weight room through the training program every 8 weeks during he off-season.

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