Our Favorite Work Capacity Test
Every new client at an OPEX Gym goes through work capacity testing to measure their aerobic system.
We use one simple test to collect this initial data for everyone–10 minutes on the Airbike for max calories. We love this test for a few reasons, but primarily because it provides a clear indication of your starting point for aerobic training.
Aerobic training is a staple in almost everyone’s program because of the multiple health benefits explained in this blog. But to design the appropriate program and to make sure it’s actually working your coach needs insight into your current fitness level!
There are four main reasons we chose the Airbike test over other aerobic fitness tests:
1) Everyone can do it
The Airbike is simple to use technically and is easy to get on and off for clients of all ages and experience levels. Especially when compared to a rower or running, it’s a much more straightforward piece of equipment.
2) It’s low impact on joints
Riding the Airbike only involves pushing with the leg (and pulling and pushing the handles). It does not have an “eccentric” component where you are required to absorb force. This makes it a low impact activity for your joints. Running, in comparison, requires you to “decelerate” with every step, and this repetitive pounding causes more stress on the joints.
3) It provides clear data of your aerobic capacity
At the end of the 10 minutes you will share your total number of calories with your coach. Whether it’s 50 or 150, this little number is a true reflection of your capacity on the day of testing. Having this insight will help your coach set your pacing for aerobic work along with the appropriate number and duration of intervals. How you react during and recover from the test is also a good insight of whether you are more enduring or powerful in your essence, along with your training age and lifestyle.
4) It can be retested to measure progress
The best use of this initial work capacity test is to measure your progress over time. When you join a gym you want to know that you’re going to get better. That’s why we always begin with this assessment and reassess regularly–it holds you accountable to do your training and your coach accountable to design an effective program! If things aren’t moving in the right direction then it may be necessary to modify your program design or behaviors outside of the gym. But the only way to know is through clear, objective, and repeatable testing!
Curious to know where you sit in your aerobic capacity? Find an OPEX Gym near you and experience 10 minutes for max calories on the Airbike for yourself!