Fitness Assessments, when used effectively, can be a powerful way to empower and motivate students, and provide better teacher insights.
Throughout the PLT4M fitness progression, you will find a series of fitness assessments embedded in the programs. In this article, we’re providing details on why we include assessments, what those assessments are, and which component of fitness is being assessed.
WHY do we include fitness assessments in physical education?
PLT4M’s fitness assessments are designed to benefit several stakeholders:
You (The Physical Education Teacher) – Physical education teachers can utilize assessment as a means of evaluation and validation. Are the lessons and materials in class you are using helping students to learn the concepts? Are workouts or physical activities promoting personal improvement? If your evaluation via assessment says no, you can change and alter your approach. If the assessment helps to communicate yes, you are validating your work and can continue in that direction.
Them (The students) – For many students in physical education, a phys ed assessment can be a reinforcement of hard work through positive results. Students can see progress over time with simple check-ins or fun assessments. It can also help students identify personal strengths and weaknesses, which can help them set goals or strategies for better results.
Someone Else (Administrators, Parents, etc) – While we wish physical education assessment didn’t have to be a means to justifying the subject, assessment can be a helpful way to showcase the ‘proof’ of what is going on in class. Through PLT4M reporting, teachers can use assessment data and highlight key takeaways to showcase what is going on in physical education and its impact on students.
WHAT are the assessments?
Aerobic Capacity – 1 Mile Run
Our 1 mile run test is meant to be an assessment of your “aerobic” capacity. Otherwise known as ‘stamina’ or ‘endurance,” aerobic capacity simply refers to your ability to work continuously at moderate to low effort for extended periods of time without fatiguing or needing to stop.
Anaerobic Capacity – 2 Minute Max Burpees
Our 2 minute burpee test is meant to be an assessment of your anaerobic capacity. Essentially, when short, intense bouts of activity are required, your body cannot rely on oxygen as a source of energy creation. It takes too long, and cannot keep up with the high demand. That’s when the anaerobic energy systems kick in.
Strength – 1 Minute Push Up Test, 1 Minute Squat Air Squat Test, Max Pull-Ups
All these tests seek to test relative muscular strength and endurance of the body. Standard push up and pull up tests have been used for decades as components of a basic fitness assessment. They aim to record and track an individual’s relative upper body strength. The air squat test is a form of testing an individual’s relative lower body strength.
Mobility – Squat Therapy Test
For years, fitness tests included an element of passive muscular flexibility assessment. The sit and reach test is a prime example of what we are referring to. Nowadays, we care about your overall ‘mobility’ rather than just your passive muscular flexibility. At its most basic, your "Mobility" is your ability to move through and perform complete ranges of motion about individual or multiple joints with stability and control. It's a combination of flexibility, joint function/dysfunction, motor control, and neuromuscular activation.
Total Fitness – MetCon Test
Our final fitness assessment is a “MetCon” (Metabolic Conditioning) workout that assesses your ability to perform a number of different movements consistently and continually. It is a blend of aerobic and anaerobic capacity, strength, and mobility.
“The PLT4M Metcon Test”
During an 8 minute running clock, the athlete attempts to complete the progression below as many times as possible.
AMRAP 8 (AMRAP=As many reps/rounds as possible)
20m Shuttle Run
20m Shuttle Run
10 Air Squats
20m Shuttle Run
The student runs 10m and back, then performs 10 burpees, runs another 10m and back then performs 10 air squats, runs another 10m and back and performs 10 sit ups. If he or she finishes the round and has time remaining, he or she begins again. The student's final score is the total number of reps completed (each shuttle run is 1 rep for a total of 33 reps per round).
WHEN are these assessments captured?
The fitness & strength progression map highlights where and when the fitness assessments occur within the PLT4M programs. The fitness assessments are captured at the end of Intro to Fitness part 1 (week 6), and again at the conclusion of Intro to Fitness Part 2 (week 5). If dedicating 11 weeks to complete the Intro to Fitness series, students will have entered a baseline data point as well as a retest data point for the fitness assessments. This enables teachers to run a report on progress made in each metric.
If students continue on a personal fitness path, the fitness assessments are included once more in the Personal Fitness program, thus allowing the students to see their progress made while completing an advanced fitness program.
What if I want to track fitness metrics other than what’s in the PLT4M programs?
No problem! Through PLT4M, you’re able to track a host of fitness metrics. The PLT4M fitness assessments are designed to support and assess the material covered in the PLT4M fitness series—but that doesn’t mean you’re limited to those assessments. View the resources below to learn how PLT4M can support your data tracking.