Maximize Your Yo-Yo Test Score

The yo-yo test is a commonly used fitness test, assessing your aerobic and anaerobic fitness. You would not normally train for a fitness test, as you would usually be doing the training specific for your sport and using this test to determine if you have reached your training goals. However, the test is also commonly used as an important selection criterion for some sporting teams or jobs. Therefore many people need to train specifically for the test and need to maximize their test score in order to reach the desired score.

For many reasons you may not be reaching your full potential in the yo-yo test. There are three main areas that can be addressed to maximize your yo-yo test score: mental toughness, pacing strategies and physical conditioning. Depending on what level you are at, one or more of these can be used to help you achieve your full potential in this test.

Do Physical Training

The yo-yo test is a measure of your fitness. If you really want to significantly improve your score in the test, you need to do some aerobic and anaerobic type training. You cannot avoid it, you will have to do some hard work. There are more details elsewhere about training for the yo-yo test.

If you don't want to work hard, and/or you don't have the time to make significant changes to your fitness, here are some other methods to help maximize your yo-yo test score.

Prepare Well

You many have the fitness to do well in the test, but if your body is not prepared well for the test day you may not do as well as you otherwise could. You should have recovered with at least 24 hours since the last heavy training session, and be free from injury or illness. Make sure you hydrate well beforehand, and have a light meal 1-2 hours before the test. You should also feel comfortable, by wearing loose clothing and by having firm fitting footwear with a good grip. You should also perform a light warm-up before the test. See more about preparing for the yo-yo test.

Be Mentally Tough

The yo-yo test can be a mentally tough test for some, and some good improvements can often be made without any change in your base fitness by a more positive state of mind. Pushing through the pain barrier may help you reach a higher level.

Use Sound Technique

Using an efficient turning technique you will minimize any excess energy wasted during the turning phase. As you come in to the turn, time it so that only one foot just touches over the line, and turn sharply, not following a wide arc which will mean more distance traveled. You should drop your hips slightly as you turn, and push off strongly for the first few strides to get up to pace. When you get near the end of a level, try to be on time with the beep, and step up your pace straight away. Run efficiently to conserve energy - run with your shoulders relaxed and breath deeply and smoothly.

Use Pacing Strategies

Also without any change in aerobic fitness, you may be able to improve your score by pacing yourself so that energy is not wasted from end to end. Try and stay relaxed, quickly getting up to the required pace. Running at a consistent pace will be more efficient.

Follow the Rules

You should be familiar with the test procedures so that you are mentally ready for what is to come, and also so that you do not make any mistakes that result in you being extracted from the test, such as not fully crossing the line when turning and not picking up the pace adequately after the first warning.

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