Preparing for the Yo-Yo Intermittent Fitness Test

When performing the yo-yo fitness test, you want to get the best score possible and reach your full potential. It is a maximal test, meaning you need to push your body until you cannot keep going. Therefore, it is essential that you prepare your body both physically and mentally before attempting this test.

Are you ready? Do not join in the testing if you are suffering any injury or illness that is likely to worsen as a result of participation or if you are unwell at all.

Be Fit: The yo-yo test is a test of your ability to perform sprints of increasing speed with minimal rest, so it requires your body to be in good physical condition. If you have weeks before the test, there are changes to your training that you can implement now. If the test is coming up soon, there is not much you can do now, but based on your results can modify your training to target the fitness components that are assessed in the yo-yo test. See our guide to training for the yo-yo test.

Know what to expect: It is important to understand what you will need to do and the procedures of the test. It is wise to do a practice test at least a few days earlier. Knowing what will be involved means you can pace yourself, know how it will feel and to be ready for it. Be familiar with the test procedure and understand the rules for elimination, you don't want to be knocked out of the test early because you slacked off and did not reach the line and were too slow to start.

Dress right: Wear appropriate clothing for the conditions, such as loose fitting shorts and T-shirt, and non-slip athletic footwear with laces securely fastened. Remove any restrictive jewelry, watches, bracelets or hanging earrings that may get caught in your clothes or be a distraction.

Be mentally strong: It is important to be in a good frame of mind, not scared of the test and what is to come, and be motivated to push yourself as hard and for as long as you can.

Be well rested: Avoid heavy strenuous exercise for the 24 hours prior to testing. Do not exercise at all on the day leading up to the test to ensure your body is well rested.

Be hydrated: Ensure you are fully hydrated, particularly in hot conditions. Drink regularly in the days leading up to the test, particularly in the 12 hours prior to the test. Caffeine products (such as coffee, cola or tea) should be avoided on the day of testing, and alcoholic beverages should definitely be avoided in the few days prior.

Nutritional Preparation: Ensure you are well nourished on the day of the test. Where possible, consume a high carbohydrate diet in the previous 24 hours (such as pasta, potatoes, cereals, toast, fruit etc.). In the two hours before completing the test do not consume a heavy meal; however, you should eat something in the four hours preceding testing.

Warming-Up: Be sure to perform a warm-up. Start with 5-10 minutes of light aerobic activity, such as jogging. Then some stretches which include both upper and lower body. Lastly, perform a few practice runs over 40m (with a turn), gradually increasing your running speed.

You are now ready to go. Good luck!


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