The Chester Treadmill Police run test has been developed by Professor Kevin Sykes as an alternative test to the 15m Shuttle Run for the fitness assessment of police officers in England and Wales
Following theoretical calculations, practical manipulations and laboratory trials of different speeds and gradients to match the aerobic fitness standards of the job-related fitness test (JRFT) for ARV and DIAFO, the Chester Treadmill Police Run Test was devised (Sykes 2015).
CTPRT is specifically designed for:
- Armed Response Vehicle Officers (ARV)
- Dynamic Intervention Authorised Firearm Officers (DIAFO)
CTPRT (Sykes 2015) is a modification of the original Chester Treadmill Test (Sykes 2007) which was designed for use by the UK Fire Service as an alternative to the 20m Shuttle Run and Chester Step Test.
CTPRT is a performance test specifically developed for the Police Service of England and Wales as an alternative test to the 15m Shuttle run to determine whether an officer is able to achieve the minimum recommended aerobic fitness standards of 46mlsO2/kg/min (ARV)or 51mlsO2/kg/min (DIAFO)(College of Policing 2014). After a suitable warm-up, the officer is required to run at a brisk pace (10.4km/hr) on the treadmill. Every 2 minutes the gradient is raised by a designated amount (see Table 1). On satisfactory completion of 8 minutes, the officer will have achieved the minimum recommended fitness standard for ARV. DIAFO are required to complete the full 10-minute test.
- High quality motorised Treadmill, calibrated, capable of operating accurately at 10.4Km/hr and at inclines up to a maximum gradient of 15%
- A Rating of Perceived Exertion (RPE) Chart (Borg 1982) (Figure 1)
Pre-test health screening
It is imperative that there are no medical contraindications to the subject undertaking the Chester Treadmill Police Run Test. Most individuals don’t require a medical check-up before taking this test or starting regular, moderate exercise. However, if there are any doubts about the individual’s suitability to partake in moderately vigorous physical activity, then please advise them to consult a doctor – and do not conduct the Treadmill Test.
There is always the slight risk that taking any form of exercise may reveal a health defect or weakness that may lead to injury, illness or even fatality. If you have any doubts at all about the subject’s ability to safely undertake the Chester Treadmill Police Run Test or to participate in a programme of regular exercise, then do not conduct the test and refer them to the Occupational Health Department or their GP for appropriate advice.
For further information on pre-participation health screening, see the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM 2013).
Pre – Test Conditions
The subject should not have eaten, smoked, exercised or drunk tea or coffee for at least 2 hours before the test.
The subject should not be recovering from illness or have a cold or is taking beta-blocker drugs which will depress heart rate scores.
The subject should be wearing loose-fitting, comfortable clothing.
The room should be quiet, well ventilated and between 18-20 degrees Celsius.
The subject should not have undertaken any heavy physical exercise for at least 24 hours before the test.
An appropriate Risk Assessment has been completed and approved.
The Test Administrator should be well trained, knowledgeable and experienced in conducting the Test. They should be totally familiar with operating the treadmill and in explaining to a subject the use of the RPE chart. If at any time during the test, the subject shows signs of over-tiredness, discomfort or dizziness – and/or reports an RPE of 18+ -then the test should be stopped and the subject allowed to recover and cool down.
- Ensure that:
a. there are no medical contraindications to performing the CTPRT
b. the test environment is suitable
c. the treadmill has been carefully calibrated and you (the tester) are a skilled operator
d. the RPE Chart is clearly visible for the subject
e. the subject is appropriately dressed, wearing suitable footwear and is fully able to run confidently on the treadmill at a brisk pace with increasing gradients
f. the subject has a suitable warm-up with mobility, stretching and limbering floor exercises of low to moderate intensity.
2. Inform the subject what they will be required to do – explaining the importance of good treadmill running technique.
3. Following a suitable warm-up ask the subject to stand on the treadmill. Attach safety cord as appropriate.
4. Start the treadmill and slowly increase the speed to a slow jog of 8km/hr at 0% gradient for one minute, then to 9km/hr for a further minute – giving a 2-minute treadmill familiarisation which also acts as a further cardiovascular warm-up period.
5. Start the test gradually increasing the speed over 30 seconds to 10.4km/hr.
6. Level 1: 0-2 minutes at 0% gradient. At the end of the level check RPE is less than 18 and if so, continue to Level 2, increasing the gradient to 2%.
7. Level 2: 2-4 minutes at 2% gradient. At the end of the level check RPE is less than 18 and if so, continue to Level 3, increasing the gradient to 4%.
8. Level 3: 4-6 minutes at 4% gradient. At the end of the level check RPE is less than 18 and if so, continue to Level 4, increasing the gradient to 5%.
9. Level 4: 6-8 minutes at 5% gradient. On successful completion of Level 4, the subject will have reached the minimum aerobic fitness standard for ARV(46mlsO2/kg/min). At the end of the level check, RPE is less than 18 and the subject shows no signs of discomfort or distress.if so, continue to Level 5, increasing the gradient to 8%
10. Level 5: 8-10 minutes at 8% gradient. On successful completion of Level 5, the subject will have reached the minimum aerobic fitness standard for DIAFO (51mlsO2/kg/min) (Table 1).
11. Cool Down: At the end of the test, lower the gradient to 0%, reduce the treadmill speed to a gentle stroll (around 4-5km/hr) and ask the subject to continue walking until he/she feels recovered and can hold a conversation comfortably – normally around 4-5 minutes. Also, ensure that the subject further cools down with some gentle limbering and stretching floor exercises.
Table 1: CTPRT Target Times for ARV and DIAFO
|Specialist Posts||CTPRT |
Target Times (min:sec)
|Est. Aerobic Capacity(mls02/kg/min)|
ARV: Successful completion of the 8-minute test indicates that Aerobic Capacity must be at least 46mlsO2/kg/min
DIAFO: Successful completion of the 10-minute test indicates that Aerobic Capacity must be at least 51mlsO2/kg/min
- 12.Cautionary Note: As with the 15m Shuttle Run the CTPRT could be a near-maximal (or even maximal) test for some individuals and care should be taken by the tester to ensure that if the subject is unable to keep up with the workrate and becomes overly distressed, the test should be stopped and the subject allowed to cool down.
Technical Note: The test has been designed specifically to identify officers capable of achieving the minimum aerobic fitness standard of 46 (ARV) and 51mlsO2/kg/min (DIAFO) as required by the Police Service of England and Wales. This is not a test to determine a subject’s actual aerobic capacity (VO2Max). It merely indicates that the value is equal to that required for related operational activities.
Should an actual assessment of Aerobic Capacity and Fitness Level also be required, this may be estimated from the heart rate responses during the test using the bespoke CTPRT Aerobic Fitness Calculator software package (www.cartwrightfitness.co.uk).
See Table 2 for oxygen cost at each level of CTPRT.
Table 2Summary of CTPRT Treadmill Protocol and Oxygen Cost at each Level
|Level||Time (mins)||Treadmill Gradient||O2 cost (mlsO2/kg/min)|
CTPRT/Shuttle Run Comparisons: See Table 3 for ARV and DIAFO CTPRT Target Times and equivalent 15m Shuttle Run Levels.
Table 3CTPRT Target Times for Specialist Posts, Estimated Aerobic Capacity and Recommended Shuttle Run Level
|Specialist Post||CTPRTTarget Time (min:sec)||Est. AerobicCapacity*(mls02/kg/min)||Recommended Standard(Level: Shuttle)|
*Aerobic Capacity must be at least this value in order to attain the CTPRT target time and/or 15m Shuttle Run Level