The Digital Download of the Chester Aerobic Resource manual contains detailed training information for the following tests:
- Chester Step Test (Version 6)
- Chester Treadmill Test
- Chester Cycle Test Chester
- Treadmill Police Walk Test (updated December 2016)
- Chester Treadmill Police Run Test (updated December 2016)
Fitness testing is now widely used in various health and fitness scenarios and rehabilitation settings. Fitness tests are conducted for some reasons to establish baselines of fitness for individuals and communities, to use as a health risk indicator, to facilitate individualised exercise prescription, to monitor improvements in response to an exercise programme and to use as an educational and motivational tool for promoting regular physical activity.
Perhaps the most common fitness tests are those that assess cardio-respiratory fitness, or aerobic capacity, also termed VO2Max. The classical method of measurement of cardio-respiratory fitness is by direct measurement of VO2Max, where the subject undergoes a maximal exercise test on a cycle or treadmill, and oxygen consumption is measured directly.
While this is the gold standard, the equipment is expensive, requires a high level of technical expertise and supervision, is impractical in non-laboratory and field situations and is unsuitable for those individuals for whom exhaustive exercise is not recommended.
As a result, numerous tests have emerged to estimate aerobic capacity. Some field tests require maximum effort (e.g. 20-metre Multistage Shuttle Run) while others are sub-maximal treadmill, cycle or bench stepping tests with single stage or multistage protocols. For a full review, see Heyward (2002).
The Chester Aerobic Fitness Tests are a series of three different modalities for assessing aerobic capacity: stepping, treadmill walking and cycle ergometers.
The Chester Aerobic Tests Resource Manual contains expansive details on the following tests:
Chester Step Test (CST) (Sykes 1998) – The sub-maximal, multistage, aerobic capacity test, originally designed for use in workplace medico-fitness screening (it is currently one of the tests recommended by the UK Home Office for entry into the British Fire Service). Designed to be used with a variety of step heights (15, 20, 25 and 30cm), it is now used worldwide in a variety of occupational, community and clinical settings since it can accommodate a broad range of ages and abilities and shows no gender-bias. It is inexpensive, easy to standardise, highly portable and safely controlled. Many sports, leisure and health clubs use the Chester Step Test as an integral part of their health/fitness screening programmes. First published in 1998, this sixth edition is written for use by the full range of exercise and health professionals for whom a straightforward and reliable assessment of aerobic capacity is required.
Chester Treadmill Tests (CTT) (Sykes 2007) CTT-Prediction is a sub-maximal, multistage fitness test for the prediction of aerobic capacity to add an extra dimension of available testing procedures for those with responsibility for assessing and measuring aerobic capacity in the workplace, in sport, or in community health and fitness. CTT-Prediction requires the subject to walk at a constant pace of 6.2km/hr for a maximum of 12 minutes. The gradient is increased by 3% every two minutes until the subject reaches 80%HRMax or an RPE of 14. CTT-Performance is an alternative protocol currently recommended for firefighter fitness assessments in the UK Fire Service and requires the individual to complete the full 12 minutes to achieve the recommended minimum fitness standard. Both CTT tests are best suited to subjects who are confident and able to walk briskly on a treadmill without using the support rails. It is not suitable for older and less fit individuals.
Chester Cycle Test (CCT) (Sykes 2009) This test follows a similar, sub-maximal, incremental protocol to CST and CTT. The subject pedals a stationary cycle at a given pedal speed, and the workload is increased every two minutes until the subject reaches 80%HRMax. The test is suited to a wide range of ages and fitness levels and is particularly well suited to less fit, older and overweight individuals for whom stepping and brisk treadmill walking may not be recommended. Cycle ergometer fitness tests are very popular in occupational and community health and fitness settings.
Chester Treadmill Police Walk Test Police (CTPWT) (Sykes 2009) CTPWT (Sykes 2015) is an adaptation of the original Chester Treadmill Walk Test, which was designed for use by the UK Fire Service as an alternative aerobic fitness test to the 20m Shuttle Run and Chester Step Test. CTPWT is a performance test specifically developed for the Police Service of England and Wales as an alternative fitness test to the 15m Shuttle Run, for those deemed medically unsuited to its twists and turns, to determine whether an officer can achieve the minimum recommended aerobic fitness standard for PST and Specialist Posts, excluding ARV and DIAFO (College of Policing 2014). After a suitable warm-up, the subject is required to walk at a brisk pace (6.0km/hr) on the treadmill. Every 2 minutes the gradient is raised by 3%. If the subject is able to satisfactorily reach the target time of between 10 and 12 minutes, then he/she will have achieved the minimum recommended aerobic fitness standard.
Chester Treadmill Police Run Test (CTPRT) (Sykes 2015) CTPRT 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.
For details on the Chester Step Test Resource Manual, contact 01244 343106