Cardiovascular endurance, aerobic fitness, or stamina, is the ability to exercise continuously for extended periods without tiring.

A person’s aerobic fitness level is dependent upon the amount of oxygen which can be transported by the body to the working muscles via the lungs and blood system, and the efficiency of the muscles to use that oxygen.

Aerobic Endurance is one of the main fitness components, important for success in many sports. For certain sports, such as distance running and triathlon, it is the most important physical attribute. In many other sports, including football codes, good endurance is also very important as part of the overall fitness profile.

20m Shuttle Beep Test

How to Conduct the Beep Fitness Test

The beep test is a cardiovascular, aerobic endurance fitness test.

The beep test involves running between markers exactly 20 metres apart, following audio cues (beeps) which dictate the running speed required. At regular intervals, the required running speed increases. The test continues until the participant is no longer able to keep up with the required pace.

Equipment Required:

  • Flat, non-slip surface, at least 30m long.
  • measuring tape of at least 20 metres.
  • marker cones.
  • loud speakers.
  • Audio Mp3 file of Beep Test – Click here for FULL Audio file of Beep Test (Australian Sports Commission)

Course layout: Cones or tape is used to mark out the desired course. Two lines are required, 20 metres apart. 

Preparations: Make sure the participant is adequately prepared; well-rested, hydrated and fuelled. Give clear and standardized instructions about the test and what is expected. Try to stress the importance of performing maximally, keeping in time to the recording and completing the full 20m run.

Starting the Test: The participant starts with a foot behind the line and begins running when instructed by the audio recording. The participant turns when signalled by the recorded audio beep at the line 20 metres away, and returns to the starting point, where (s)he turns again. The participant  continues running in time with the audio signals with no rest period. 

During the test: The participant continues shuttling back and forth between the two lines 20 metres apart, in time to the audio cues. The participant must not start running early, must run the complete distance and reach each line before or in time with the recording. At regular intervals, the time between the audio signals will reduce, and consequently the required running speed will increase. The starting speed is 8.5km/hr and increases by 0.5km/hr approximately every minute.

Finishing the test: The participant must continue for as long as (s)he can. Some participants will choose to stop when they have reached their physical limit. For others, you will need to give a warning as they drop behind the required pace or make one of the errors listed below. On the second infraction they must stop the test.

You give a warning when the participant …

  • does not reach either line before the audio signal.
  • turns without touching or going over the line (therefore running short).
  • starts the run before the audio signal.

Scoring: the participant’s score is the level achieved plus the number of the last complete successful shuttle.

Use the table below as a guide only. We believe any fitness program must focus on the individual’s personal growth, develop and improvement. However, we also understand how having a framework of achievement levels can be motivating for children and provide valuable feedback.

Download the PDF version of this page to print and take with you to your next test.