The Course Navette test, popularly known as the “beep test”, is used to assess the lung capacity or lactic aerobic endurance of athletes.
The Course Navette Test is not difficult to understand, but to do it you need a 20 m stretch of track, and any device that is capable of emitting a beep. Nowadays, there are online videos and audios that allow you to develop the method in a simple and practical way.
As can be seen, the test uses few materials and works with short time spans.
How to do the test and what is necessary?
All you need is light, comfortable clothing, a willingness to be physically active, and a track of about 20 metres. In addition, a device for the whistles: the classic whistle, a stopwatch, a mobile app or an online video.
The test itself is strenuous, although it does not require a long run as is the case with the Cooper Test. The aim is to run the 20 m long marked distance many times and to define how long you can hold out both in successive repetitions and in speed.
The whistle is used to count the time it takes to cover the distance. At the beginning, the whistle is spaced out and allows the athlete to perform the test gently or even walk at a certain speed. As the test progresses, the beeps will become more continuous and the athlete’s pace will have to increase considerably.
When does the test end?
When the person gives up due to fatigue, or is not able to complete the set distance. The assessment is carried out by means of tables with the help of the individual’s stop data. The tables are differentiated by sex and age.
What is the origin of the Course Navette Test?
Dr. Luc Léger of the University of Montreal was the originator of the well-known test, which was later modified and refined by other researchers at the University of England. It may sometimes be referred to as the Pi test or the Léger test.
Its objective was clear, to define the maximum aerobic capacity of an individual, and indirectly the VO2 max, relating speed and time.
How long does the Léger Test last?
21 minutes is the time limit for the race, but it is likely that most runners will give up earlier due to exhaustion. Note that the speed and pace increases by 0.5 km/h per minute.
The Test de Course Navette starts at 8 km/h, at a brisk pace and without running. It usually ends at 20 km/h if the athlete is able to withstand exhaustion. It should be noted that the test was designed by Léger to exhaust the person before finishing the test. For example, a professional footballer in excellent physical condition could reach stage 14 and exceed some levels. For sports amateurs between nine and 12 might be considered acceptable. Some coaches eliminate stage 21 as impossible to perform.
If the test is hypothetically completed in full, the top speed of 18.5 km/h would be reached. That is 20 metres in just under four seconds. Bearing in mind that the fastest man in the world, Usain Bolt, was able to cover the same distance in 2 seconds.
How to calculate VO2 max.
VO2 max is the maximum volume of O2 that the body is able to process during the physical test. It can also be performed using a stress test and spirometry.
In the case of the Test Course Navette, the maximum speed obtained in the test is taken, and the formula is applied:
- VO2 max = 5,857 x Speed (km/h) – 19,45
This is an excellent test when you do not have the technical means at hand and gives a fairly reliable approximation.
Preparatory phase of the test
It is advisable to start with the following warm-up exercises:
- Warm up: although the intensity of the test is gradual, it is better not to start from rest. Prepare a warm-up with the whole team before starting the test.
- Vary the turns: it is recommended to alternate the direction of the turns after finishing each straight. This way you do not overload the same side of the body.
- Test the track: not all tracks and terrains have the same characteristics, it is advisable to check the test site beforehand.
- Start of the straight: it is better to gain time and speed at the start of the straight than at the end of it.