Cardiovascular Assessment

Performing a cardio assessment test is a good idea when beginning exercise, as well as to re assess your progress. The results of a cardio test can tell you how hard you can be safely pushing your heart during exercise. One easy cardiovascular assessment test that is easy to perform is the YMCA step test. Let’s take a look at how to perform the step test.

YMCA 3-Minute Step Test:

Step one – perform a 3-minute step test by performing 24 steps per minute on a 12-inch step for a total of 3 minutes, at roughly a tempo of 96 beats per minute.
Step two – Within 5 seconds of completing the exercise, measure your resting heart rate for a period of 60 seconds and record as recovery pulse.
Step three – locate the recovery pulse number in one of the following categories.

Step four – Your cardiovascular activity should be performed at a percentage of your maximum heart rate according to the step test results.

  • Very Poor/ Poor: Zone One (65–75% Heart Rate Max)
  • Below Average: Zone One (65–75% Heart Rate Max)
  • Average: Zone Two (76–85% Heart Rate Max)
  • Good: Zone Two (76–85% Heart Rate Max)
  • Excellent: Zone Three (86–95% Heart Rate Max)

Step five – determine your maximal heart rate by subtracting your age from the number 220 (220-age), then take maximal heart rate and multiply by zones to determine heart rate ranges for each zone