Before jumping into an intensive fitness training programme, we need to know what our starting point is so that we can use this data to set realistic fitness goals which we can work towards for the start of the season and throughout the year as a whole. Therefore whenever a driver starts with us on a programme we always recommend an initial fitness assessment for the following reasons:
1. Determining health & fitness levels
This is probably one of the most obvious reasons, it gives us a solid idea of a driver’s current fitness levels, which is a vital piece of information that is required before creating an exercise programme that targets and boosts any driver specific areas of fitness that they may be lacking in.
Not only this, but when it comes to assessing the effectiveness of the drivers’ training in the future, we now have something to revert back to and use for an accurate comparison. It becomes much easier to track the progress within the different areas of fitness, and to then make any required adjustments and tailor the programme further.
2. Identifying any strengths and weaknesses
Whether the driver undergoing the fitness test is experienced in fitness training or a driver who has just started out at the gym, it’s definitely helpful to identify any current strengths or weaknesses across the different areas of fitness and how these can potentially effect on track performance.
3. Assisting in setting fitness goals
One of the most important aspects of a fitness test is to be able to set accurate, realistic goals and also be able to measure progress towards those goals. It is important to have a goal behind each training session as you have that to focus on during your training – particularly when things get tough! The alternative would be trying to reach a set of cloudy and unfocused goals that will more often than not lead anyone trying to improve their fitness to losing their motivation, and sometimes giving up completely!
4. Evaluating a training programme
Another of the main reasons and benefits of fitness testing is to monitor the progress of the individual. While it’s used to gain an initial idea of their fitness, it is also used to track this as the exercise programme unfolds. That way, the overall progress can be tracked and monitored, and any adjustments can be made should the new results show that something isn’t working as predicted. If you're wondering 'why is fitness testing important?', one of the main reasons (especially for athletes) is that it enables them to track their progress and improve week on week. Typically, we would review a driver’s fitness every other month, this doesn’t have to be a complete re-assessment of all components of fitness, but we may re-test areas that have been a priority to monitor progress and do a full assessment in pre-season, mid-season and end of season.
5. Boosting motivation
No one likes hearing that they have a certain weakness or something to improve upon; it’s just human nature. However, poor results can also help to boost motivation. Also, once it comes to the second, third or fourth test, then this is where the motivation really starts to soar. The driver will be able to see how far they have come since their first test, which brings a great sense of accomplishment as well as the motivation to push themselves further.
What does a fitness test include at iZone?
Review of driver’s training habits, lifestyle (nutrition, hydration and sleep) and perceived current level of fitness.
Body composition analysis using our inbody scan.
VO2 max test using either a stationary bike or treadmill and CardioCoach VO2 max analysis machine and software.
Cognitive tests – concentration & peripheral vision.
Psychomotor tests – agility, balance, coordination & reaction time.
Muscular strength and muscular endurance tests – e.g neck, grip, upper body, core and braking specific tests.
Get in touch to discuss your training and to arrange a fitness assessment.