The objective of the Multi-stage Fitness Test (MSFT) is to monitor or the development of the athlete’s maximum oxygen uptake (VO2max).
- Flat, non slippery surface at least 20 metres in length
- 30 metre tape measure
- Marking cones
- Pre-recorded audio tape or CD or Mp3
- Tape recorder or Mp3 player
- Recording sheets
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How to conduct the Multi-stage Fitness Test (MSFT)
The Multistage Fitness Test (Bleep Test) is made up of 23 levels where each level lasts approx. one minute. Each level comprises of a series of 20m shuttles where the starting speed is 8.5km/hr and increases by 0.5km/hr at each level. On the tape/CD a single beep indicates the end of a shuttle and 3 beeps indicates the start of the next level.
The Multistage Fitness Test (Bleep Test) is conducted as follows:
- Measure out a 20 metres section and mark each end with a marker cone
- The athlete carries out a warm up program of jogging and stretching exercises
- The test is conducted
- The athlete must place one foot on or beyond the 20m marker at the end of each shuttle
- If the athlete arrives at the end of a shuttle before the beep, the athlete must wait for the bleep and then resume running
- The athlete keeps running for as long as possible until he/she can longer keep up with the speed set by the tape at which point they should voluntarily withdraw
- If the athlete fails to reach the end of the shuttle before the beep they should be allowed 2 or 3 further shuttles to attempt to regain the required pace before being withdrawn
- Record the level and number of shuttles completed at that level by the athlete
- At the end of the test the athletes conduct a warm down program, including stretching exercises.
- VO2max = 18.043461 + (0.3689295 x TS) +(-0.000349 xTS xTS)
Where TS is the total number of shuttles completed.
You finished at: Level 10 shuttle 5
From the table below determine the number of shuttles for the level you reached. In this example Level 10 is 94 shuttles.
- VO2max = 18.043461 + (0.3689295 x 100) +(-0.000349 x 100 x 100)
- VO2max = 48.114 mls/kg/min (± 0.3 mls/kg/min)
Normative data for the multi-stage fitness test
The following are national team scores for the Multistage Fitness Test (Bleep Test) MSFT.
Table Reference : Beashel P. et al, The world of sport examined, 1997
This Multistage Fitness Test (Bleep Test) is suitable for endurance athletes and players of endurance sports (eg football, rugby) but not for individuals where the test would be contraindicated. A degree of caution is required in administering the test, in that you have to push yourself relatively hard to the point where you can no longer maintain the pace dictated by the tape. If you are suffering from any injury or illness, or if you have any reason to think you may not be in a good general state of health, you should consult a doctor before doing this test.
Reliability would depend upon how strict the test is conducted and the individual’s level of motivation to perform the test As the audio-tapes may stretch over time, the tapes need to be calibrated which involves timing a one-minute interval and making adjustment to the distance between markers. The recording is also available on compact disc, which does not require calibration.
There are published VO2max tables and the correlation to actual VO2max is high.
Mackenzie, Brian. 2005. 101 Perforamnce Evalution Test. Electric World Plc. London.