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Analyze health with tests

1RM and VO2 max is common measurements within exercise. The important thing here is to compare you with yourself to keep track on development over time. Then you can compare to others if you compete and/or has similar prerequisites.

Per Olsson, Strength Stairs

Within exercise there are many ways to test your physical health. Common within weight training is of course 1RM, maximum lift/pull/squat/-jerkI. A couple of other examples is to do things on time or maximum number of repetitions.

Having a look at stamina exercise, where we preferably look at for example max pulse and VO2max. VO2max being estimated here by performing a Cooper test. Further down I will have a brief look at what you see with 1RM, max pulse, Cooper test and VO2max.

There are many more tests to assess stamina, strength, stability, speed, mobility and coordination. The tests/assessments I have chosen for this post is examples where you can carry them out yourself to some extent.


This is a common 1RM calculation where you fill in maximum number of repetitions with a weight you can handle. The calculation gives a estimated value of what you should be able to handle.

It is a simple tool to find your maximum weight. Do remember that the calculation misses facts about daily form, performance, prerequisites and exercise habit so take this as a parameter to find and perform your actual 1RM.

Max pulse

Max pulse can be an interesting tool to find your exercise pulse zones, the intensity you target to reach specific results.

Estimations of max pulse like these can have a quite large margin of error as shown in the form below.

For the experienced and fit a real max pulse test, eg where you find the “real” max pulse with high intensity workout and under supervision.

Cooper test

Cooper test is something I look at because you can do it with some good shoes and a stop watch.

What you do is that you run as far as possible during 12 minutes. Hence you need to be able to measure the distance. A track at a sports arena is a really good place to be able to measure how far you can. With today’s technology there are cellphones and activity watches that can help out measuring the distance as well.

A Cooper test says two things, how far you can run during a specific period of time and how good control you have in finding a the correct pace in the beginning of the test to manage a high tempo throughout the entire distance.

Important to remember, if you are a beginner and in a not so good condition you should avoid this test until you easily can run one kilometre/half a mile or more.

Equally important is that there are several ways to test stamina where they give more reliable test results, however they demand more equipment and a test lead to carry it out in a good way.


VO2max can be estimated and measured. In our case, in order for as many people as possible to get a value, I have chosen estimation using Coopertest.

Remember that estimation is just that, an approximate value based on a formula that indirectly gives us a value and that the best thing is to actually measure the value with the intended equipment and together with a test leader who helps interpret the results. However, this is a great way to get started.


  • It is good to weigh different results together to get a holistic picture, the results themselves can be used individually over time for your own comparisons.
  • There is much more you can calculate, and then it is important to remember that these are just calculations.
  • Keep in mind that in order for tests to be comparable to yourself, the prerequisites need to look as similar as possible at each test occasion. Eat about the same way, about the same amount of time before the test, avoid training 3-4 days before the test so that you avoid muscle sourness, try to sleep about the same time the night before the test and finally it is good to have the same equipment and environment you perform the test in each time.
  • As important as all the calculations above is how you perform / function in different situations, how you yourself feel that you are feeling, how you sleep and that you get the right kind of sleep, what you eat and how much tests is one of several important parts that is needed to build a sustainable health.

Do you want to know or discuss more about tests, feel free to contact me on contact us page!