The bleep test is used by many organizations and employers to test an individual’s fitness and consists of a shuttle run over 20 meters. The test is conducted on a flat surface and is a progressive maximal test, which means it starts easy and gets increasingly harder. Those who have done the test know all too well how hard it is, as it is expected that you will give 100% effort.
The key to improving your score is to work on building your lungs up to cope with the stress of this maximal test and one of the best ways to do this is to get out and run some hills.
Interval sprint training on a hill is the best way to get your bleep test score higher and should be part of anyone’s training who wants to improve cardio-vascular endurance.
Hill Sprints consist of finding a hill, the steepness of which can be varied, depending on your current fitness level, of about 100 meters in length.
You begin the training session by sprinting at 100% effort to the top, once you reach the top, start a stopwatch and slowly jog back to the bottom, giving yourself one full minutes rest.
When you arrive at the bottom, turn around, sprint to the top again, and repeat this around eight times.
This will take around twelve minutes to complete and will really push your body and build your cardio endurance.
Be warned! This sort of training really takes it out of you so I suggest you do not run hill sprints more than twice a week. Other ways to improve your score involve your technique. You only need to place one foot across the line at the end of each shuttle, so do not run past the line with both feet. Also, ensure you turn sharply and not run in a small arc at either end of the shuttles. If you could leave footprints, then they should be in a dead straight line.
If you can stick to getting out there twice a week to run some hill sprints, expect your bleep test score to improve a couple of levels. It is by far the single best way to train your body to work at high levels of physical exertion and prepare your body for the effort of a bleep test.
James Holder is a full time operational firefighter and has been helping people lose weight and get fit for over 10 years. He is also the best selling author of ‘How to become Firefighter Fit’. Go to http://www.firefighterfit.com .