Fitness is an essential component of any player’s performance at any University/College Soccer program, semi-pro, and professional teams. Your physical capacity can mean the difference in whether you are cut or scouted and picked to play at this level.
Therefore, it is essential to understand the physical demands at this level. It is important to remember that fitness combines the following components: strength, cardiovascular endurance, balance flexibility, explosiveness, power, and more.
At the elite soccer level, it is standard practice to do the ‘Beep Test’ or the Multi-Stage Fitness Test to measure a player’s fitness level.
What is the Beep Test?
Also known as the Multi-Stage Fitness Test, the Beep Test is a twenty-meter (20m or 21.9 yds) cardiovascular endurance assessment that measures your VO₂ max.
The beep test is a standardized test that is often used at the elite level to gauge a player’s fitness in the form of VO₂ max.
Teams often use the beep test as a baseline at the beginning of preseason, and as progress checks at certain intervals such as the end of preseason.
- 2 cones per running lane
- Audio equipment (speakers/headphones) to play the beep test audio
How to Run the Beep Test
Part of the beauty of the beep test is that it’s effortless to set up and get started. All you need are two cones per person running the test and an audio device (a speaker connected to your phone is more than ideal.
The runner must run from one cone to the other before the beep, wait for the start beep, and run back to his or her own starting cone. The runner must continue until he or she cannot make it to the cone in time for the beep.
Some tests allow 2 or 3 misses or strikes until the runner is disqualified.
Beep Test Distances & Pace Table
|Level||Laps||Cumulative laps||Speed (km/h)||Speed (mph)||Laptime (s)||Level time (s)||Level distance (m)||Cumulative distance (m)||Cumulative time (mm:ss)|
|1||7||7||8.5||5.3||8.47||59.3||140||140 m (150 yd)||00:59|
|2||8||15||9.0||5.6||8.00||64.0||160||300 m (330 yd)||02:03|
|3||8||23||9.5||5.9||7.58||60.6||160||460 m (500 yd)||03:04|
|4||8||31||10.0||6.2||7.20||57.6||160||620 m (680 yd)||04:02|
|5||9||40||10.5||6.5||6.86||61.7||180||800 m (870 yd)||05:03|
|6||9||49||11.0||6.8||6.55||58.9||180||980 m (1,070 yd)||06:02|
|7||10||59||11.5||7.1||6.26||62.6||200||1,180 m (1,290 yd)||07:05|
|8||10||69||12.0||7.5||6.00||60.0||200||1,380 m (1,510 yd)||08:05|
|9||10||79||12.5||7.8||5.76||57.6||200||1,580 m (0.98 mi)||09:02|
|10||11||90||13.0||8.1||5.54||60.9||220||1,800 m (1.1 mi)||10:03|
|11||11||101||13.5||8.4||5.33||58.7||220||2,020 m (1.26 mi)||11:02|
|12||12||113||14.0||8.7||5.14||61.7||240||2,260 m (1.40 mi)||12:04|
|13||12||125||14.5||9.0||4.97||59.6||240||2,500 m (1.6 mi)||13:03|
|14||13||138||15.0||9.3||4.80||62.4||260||2,760 m (1.71 mi)||14:06|
|15||13||151||15.5||9.6||4.65||60.4||260||3,020 m (1.88 mi)||15:06|
|16||13||164||16.0||9.9||4.50||58.5||260||3,280 m (2.04 mi)||16:05|
|17||14||178||16.5||10.3||4.36||61.1||280||3,560 m (2.21 mi)||17:06|
|18||14||192||17.0||10.6||4.24||59.3||280||3,840 m (2.39 mi)||18:05|
|19||15||207||17.5||10.9||4.11||61.7||300||4,140 m (2.57 mi)||19:07|
|20||15||222||18.0||11.2||4.00||60.0||300||4,440 m (2.76 mi)||20:07|
|21||15||237||18.5||11.5||3.89||58.4||300||4,740 m (2.95 mi)||21:05|
Calculate VO₂ From Your Results
According to a paper by Flouris, et al (2005) VO₂ max can be calculated using the following formula:
Your maximum speed in km/h can be found in the Beep Test Distances & Pace Table above in the 4th column.
- Take your maximum speed and multiply it by 6.55
- Subtract 35.8
- The result is your VO₂ max in mL/(kg·min)
Tips for Running the Beep Test
There’s no substitute for training, being fit, eating well, and practicing the beep test repeatedly until you achieve your desired level.
Some club and college coaches expect you to be able to achieve a specific level threshold. It is a good idea to be prepared and practice beforehand to that level and beyond.