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Determining Aerobic Fitness: The Yo-Yo Endurance Test

The Yo-Yo Endurance Test is a means to determine aerobic fitness. This test is used to determine how long the body can work at a continuous and increasing pace. This type of test is of particular use to people who are involved in sports or activities which require extended periods of high activity levels. There are two variations of this test, essentially phases 1 and 2.

Phase 1: Beep Beep Test

The Beep-Beep Test is the first phase of this type of testing. It is typically done using cones placed 20 meters apart in an open space. The person taking the test listens to a tape which makes beep sounds at specific intervals. At the first beep, the subject runs to the first opposite cones. When the tape beeps again, the subject turns and runs to the other set of cones. This process starts off slower, and increases in speed as the test progresses.

If the person taking the test does not reach the cones at any beep, they have to try to catch up. If they reach the cones before the beep, they must wait until the beep and continue. The test is over when the person does not reach the cones two consecutive times.

This is the beginner version of this type of endurance test.

Phase 2: Yo-Yo Endurance Test

This test still involves cones but with a slight twist. The cones are placed 20 meters apart just as in phase 1; however, the initial pace of this test starts out faster. The same rules apply to the Yo-Yo Endurance test as with the Beep-Beep Test. Once the participant fails to reach the cones for two consecutive beeps, the test is over.


These test are scored based on how long an participant can last. Typically, phase 1 lasts around 6 to 20 minutes of continuous movement. Phase two, because of the initial higher speed of the beeps, lasts approximately 2-10 minutes. Scoring is based on the total distance covered by the person taking the test. The longer a participant lasts, the higher their score and the longer a distance they ran.

Who Takes this Test?

This type of test is normally used by professional athletes, especially in soccer, basketball, rugby and field hockey, as these sports involve constant movement. Professional teams will practice doing these tests on a regular basis to keep their players in shape and judge their overall aerobic fitness levels.


The location, fitness level and how often a person has taken this test can have an effect on the outcome of this test. It is assumed that a person taking this type of test is already very athletic and active on a regular basis. Typically, this test is taken in outdoor locations and that can change results. If a person is used to taking the test at sea level, and takes the test at much higher altitudes, their performance will drop.

The Yo-Yo Endurance test for aerobic fitness is an excellent way to test levels of fitness, as long as the conditions are similar to those used when practicing the test in the first place.

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