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The J.A.M. Intermittent Fitness Test

The J.A.M intermittent fitness test was originally designed to test the cardiovascular endurance and fitness of athletes. It tests a subject’s ability to repeatedly endure isolated intervals of physical activity over an extended period of time.

The Test

A triangular circuit is laid out with some sort of marker, usually a sports cone. Each side of the triangle is assigned an activity. One side is designated for walking, one side is designated for jogging, and one side is designated for running. The test subjects move along the sides of the triangle in the way that each side was designated. Every two minutes, the running section of the triangle is replaced with a twelve-meter sprint bout.

The test comes with a CD with recorded instructions for what to do, and a long series of beeps. Participants start with the first beep, and are required to make one full circuit of the triangle before the next beep sounds. The intervals between the beeps get shorter and shorter, so the participants are required to move faster and faster as the test progresses. When a participant can no longer keep up with the beeps, that participant is removed from the test. The test ends when the last participant can no longer make it around the triangle before the beep sounds. A subject’s score is the length of time they took to complete the test.

Advantages/Disadvantages

The main advantage of the J.A.M. intermittent fitness test is that it can be conducted on large groups of participants all at once. It is also a very easy test to conduct because it requires almost no prior preparation. The major disadvantage of the J.A.M. intermittent fitness test is that there are a few factors that could distort some of the results.

Firstly, different participants may have different levels of motivation to do well on the test, and it is conceivable that a participant with a lower level of motivation and a higher level of physical fitness could perform worse on the test than another participant with a higher level of motivation and a lower level of physical fitness.

Secondly, whether or not a participant completes the whole circuit in the allotted time can only be measured subjectively, which means that it is impossible to hold all participants to the same standard. One participant could be only slightly late for the beep and judge himself to have made it, while another participant in the same situation may judge himself not to have mad it.

Who is This Test For?

Originally, the J.A.M. intermittent fitness test was developed to measure the level of physical fitness of Rugby Football Union Referees, but it is suitable for athletes who play any team sport. It is considered a maximal test, which means that it is not recommended for people with injuries, health problems, or very low fitness levels.

The J.A.M. intermittent fitness test is a good way to determine an athlete's level of physical fitness. Because the test can be conducted with a large group of other subjects, it also allows participants to compare their level of physical fitness with that of the other participants.

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