Member Comments for the Article:

The 3-Minute Step Test

A DIY Fitness Assessment

79 Comments



  • Another test where the chart for women in my age range is blocked by the How Fit Are You? link. - 9/28/2014 10:53:53 AM
  • I can tell by how easier it is to recover after walking that my fittiness level is improving. I know I need to up the pressure when I get to the point I am not breathing hard after walking. - 9/2/2014 3:16:13 PM
  • MESAMESA22
    Did I miss where it said to determine normal? ? - 5/11/2014 2:18:18 PM
  • Good! Thanks for sharing - 5/2/2014 6:25:57 AM
  • I did it using two 6 inch benches in top of each other.
    Unfortunately, my result was: very poor, for my age group. - 3/29/2014 5:27:06 AM
  • I understood what the article said and could easily incorporate it into my fitness program. - 2/2/2014 1:19:40 PM
  • I understood what the article said and could easily incorporate it into my fitness program. - 2/2/2014 1:19:38 PM
  • JAK41262
    This is easy enough to do. Will add it to my routine - 6/10/2013 10:15:44 AM
  • I don't have a 12 inch step either, so I am just using what I have. Should have the almost the same effect showing any improvement, I think. - 5/31/2013 10:35:50 AM
  • Where do you find a 12" step? I don't have anything NEAR that. I had to pile 9 very thick books up to get there - way too unstable for me to do this test. Plus, I'm rather short, so that height seems rather high. Any suggestions? - 5/8/2013 10:35:58 AM
  • INBLACK
    There is no BEFORE HR. The test is exactly correct per the directions.
    1) With a beat of 96 beats per minute you will step up and back down 24 times per minute for 3 minutes.
    - Right foot up, left foot up, right foot down, left foot down.
    2) After 3 minutes sit down and within 5 seconds start counting your heat beats for 60 seconds.

    Your heart rate slows as you recover so while they may be fast as soon as you stop they will slow before the 60 seconds is up.

    If your resting heart rate is 80 then you are out of shape - a fit person has a resting heart rate of 60 or less. - 12/10/2012 11:47:26 PM
  • CASSIDY12
    Loved this test. It was easy to do at home, and showed I'm in excellent cardio health. Thanks SparkPeople! - 10/20/2012 7:38:37 PM
  • It would be great if you posted a sample video of the exercise. I can't understand how to do it right yet. - 8/30/2012 10:42:52 AM
  • Forgot to say that the point of this article is to compare your results to future tests -not to anything in the same test on the same day. I think some people may be getting confused with another HR test that tests actual recovery time. This test is simple -You test your heart rate after that kind of excercise, then your goal will be to be in better shape and have a better test result next time. You work out to get in better shape, then in a week or a month, you do the same test again. If you have worked out enough, you will see that your test results will be better. They might be in the same category (poor etc.), but your heart rate should be a little lower (generally speaking, of course -there are always things that can affect it, but the more you do it over time, you will see the HR continue to get lower). - 8/14/2012 2:58:29 PM
  • Although I agree with those saying that our resting heart rates are all different so a rating of Resting HR + 10 would be excellent and so on, I don't think that anything was missed or unedited in this article. I think this was a very basic and simple test. It is true that those in good shape will end up with a lower heart rate than those who are not in good shape. You will be able to easily see this right after doing the steps. Measuring only right after the excercise will not change the fact that you will see results over time if you are working to get in better shape. For this purpose, there is nothing wrong with this article! Since the test offers a range of heart rates for each level, this should compensate for not taking a before (resting) heart rate. Yes, you can also test again to see how fast recovery actualy is by waiting 30 seconds or so. That is additional testing which can offer more information about your heart. For a basic testing, the steps in this article are fine! - 8/14/2012 2:43:11 PM

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