The Course Navette Test is one of the most widely used field tests in the field of fitness and sport to evaluate the aerobic capacity of athletes.
Also known as the Beep Test (we’ll soon see why).
It’s a test that measures the aerobic capacity of the subject when they do said test.
In addition, there is no need for a large space. As the Course Navette, also known as 20 meter shuttle run test, only requires a 20-metre straight line, which must be marked at the ends.
- The test consists of travelling that 20 metres distance at a given and established pace, which is determined by a sequence of beeps that go in progression.
- The test is carried out with a beeping sound that marks the timing required to complete the distance.
- The time between beeps is progressively shortened, so the subject has to increase their speed progressively until they can no longer do so.
- Travelling the 20 metres distance before the sound of the following warning, on two consecutive occasions.
It’s necessary to note at what time or period the subject stopped; which is marked by the audio of the test.
There are result tables from which the results obtained can be analysed according to characteristics, such as sex and age.
The audio for the Course Navette can easily be found on YouTube, you only need audio equipment to play the test:
What does it measure
It’s one of the most commonly used tests due its ease of application, validity and reliability.
There are other field tests (as opposed to laboratory tests such as a Stress Test, or the Wingate test) also well known to everyone and used even in school Physical Education Programmes, such as the Cooper Test.
The creation of this field test is attributed to the Professor and Physiologist of the University of Montreal Luc Lèger (hence it is also known as the Leger Test), in 1984-88.
According to its etymology, “Course-Navette” (its name in French) means “coming and going”; which is exactly what happens in the test.
As mentioned, it’s a relatively simple field test.
However, as with any assessment test, it is necessary that it’s well explained to the subjects who are going to carry it out, so that there is no confusion and it can be carried out correctly.
In addition to a description of how the test is performed and what it measures (the participant knowing this in advance will be better prepared and more motivated to do so), a brief general warm-up and gentle jogging are necessary to prepare the athlete for the test both physically and mentally.
Ideally, you should have visual marks of the distance to be covered, so we recommend either marking the distance with cones or a clearly visible line at the ends of the 20 metre straight.
- The subject begins by hearing an alarm beep.
- Before the second beep sounds, they have to travel that 20 meters distance.
- At the beginning, as the time between one sound and another is long, the person doing the test can even walk. The speed will increase incrementally.
- The beeps, which sound more and more frequently, are grouped into periods of 1 minute.
When does it finish?
The test ends when:
- The subject feels they have reached their maximum effort level and can’t go on any longer; or when,
- Two consecutive failures (not reaching the MSFT distance) occur twice in a row.
- Continuous accelerations and decelerations.
- Running technique will be a factor that will help to improve the efficiency of the test
- Management of effort in the acceleration and deceleration stages and pivoting to the other side (we’ll have to see which leg we’ll be doing it with, how to do it etc…)
Test Results: How to interpret them?
Below is a table so that you can see the Course Navette values:
Course Navette Scale.
Although it’s not an exact measurement of the maximum oxygen consumption (VO2MAX), as in laboratory tests (incremental run with spirometry with gas analysis, for example); a relationship can be established.
|Stages (minutes)||Speed (km/h)||Distance (metres)|
Speed-Distance Table for Course Navette or Multi-Stage Fitness Test run.
In this case, once we’ve finished an Course Navette, we’ll measure the speed reached in the test and apply the following formula
VO2 Max = 5.857 x Speed (Km/h) – 19.45
How long does the test last?
As mentioned above, the test ends when the subject stops or when on two consecutive occasions they fail to cover the distance of 20 metres before the sound of the next beep.
Tips and Advice
- A good warm up beforehand, both general and specific, to raise the body temperature and mentally concentrate on the test.
- Joint mobility exercises of the hips and ankles, mainly
- Training with accelerations, decelerations and changes in direction.
- Running technique work.
- Have you heard of Natural Running? We explain what it is in the following post.
- Everything you need to know about HIIT by clicking here.