It’s always a good thing to see yourself improving over time.  It helps in motivating you to keep going and stay focused.  Seeing results from the work you have put in is a good feeling.  It makes everything worth it.  If you want to see if you’ve made progress over time, there are many different types of tests you can take that will show you.

I’ll share a few simple ones that are made to measure cardiovascular endurance.  The idea is to take one of these tests before you start a training plan and record how far you went. Take the same test at the end of your training program and record the distance you covered. You should see an improvement.

Here are some tests that you can take:

  1. THE 12-MINUTE RUN/WALK TEST – This is a simple test that can be done outside on a track, around town where you live, on the country road you live on,  a treadmill, at the gym on their inside track, etc.  For 12 minutes, you will either run or walk as far as you can.  Take note of how far you went.  Take the same test in the same way after your training program and measure how far you went.  The idea is that you should go further on the second testing.
  2. THE 12-MINUTE CYCLING TEST – If running or walking isn’t your thing, then do it with cycling.  You can do this outside on your own bike or on a stationary bike at home or at the gym.  See how far you can go in 12 minutes before your training program and then do it again after your training program.  There should be improvement in the distance you cover.
  3. THE 12-MINUTE SWIMMING TEST – Ok…maybe cycling or running or walking isn’t your thing.  Maybe your thing is swimming.  That’s cool…..there’s a test for that one too.  Find a pool with a lane in it and do lap swimming for 12 minutes.  Measure how many laps you do in that time and then take the same test again at the end of your training program.  See how many more laps you did compared to the first test.
  4. THE 12-MINUTE ELLIPTICAL TEST – Yet, another option on the buffet of fitness: the elliptical machine.  Set it to a resistance level and go for 12 minutes before your training program and take it again at the same resistance for 12 minutes after your training program.  See how many more strides you get after the second test compared to the first test.  There should be an improvement.

*NOTE:  For each of these tests, there is a chart that tells you how far you “should” get according to your age.  I didn’t put it in this blooooog because it doesn’t sit right with me.  It’s not about how far you get according to your age, but rather it’s about starting somewhere in your training and seeing improvement over time.  That’s it.  In the end, it’s about you and how far you get.  You don’t need a chart to tell you “good” or “bad.”

These tests are great for cardiovascular improvement in that they focus on aerobic exercise (without weights) instead of anaerobic exercise (weight training).  If you’re a beginner that’s looking for a way or ways to measure improvement over time, I would recommend any of these tests.  If you found this bloooog helpful, feel free to “share” and “like” it.  Until next time,


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