world's largest strength and conditioning and sports training resource for speed, agility, power and strength enhancementStrength | Strength and Conditioning | Sports Training
HOMEFree Articles!$1 for 3 DaysSEARCHMEMBERS

Speed and Power Tests
Phil Davies
Printer-Friendly Format

Use these speed and power tests before you begin your training program and then at 6-8 week intervals. Follow theses general guidelines to make the tests as safe and effective as possible...

  • Warm up thoroughly before you begin with a few minutes of light jogging and stretches to all major muscle groups.

  • Short explosive power tests such as the vertical jump should be performed first in the test battery and at the start of a training session.

  • Avoid training the day before, especially heavy weight training which will have a significant effect on your power.

30m Sprint - Short Term Power Test

This test measures your ability to accelerate to full speed quickly, as well as reaction time...

1. Set 2 cones 30m apart and start at one cone.
2. On a signal of "Marks - Set - GO" sprint to the other cone as quickly as possible.
3. Have a training partner record your time with a stop watch.
4. Perform 3 trials and take the best time.

Any time less than 5 seconds is good. Less than 4 seconds is excellent.

30m Sprint Fatigue - Power Maintenance Test

In many multi-sprint sports such basketball, hockey, rugby and soccer, players often have to reproduce sprints in quick succession. The ability to recover between sprints and produce the same level of power over and over is a measure of your sprint fatigue.

For this test you need 12 cones or markers and a stopwatch. Look at the diagram below to see how to set the cones out...

1. Sprint from A to B between the cones deviating 5m sideways in the middle of the sprint. Have a training partner start you off and time your sprint from A to B.

2. Jog slowly for 10 meters after point B and then back to the start taking 30 seconds to do so.

3. As soon as you reach the start repeat the sprint.

4. Complete a total of 10 sprints and have your training partner write down all the times.

5. Subtract your fastest time from your slowest time. This is your sprint fatigue. For example if your slowest sprint was 7.8 seconds and your fastest sprint was 6.9 seconds your sprint fatigue is 0.9 (7.8 - 6.9).

Another useful tool to use with your results is to find the average speed of the first three trials and divide it by the average speed of the last three trials. So if your times were...

7.1s, 6.9s, 6.9s, 7.0s, 7.2s, 7.1s, 7.3s, 7.3s, 7.4s, 7.5s

The average of the first 3 times is 6.97s, the average of the last 3 times is 7.40s.

6.97 ÷ 7.40 = 0.94 X 100 = 94%

Compare you score with the table below...

Power Maintenance
Level Category % Top Speed Maintained
1 Excellent +90%
2 Good 85-89%
3 Average 80-84%
4 Poor <79%

Illinois Test - Agility

This test measures your ability to change direction quickly, in other words your agility

You will need 8 cones and a stop watch. Look at the diagram below to see how to set the cones out...

1. Sprint the course from start to finish and have your training partner record your time.

2. Rest fully and repeat the test for a total of 3 trials. Take your quickest time and compare to the chart below.

Power Maintenance
Classification Males Females
Excellent <15.9 secs <17.5 secs
Good 15.9 - 16.7 secs 17.5 - 18.6 secs
Average 16.8 - 17.6 secs 18.7 - 22.4 secs
Below Average 17.7 - 18.8 secs 22.5 - 23.4 secs
Poor >18.8 secs >23.4 secs

Standing Long Jump - Explosive Power

Along with the vertical jump, this power test is used to measure explosive power...

1. Stand at a mark with your feet slightly apart.

2. Taking off and landing with both feet, swing your arms and bend the knees to jump forward as far as possible.

3. Measure the distance, rest fully and repeat a total of 3 times. Take the longest of the 3 trials as your score. Compare your results with the table below...

Standing Long Jump Test
Poor Below average Average Good Excellent
Males <2.0m 2.3m 2.5m 2.7m >3.0m
Females <1.7m 1.9m 2.2m 2.5m >2.8m

Standing Vertical Jump - Explosive Power

One of the classic power tests. This is excellent for basketball and volleyball players but it's certainly not just limited to those athletes. If your sport involves jumping this test applies to you...

1. Chalk your hand and stand next to a wall. Reach up with your hand closest to the wall and make a mark. Remember to keep your feet flat on the floor.

2. Bending your knees at right angles, jump as high as possible to make another mark.

3. Measure the distance between the two marks and repeat a total of 3 times. Take your best score of the 3 trials.

Jump height can be converted into a power using the following formula...

Power = Body mass(kg) x (4.9 x height jumped in meters)2

So for example if you weigh 80kg (multiply your weight in lbs by 2.2) and jumped 50cm (0.5m) your score would be...

80 x (4.9 x 0.5)2

= 80 x (2.45 x 2.45)

= 480kg-m

Going back to your original score (the height you jumped) compare it to the graph below...

Vertical Jump Test
Poor Below average Average Good Excellent
Males <46cm 50cm 55cm 60cm >65cm
Females <36cm 40cm 45cm 50cm >55cm

Hexagon Drill - Quickness

This drill was developed by the US Tennis Association as part of their player assessment program. It is useful for all kinds of athletes to measure their agility, quickness and co-ordination.

1. Mark out a hexagon on the floor with tape or chalk. Each side should be 24 inches long with a 120 degree angle. Avoid hard surfaces such as concrete.

2. Stand inside the hexagon opposite one of the sides. Keeping your feet together, jump across the side you are facing and then immediately back into the middle of the hexagon.

3. As soon as you land jump over the next side of the hexagon. Continue until you have completed 3 full revolutions of the shape. You can go either clockwise or anticlockwise.

4. Have someone time you. There is no data to compare this test to so keep a note of the time to beat on your next testing day.


Phil Davies is the founder of Equipment Exercise Review

·  Testing for Speed: Flying 30
·  Speed and Power Training for the 40
·  Sample Speed and Agility Program