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NSCA's Guide to Tests and Assessments eBook

NSCA's Guide to Tests and Assessments eBook


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    NSCA's Guide to Tests and Assessments offers strength and conditioning professionals a one-stop resource for the best research-supported fitness and performance measures available. Created by top experts in the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), this comprehensive text offers extensive information on which factors matter and how to evaluate them as accurately and easily as possible. Editor Todd Miller and an authoritative team of contributors have compiled an exceptional reference and valuable tool for practicing professionals and an indispensable educational resource for students.

    NSCA's Guide to Tests and Assessments presents the latest research from respected scientists and practitioners in exercise testing and assessment. The text begins with an introduction to testing, data analysis, and formulating conclusions. It then features a by-chapter presentation of tests and assessments for body composition, heart rate and blood pressure, metabolic rate, aerobic power, lactate threshold, muscular strength, muscular endurance, power, speed and agility, mobility, and balance and stability. Using descriptions of multiple test options for each key fitness component, readers will learn to choose from a range of alternatives to meet the needs of their athletes, reach training objectives, choose from available equipment, and work within budgets.

    Each chapter provides a summary detailing the key testing and assessment information for each fitness component, the equipment needed for performing the tests, step-by-step instructions, normative data for the tests, and multiple test options per conditioning component. Insights into the applications of testing for certain fitness components are also presented:

    • The value of body composition assessments in determining health and fitness levels for competitive athletes as well as individuals across the life span

    • How an understanding of 24-hour energy expenditure can be useful in structuring a complete diet and exercise plan for weight loss, gain, or maintenance

    • How to select a maximal or submaximal aerobic power test that is specific to the demands of a client’s or athlete’s sport

    • Discussion of the mechanical and physiological factors shown to influence the expression of muscular strength

    • An examination of the relevant factors influencing power production and explosive movement capacity

    • Differences between mobility and flexibility and a discussion of the acute versus chronic effects of static stretching

    • Theories and concepts of balance and stability, their effects on performance, and categories of testing for balance and stability

    NSCA's Guide to Tests and Assessments also includes NSCA-approved testing protocols, extensive references to current research, and applications for the testing of conditioning components. Information is presented in an accessible manner to help explain the findings of both researchers and practitioners so that readers can select the most effective and efficient approach for athlete and client assessments.

    Properly conducted tests and skillful assessment of data enable fitness professionals to develop individualized training programs based on their clients’ or athletes’ physiological and functional capacities. Credible, current, and complete, NSCA's Guide to Tests and Assessments provides a clear understanding of the test selection process, how to implement appropriate data collection, and how to analyze data to make appropriate training decisions that will help athletes and clients achieve their performance goals.

    NSCA’s Guide to Tests and Assessments is part of the Science of Strength and Conditioning series. Developed with the expertise of the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA), this series of texts provides the guidelines for converting scientific research into practical application. The series covers topics such as tests and assessments, program design, and nutrition.


    A reference for strength and conditioning professionals, athletic trainers, and personal trainers. Also a text and reference for students taking courses in strength and conditioning or allied fields.

    Table of Contents


    Chapter 1. Tests, Data Analysis, and Conclusions
    Matt Rhea, PhD, and Mark Peterson, PhD
    Screening Tests
    Data Evaluation and Statistical Analysis
    Normalization of Fitness Data
    Tracking Data Over Time

    Chapter 2. Body Composition
    Nick Ratamess, PhD
    Sport Performance and Body Composition
    Body Composition Measurement
    Measuring Height, Body Weight, and Body Mass Index
    Comparison of Body Composition Techniques
    Body Fat Standards

    Chapter 3. Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
    Dan Drury, DPE
    Heart Rate Control
    Exercise Intensity and Heart Rate
    Sport Performance and Heart Rate
    Heart Rate Measurement
    Blood Pressure

    Chapter 4. Metabolic Rate
    Wayne Miller, PhD, EMT
    Components of Energy Expenditure
    Sport Performance and Metabolic Rate
    Measurement of Energy Expenditure
    Prediction of Energy Expenditure
    Estimation of 24-hour and Physical Activity Energy Expenditure
    Relevance and Applications for Metabolic Testing

    Chapter 5. Aerobic Power
    Jonathan Anning, PhD
    Regression Equation Variables
    Maximal Exercise Testing Methods
    Submaximal Exercise Testing Methods
    Regression Equation Calculations

    Chapter 6. Lactate Threshold
    Dave Morris, PhD
    Energy Pathways and Lactate Metabolism
    Sport Performance and Lactate Threshold
    Performing a Lactate Threshold Test
    Maximal Lactate Steady State
    Using Lactate Threshold Data

    Chapter 7. Muscular Strength
    Gavin Moir, PhD
    Definition of Muscular Strength
    Factors Affecting Muscular Force Production
    Sports Performance and Muscular Strength
    Methods of Measurement
    Field Tests for Muscular Strength
    Predicting 1RM Values from Multiple Repetitions
    Laboratory Tests for Maximal Muscular Strength
    Isokinetic Strength Testing

    Chapter 8. Muscular Endurance
    Gavin Moir, PhD
    Definition of Muscular Endurance
    Field Tests for Muscular Endurance
    Laboratory Tests for Muscular Endurance

    Chapter 9. Power
    Mark D. Peterson, PhD
    Operationalizing Power
    Mechanisms of Power Production and Expression
    Types and Factors of Power
    Sport Performance and Power
    Assessments for Power
    Lower Body Tests
    Upper Body Tests
    Warm-Up and Postactivation Potentiation (PAP): A Special Consideration for Testing Power

    Chapter 10. Speed and Agility
    N. Travis Triplett, PhD
    Sport Performance and Speed and Agility
    Test Selection
    Methods of Measurement

    Chapter 11. Mobility
    Sean P. Flanagan, PhD
    Fundamental Concepts of Mobility
    Sport Performance and Mobility
    Range of Motion Testing
    Range of Motion Assessments
    Interpretation of Results

    Chapter 12. Balance and Stability
    Sean P. Flanagan, PhD
    Body Mechanics
    Control Theory
    Sport Performance and Balance and Stability
    Measuring Balance and Stability
    Interpreting the Results


    About the Editors

    About the Editor

    Founded in 1978, the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) is an international nonprofit educational association with members in more than 56 countries. Drawing on its vast network of members, the NSCA develops and presents the most advanced information regarding strength training and conditioning practices, injury prevention, and research findings.

    Unlike any other organization, the NSCA brings together a diverse group of professionals from the sport science, athletic, allied health, and fitness industries. By working to find practical applications for new research findings in the strength and conditioning field, the association fosters the development of strength training and conditioning as a discipline and as a profession.

    Todd A. Miller, PhD, is an associate professor of exercise science at the George Washington University School of Public Health and Health Services in Washington DC, where he is responsible for the development and oversight of the master's degree concentration in strength and conditioning. He has degrees in exercise physiology from Penn State and Texas A&M and currently studies the role of interactive video gaming as a means of increasing physical activity in children.


    “This book takes an aggressive, holistic approach to the longstanding profession of strength and conditioning. The authors make a first-rate effort to move the profession of strength and conditioning forward into a new realm of expertise as professionals in the business of getting athletes to perform beyond their own expectations.”

    -- Doody’s Book Review