The Beep test is a fundamental part of the British Army Officer selection process. It is a measure of your aerobic fitness and is known to be one of the most challenging fitness tests created.
You will be required to take this test and reach a minimum of the following levels:
Here are some ways to improve your cardiovascular fitness and prepare you for the real test.
Key focus: Interval Training, Sprints, strength development
Remember: Long, steady paced running will improve your overall level of fitness but is not a good way to train for a beep test. To increase your aerobic capacity you need to focus high intensity training.
If you have access to a treadmill
Set the treadmill to 1% incline
Spend 5 minutes warming up and raising your heart rate by walking at a steady pace.
Set the treadmill to 8km/hr
Each minute, increase the speed by 0.5km/hr
Keep increasing the pace every minute until you are unable to continue.
A very important factor that is often forgotten is to record your results – It is essential to track your progress and to improve.
Each time you take this test, write down the speed or the minute that you had to stop. Every 3 attempts aim to improve and progress to the next level.
Any type of high intensity interval training (HIIT) will help you get closer to your beep test goal. This includes exercises where you sprint or push your body to its limit for short bursts and then recover and let your heart rate lower before repeating.
Here are some examples of Interval training:
Hill Sprints – Run as fast as you can to the top of a hill (or a partial way up) and then walk back down and repeat as many times as you can
Track Sprints – Run 100 metres as fast as you are able to and then walk for the next 100 metres, then repeat the sprint for 100m and so on.
Skipping – Get a rope and skip hard for 30 seconds, followed by 30 seconds at a slow pace. Repeat for as long as you can.
It is important to note that any type of training that raises your heart rate to near maximum levels and then followed by a recovery period before repeating will have a great effect on your fitness levels. Avoid long, steady paced and often boring cardio exercises, keep it interesting and you will be well on your way to passing the all important Beep Test at selection.
However, probably the best way to get better at the beep test is to actually practice it. This way you can improve the level you are able to achieve and make sure you can pass the required stage on the actual day of you assessment. You can get the MP3 below and set up a two markers 20 metres apart anywhere you like.