HexEndure - Intermittent Endurance Testing

HexEndure

Athlete's Endurance and Recovery Testing Software

HexEndure features:


Links

Fløya J94/95

 

TopEndSports

 


Related applications

HexComment


 

Football fitness testing

(or Soccer fitness testing. For those not defining football as a game played primarily with your feet, but as handball with an ill-shaped ball...)
The rest of this page is however equally relevant for American football, rugby, hockey,.....

Traditional Yo-yo test

We are all familiar with the traditional Yo-Yo test or bleep-test. Introduced already in school, many coaches bring this test with them into football training.
It's an easy test to conduct, and is widely used for estimating an athletes maximum oxygen uptake.

But is it really testing the relevant endurance parameters for a soccer player?

Yo-Yo test setup

Continuous running at the same or increasing speed until exhaustion mainly test the aerobic endurance of the candidate.
Even if improving your aerobic endurance is proven to have benefits also on the football field, the anaerobic endurance may be even more important.

In a football mach the activity is more like a series of max-intesity sprints with recovery pauses inbetween. Your ability to maintain short bursts of high power and to repeat high-intensity movements for a prolongued period is a measure of your anaerobic endurance.

Or as topendsports.com puts it:

High intensity exercise stresses the anaerobic energy system.
Each short burst of high intensity exercise depletes the stores of creatine phosphate and
utilizes anaerobic glycolysis in which lactic acid is produced.
There is often insufficient time to recover completely after each sprint, leading to the accumulation of lactic acid.
The efficient removal of lactic acid is required to limit muscle fatigue.

A brief description of the differences between aerobic and anaeobic endurance can also be found on time-to-run.com

In most standardized tests you will test a combination of the two endurance types. As a rule-of-thumb you may say that the shorter inteval and higher intensity the activity consists of, the more important is the anaerob component. However, a decent aerobic endurance is also the baseline for the anaeorob counterpart.

The traditional continuous-run yo-yo-, bleep-, or beep-test hence mainly exercise your aerobic endurance.

Intermittent tests

The Yo-Yo intermittent recovery (YYIR) test is a variation of the yo-yo test specifically designed for testing athletes in intermittent sports like football. Jens Bangsbo et.al. has an excellent article in Sports Medicine [01 January 2008 - Volume 38 - Issue 1 - pp 37-51] where they prove that for football:

The Yo-Yo IR tests have shown to be a more sensitive measure of changes in performance than maximum oxygen uptake

In the YYIR test the standard 20m setup is extended with a 5m recovery area in front of the starting line. After each 40m run, the athlete has a 10 second active break where she jogs or walks around the recovery cone before the next run.

YYIR test setup

The YYIR test requires some sort of timing signal, normally a CD with pre-recorded beeps at correct timing intervals, or a piece of software running on e.g. a laptop. When a player miss the starting or ending line she is given a warning. The second time she misses she is out, and her final level/run, time or total distance is recorded.
The YYIR test comes in two standard versions; level-1 and level-2. The difference is the starting speed level.

YYIR Level-2 is intended only for elite athletes, while level-1 can be used at all skill levels where the standard Yo-Yo test is used today.

There exists an endurance variant of the YYIR test also, called the Yo-Yo Intermittent Endurance (YYIE) test.
It is conducted the same way as the YYIR tests, but now the recovery period is dropped from 10 to just 5 seconds.
Also the YYIE tests comes in two flavours, level-1 and level-2.

The common reference to the speed-levels and number of runs at each speed level can be found on topendsports.com.
But beware! The tables may not be entirely correct. For instance, in the YYIR-1 specification stage 2 is at TopEndSports stated to be speed level 8. In the official CD-rom from Danmarks Idræts-forbund Olympiske Komite (DIF) the speed level for that stage is 9, i.e. half a kilometer per hour faster.

My own timing recording from the official CD is coming soon on this site.

Test software

At least two different software packages exists for conducting the YYIR test. They both claim to support a variaty of tests, including Yo-Yo endurance tests and Yo-Yo intermittent tests.

I personally tested one of the software packages, a Windows application called Team Beep Test Software.

Beep test Software

It is supposed to also support intermittent testing by defining a pause period after each defined run.
I never got this to work properly, and I did not get the timings to match with the original CD from DIF.

So I wrote my own application called HexEndure.
It is a Java application, and hence should run on most platforms. It has been tested on Windows, Mac and Linux.

HexEndure screen shot

When writing HexEndure, I took special care in securing that the timings match up with the reference CD. Only then can results be compared between teams using different test equipment.
HexEndure is highly accurate. The output timings have been compared with the original CD-rom "Yo-Yo testene" from DIF, and the timing differences after 25 minutes were less than 5 milliseconds (3 parts per million). 5 milliseconds is the equivalent of moving 170 cm (5'6) away from the loudspeakers - due to the speed of sound!

HexEndure defines its tests in an XML format, following an XML Schema definition included in the software bundle.
Predefined tests include the standard Yo-Yo endurance test, yo-yo intermittent recovery level1 and level 2, and the intermittent endurance tests level 1 and 2.

You may define your own tests in addition, following the schema definition. Sounds used in the tests can also be replaced by your own, if you wish.

You may also define a formula for calculating your fitness parameter based on the accumulated meters run. For the YYIR level1 and 2
this parameter is the maximum oxygen uptake (VO2Max), and the formulas are included in the test definition XML files.

HexEndure can also be used to create an audio file for later use by people not having access to the application.

Results from HexEndure are stored in Microsoft Excel compatible CSV files, making it easy to track statistics and graph the results.

HexEndure test results in Excel

When conducting the test, it is nice if you can put up a projector and run the application in full-screen mode with the image projected on a wall or screen. In that way the
players can easily keep track of the standings and timing visually in addition to the application audio.

But that is of course not a requirement. Just bring good PC-speakers, hook up your laptop, put out the marking cones and you are ready to go.

 

 

Request further information on HexEndure, give comments or feedback by sending an email to Heksemann.

Software distribution (subject to license) available for download here.
Download, extract zip file to a location on your disk. Run the HexEndure.bat (windows) or HexEndure.jar (Mac/Linux).
If any problems, send me an email!