Testing your fitness levels for soccer

LISBON, PORTUGAL – MAY 23: Karim Benzema of Real Madrid (R) runs drills during a Real Madrid training session ahead of the UEFA Champions League Final against Club Atletico de Madrid at Estadio da Luz on May 23, 2014 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images)

Soccer players are complete athletes. To maintain peak performance throughout an entire 90-minute game, soccer players work on every aspect of their physical capacity. The training covers endurance, speed, agility, strength, and flexibility. Here is a quick look at some of the targets for each aspect of fitness:

Endurance

The primary requirement for endurance is a good aerobic base. However, since a soccer players transitions from a walk to a jog to a sprint several times a minute, the VO2Max is a better indicator of endurance. VO2Max is the amount of oxygen that a player can consume about their bodyweight.

Strength

When it comes to strength, the best test is the 1RM. The 1RM, also known as a One-rep max, is the amount of weight a player can lift for one repetition.  Once you have that figure for a given exercise, use a chart of strength standards to determine the relevant category of relative strength.

Speed and Agility

The simplest test of speed is to sprint from a standing start for 30 yards. Run this three to four times and calculate your average. Time under five seconds is good. For the sake of comparison, know that professional players average four seconds.

Flexibility

There are no benchmarks to measure against for flexibility. However, there are tests that look at the range of motion. Failing to complete these tests will show weak points and any issues. Flexibility is very important for a soccer player and should form a core part of the training program.

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